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The Pickwick Papers

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  14,187 ratings  ·  846 reviews
Charles Dickens's satirical masterpiece, The Pickwick Papers, catapulted the young writer into literary fame when it was first serialized in 1836-37. It recounts the rollicking adventures of the members of the Pickwick Club as they travel about England getting into all sorts of mischief. Laugh-out-loud funny and endlessly entertaining, the book also reveals Dickens's burge ...more
Paperback, 863 pages
Published November 1st 1964 by Signet Classics (first published 1837)
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S.n. Jarvis There is no novel in the world like The Pickwick Papers. When you reach the last page, you feel like you have travelled a long way, in the company of…moreThere is no novel in the world like The Pickwick Papers. When you reach the last page, you feel like you have travelled a long way, in the company of Mr Pickwick and his friends, and the beginning of the book seems an eternity ago. No novel I have read has so many characters, and so many varied scenes. It is, in a way, more of a library than a single book. And here is the thing: it is perhaps the only novel in the world that could inspire ANOTHER novel to be written about its extraordinary origins and history. And - ahem! - I am the author of that novel, which will be coming out later this year. If you are interested, check out the website:

Best wishes

Stephen Jarvis(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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MJ Nicholls
The middle classes in this country still aspire to some half-baked bucolic idyll—renting a farmhouse, living off the land, swinging on a hammock reading Balzac while buxom farmlasses frolic in the Devonshire sun. The reality? The work involved in milking cows, shearing sheep, fattening chickens requires the brawny pluck of a youngster, not the snoozy disregard of the doddery, and those farmhouse repairs won’t repair themselves, those bills won’t pay themselves . . . until the call of the one-bed ...more
The Pickwick Papers promised heft. Weighing in at 900 pages and larded with indices and erudite observations, the project promised muscle training, if nothing else. The serial natural of the narrative and general zany approach was also apprehended. I simply wasn't prepared, however, for Sam Weller. Oh lord, he may be my favorite character in recent memory. I wasn't prepared for such. I was expecting tales of the idle and curious confronting rural and proltarian situations, if only for hilarity a ...more
I found this while clearing out the cellar. The price inside the front cover is one pound seventy five, and there's a card inside from an antiquarian bookshop in St Andrews. I have zero recall of buying it, although I do remember visits to St Andrews, and losing one daughter in the haar at the beach. Luckily it was the sensible daughter, not inclined to panic.

"The Biographical Edition, edited by Arthur Waugh, father of Evelyn Waugh, with his introduction in each volume. Waugh had been appointed
Dickens' first novel shows his comic gift and knack for character development. Really a string of connected episodes rather than a complex novel as he later created, this is still an enjoyable romp.

My generic comment about Charles Dickens:
First of all, although I am a partisan of Dickens' writing and have read and relished most his works, I concede to three flaws in his oeuvre that are not insignificant. First, while he seemed to develop an almost endless variety of male social types, his female
Have you read The Pickwick Papers? It does seem to be the one work by Charles Dickens which is sadly neglected by many readers.

"The Pickwick Papers" was originally published in 19 monthly magazine instalments, from March 1836 to October 1837, this last being a double issue. They were then reissued in a volume as The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club in 1839 when Dickens was still only 25. They comprise humorous sketches, themselves interspersed with incidental tales, such as "The Goblins w
This book morphed a couple times in my brain. It started off a bit uneven, filled with vignettes and sketches that seemed to anticipate the later genius of Dickens and even presented several shadows of future books and stories. After 100 pages I figured I would have another 700 pages of various Pickwick club digressions. There would be interesting characters (Sam Weller, Alfred Jingle, etc).

The narrative started to bog down, however, during the next couple hundred pages. The book had little vel
Laurel Hicks
I had a hard time when I first tried to read this first of Dickens' novels, but now that I have read all the others I thoroughly enjoyed this time through. I loved seeing the germs of all his other novels in this one book. And I could swear that Mr. Micawber did some of the writing! This was my fourteenth Dickens novel for this year. I'll start the fifteenth, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit, soon. Then I don't know what I'll do with myself.
Barry Pierce
Who needs a plot when you have wit?! This is less a novel more a series of continued vignettes disguised as a narrative, and I really liked it. It's essentially "Three Men in a Boat" but 950 pages long.
Duffy Pratt
This book caused a huge sensation when it first appeared in serialization. I'm at a loss. It makes me wonder whether people in Victorian England had anything to do.

I initially tried to read this along the serialization schedule, finishing several chapters a month. That didn't work out. Ordinarily, that plan fails because I can't wait to rush ahead. Here, the problem was that nothing was luring me back to this book, and I happily read other things I found more interesting and entertaining. But, I
Venghino Miss e Mrs (beh adattiamoci al posto dove ci troviamo )qui c' è posto per tutti , la carrozza è spaziosa al interno , e se non ci si sta c' è l' imperiale , o altrimenti qualcuno si siederà a cassetta con il vetturino .... Ma si mettano comodi lor signori! Ci siamo? Siete tutti belli comodi e sistemati, bene si parte !
Questo sarà un giro particolare perché vi porterò a conoscere un po di nuovi amici , ma ormai ( dopo circa 877 pagine ) direi quasi di conoscerli da lungo tempo , curiosi
Douglas Wilson
Okay, so I have a confession to make. I have never really read any Dickens. Some of my family were big into him, but I never got around to it. I may have read A Christmas Carol some time, but don't think that counts. At any rate, one of my projects consists of always reading some Chesterton, and as it happened, I am now reading Chesterton's collection of pieces on Dickens. So Chesterton convinced me that I needed to read some Dickens, and so I chose Pickwick. I enjoyed it as I went, and by the e ...more
Charles Dickens was in his mid-20s when he wrote The Pickwick Papers. I'm in my mid-30s and I think just going to work in the morning makes me pretty successful.

Don't go into reading this as a linear novel. These are loosely-connected stories surrounding the members of the Pickwick Club. In fact, the actual title of the book is The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club containing a faithful record of the perambulations, perils, travels, adventures and sporting transactions of the corresponding
It has been quite some time since a book made me laugh out loud. Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers, or more properly The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, did so again and again. The book arose from Dickens' engagement to provide descriptions to accompany a series of comic prints as an edition in the then popular genre of the picture novel. Dickens' captions grew into serialized articles which appeared in nineteen installments over twenty months during 1836-37. They were then compiled into ...more
I wish I had gotten around to reading Charles Dickens before my English teacher did, because I have spent most of my life erroneously believing that I loathed the author, only to force myself recently into reading through his work in chronological order and discovering that I LOVE Charles Dickens.

Seriously, this book is terrible on a technical level, having a plot which wanders all over the place, characters doing a lot of mundane things like eating, going hunting, telling stories which have not
Reading online at eBooks@ Adelaide, one chapter per day.

Some David Perdue's Charles Dickens page background about this book:

When artist Robert Seymour proposed to publishers Chapman and Hall a series of engravings featuring Cockney sporting life, with accompanying text published in monthly installments, they readily accepted and set about the task of finding a writer. The publishers were turned down by several writers and finally asked 24-year-old Charles Dickens to provide the text. Dickens acc
Tempo de Ler
Não há um meio-termo na minha opinião acerca de Os Cadernos de Pickwick - do início ao fim, o livro é um estrondoso primor. Tanto assim que estou profundamente convencida que cinco estrelas, apenas, não chegam para lhe fazer verdadeira justiça!

Dickens recorreu à sua habitual escrita tão elegante, tão rica e tão cheia de deliciosas segundas intenções para nos trabalhar uma narrativa brilhante, repleta de justificadas críticas à sociedade de então, diálogos geniais e uma caracterização de personag
I've made a less than completely firm resolution to read all of Dickens' novels, including rereading the ones I read as a youngster, when I was too young to appreciate them fully.

Pickwick is Dickens' first novel, and the first few chapters do indeed come across as 'prentice work. This is understandable, especially given the circumstances under which this serialized novel was undertaken, which Dickens describes in a preface.

The novel has no plot to speak of; it consists of more or less episodic a
As Mr Winkle recorded, "An excess of pleasure."
It's book five in my year of Dickens, and I can't believe I read the whole thing!

The author's first novel is, in many ways, not his best novel. Unlike others, The Pickwick Papers has no clear focus and no main character with whom the reader can sympathize. Instead, this is a rollicking (well, at least in that time) trip through England with a cast of characters. Along the way, love, hilarity, and debtor's prison ensue.

Main characters include:
Pickwick, the wealthy and predictably eccentric master
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
It was interesting to see Dickens' writing style take shape. This is certainly an early book (one would know that even if one didn't know before starting the book). There's a sense of development of the author throughout it.
What comes through clearly is Dickens' ability to write a good character. His females are less developed, being rather 2-dimensional (either purely good or purely bad).
His stance on some aspects of society are here, too. He tackles the
Oct 15, 2008 Spiros rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who dote on humbug, using the word in its Pickwickian sense
A very audacious first novel, and a novel which seems to have spun completely out of its author's control. Despite being, along with P.G. Wodehouse, the most gifted humorous writer in the English language (tip of the hat to Vladimir Nabokov), this is Dickens' only comic novel; whereas his later works would prove to be melodramas suffused with brilliant comic situations and characters, this is pure comedy, larded with melodramtic tales that stand outside of the narrative threads. What seems to be ...more
Apr 23, 2008 Carlie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: comedy lovers
The funniest book ever written! I was on the floor, I mean really ROFLMAO. I laughed till I cried, till my diaphragm went into painful spasms. I couldn't see and I couldn't speak. Exquisite writing as usual with Dickens. Sentence composition beyond my wildest dreams. I did not know comedy could be that pleasurable to read. I reccommend this book to the utmost high for a rolling good time. Excuse me while I go laugh myself into silliness just recalling the scene with Pickwick getting jostled in t ...more
I began reading this hilariously comical,slapstick,humorous book just after 1am New Years day. (I had been chomping at the bit to start it and it didn't disappoint.)
All month I have read every day 2 chapters and made notes of what happened in most, and nearly every day I have had a smile on my face.
The first day I was taken by a description of Mr Pickwicks apparel...I love this description in the opening few pages that "Pickwicks tights and gaiters if they had been on an ordinary man' would have
Delightful sometimes seems a belittling compliment but I don’t know a better word for this book, which was so funny and buoyant, rich, and also human. Best is, as Dickens’ first book, you see the the seed of much of his later work here: the interminable law suits (Bleak House), the beloved relative in the debtors’ prison (Little Dorrit), the finger-wagging spirits (A Christmas Carol), and more.

This book was the favorite of both Fernando Pessoa and Giuseppe Lampedusa, and such high-brow admirati
Mary Ronan Drew
This, the third or fourth attempt I've made to read The Pickwick Papers, got me to page 245, which is about five times further than I've been able to hold on in the past. This is not really a novel but rather a string of silly stories mixed with weak tales embedded in the adventures of Pickwick and his friends.

On top of that Dickens adds his usual lament for the debtors and others held in prison. There's a little touch of corruption in the courts and the legal profession and a nasty man who stea
When I was in the seventh grade, I read The Pickwick Papers for a research paper. I had not at that time, and still, have not read anything else by Charles Dickens, but I am far more interested in changing that statistic than I was then. This is unlikely to surprise many people.

I read The Pickwick Papers with a group who decided to read a certain number of chapters each week, based on the original serialization. This proved to be an excellent method. It allowed some of the original suspense back
Brenda Cregor
A character in the TV miniseries adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford recommended his favorite Dickens' novel, THE PICKWICK PAPERS, and says,

"I defy you not to roar!"

This is when I KNEW I must read it.

It was his first popular novel.

After reading five of his more serious works, I am ready to get a glimpse of his humorous side.
There are men and women who have LIVED a thousand
More than five stars!

When I stared The Pickwick Papers--our current book club read--I was not looking forward to it. And the first three chapters really didn't help. Then Dickens hit his stride in this, his first novel (or long fiction, which is basically, pretty much like a novel).

Some people are deadly brilliant, and Dickens is one of them. To the original illustrator of Pickwick, young Dickens's brilliance seems to have been literally deadly. After eight illustrations the artist killed hims
Well, it did take me a while to get INTO this book, but once I was involved, I knew it was a keeper. My family has been continually puzzled at the sight of me, holding this very thick and serious-looking book, and constantly giggling or even outright guffawing, but it was in the end impossible NOT to fall under the spell of the worthy Mr. Pickwick and his faithful companion, Sam Weller. I loved them! I have marked the passages taking place in Bath with a sticky so that if I ever get depressed I ...more
Julie Davis
As I continue my discovery of Charles Dickens I thought it would be interesting to go to the book that brought him original acclaim. This was combined with a desire for light reading, which every commenter agrees is what one gets from The Pickwick Papers. I also read G.K. Chesterton's commentary on the novel which points out that, for a comic novel, it has a great deal of truth about people especially after Sam Weller's character is introduced. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that monthly p ...more
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A prolific 19th Century author of short stories, plays, novellas, novels, fiction and non-fiction; during his lifetime Dickens became known the world over for his remarkable characters, his mastery of prose in the telling of their lives, and his depictions of the social classes, morals and values of his times. Some considered him the spokesman for the poor, for he definitely brought much awarenes ...more
More about Charles Dickens...
A Tale of Two Cities Great Expectations A Christmas Carol Oliver Twist David Copperfield

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“Poetry makes life what lights and music do the stage.” 50 likes
“There are very few moments in a man's existence when he experiences so much ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable commiseration, as when he is in pursuit of his own hat.” 15 likes
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