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The Pickwick Papers

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  12,641 ratings  ·  782 reviews
‘Rising rage & extreme bewilderment had swelled the noble breast of Mr Pickwick, almost to the bursting of his waistcoat’
Few first novels have created as much popular excitement as The Pickwick Papers–-a comic masterpiece that catapulted its 24-year-old author to immediate fame. Readers were captivated by the adventures of the poet Snodgrass, the lover Tupman, the spo
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Paperback, 801 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by Penguin Classics (first published 1837)
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Community Reviews

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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
·Karen·
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
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Jonfaith
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
Brad
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
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Laurele
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.
Darwin8u
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
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Jean
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
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Lucrezia
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
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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
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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
El
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
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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.
Gwen
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
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Laura
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
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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
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Sketchbook
As Mr Winkle recorded, "An excess of pleasure."
David
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
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Petra
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
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Spiros
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
Jeanne
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
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Tracey
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
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S.
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
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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
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Denae
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
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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
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Michelle
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
Carlie
Apr 23, 2008 Carlie rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Samantha Klein
My first book (and maybe first Dickens) of the year was The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. It was actually Dickens’ first novel, published in serial format in 1836. It’s not so much a novel with an predominant story arc as it is a collection of chronologically-ordered stories about a group of friends who wander around England getting into scrapes. The main character is Mr. Samuel Pickwick, a gentleman of middle age who is accompanied on his adventures by his younger friends Mr. Tupman, ...more
Thom Swennes
Of all the Dickens’s novels I have read, The Pickwick Papers stands head and shoulders above the others. I don’t make this statement lightly nor do I mean it, in any way, derogatory to the works of Charles Dickens as a whole. Quite the contrary, in my opinion, the works of Dickens are probably the best examples of 19th Century English literature written. First published in 1836, The Pickwick Papers is his first novel. One would think that his talent would mature and improve with time but in my o ...more
Tasha
I can only give this a 2 as I went as far as 80% read and just couldn't go on another minute. The book started off so strong and well! It was funny and had me laughing. I was feeling surprised that I was enjoying it so much and so looking forward to more of the same. Then after about chapter 18 & 19, the last times I laughed out loud, it seemed to just go downhill. Some chapters became boring, some seemed to go off on tangents that just did not seem to relate to the story or the characters, ...more
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What is the funniest Dickens? 10 27 Sep 07, 2014 11:32PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Alternate book cover 2 12 Jul 05, 2014 08:44AM  
The Pickwick Club: The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (Feb.-Apr.) 16 40 Sep 08, 2013 06:53AM  
Victorians!: Pickwick - Nos. XIX-XX - chs. LIII-LVII (end) 1 5 Aug 31, 2013 10:28PM  
Victorians!: Pickwick - No. XVIII - chs. L-LII 1 9 Aug 29, 2013 10:04PM  
Victorians!: Pickwick - No. XVII - chs. XLVII-XLIX 1 15 Aug 22, 2013 09:41PM  
Victorians!: Pickwick - No. XVI - chs. XLIV-XLVI 1 12 Aug 20, 2013 10:14PM  
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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
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“Poetry makes life what lights and music do the stage.” 48 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.” 13 likes
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