Kevin de Ataíde's Reviews > The Pickwick Papers

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
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Aug 03, 11


I found this book to be an beautifully jovial work of comedy, which makes quite a contrast to the mournful aspect of so much of Mr. Dicken's work. It is a satirical look at Victorian life, perhaps overly so, so that it is difficult to draw any general conclusions about the time. It couldn't be that all officers of the law are so corrupt, all gentlemen of a certain state in life speak and act in almost the same way, all women are of practically the same character...



It seems to me that Dicken's began the book with a view to comedy and his style changed halfway. Certainly the earlier accounts show Mr. Pickwick to be rather pompous and as with his discovery, for example, of the marker stone outside, trying too hard to achieve recognition for his Club. The Club seems to vanish from the narrative after the accident with Mrs. Bardell and returns only in the final chapter. With its disappearance, Pickwick becomes more and more benevolent and father-like, until he exits as a saint.



The best character in the entire story is probably Sam Veller, or even his father. His outlook on life, his grip on reality and his stewardship of Pickwick are most endearing. Altogether a very enjoyable book and well recommended as a way of mastering Victorian prose with a supreme dose of humour. Five stars.
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