The Diary of Nobody (1892) created a cultural icon, an English archetype. Anxious, accident-prone, occasionally waspish, Charles Pooter has come to epitomize English suburban life. His diary chronicles encounters with difficult tradesmen, the delights of home improvements, small parties, minor embarrassments, and problems with his troublesome son. The suburban world he inhabits is hilariously and painfully familiar in its small-mindedness and its essential decency.
Martin Jarvis simply owns this comic novel about hapless London city clerk Charles Pooter, an endearing stuffed shirt whose life is a series of misunderstandings. Written in 1892 by two actor brothers, one of whom starred in Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas, this fictitious diary gives voice to the grandiose hopes, simple pleasures, near misses, and outright disasters that comprise most peoples' lives. Jarvis's Pooter speaks with orotund vowels and a bemused tone. As this is a diary, Pooter necessarily tells the story, but Jarvis gives such life to Pooter's comments about his companions that we imagine their voices clearly. The diary is interspersed with snippets of period classical music, which add to the all-around pleasure.
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Hilarious and Suprebly Read
- Virginia Waldron
English classic performed very well.
Diary of a Nobody is in a class of its own and I do not rank my books. It is amusing and true to its original form, which I first read in the traditional way 30 years ago.
The most memorable moment in Diary of a Nobody is when Pooter paints the bath red and gets into all kinds of subsequent trouble.
I also liked it when Willie changed his name to Lupin, consequently shocking his father.
Never listened to Martin Jarvis before, but he does this book 'perfectly' in my opinion.
It is impossible to rename this book. The name is perfect.
I recommend anyone who has not read or listened to this book to get it; curl up on the sofa on a wet and miserable day, with lots of snacks and a nice fire, and get some free laughter therapy.
This book belongs in the heart of 'everyman' (and woman).