Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Review: Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith & Weedon Grossmith

This book was first published in the late 1800s and introduces us to the world of Charles Pooter, a pompous clerk living in London. He feels that as everyone else seems to be keeping a diary he will record his life for posterity. No doubt today he would be busy penning his autobiography.

The first part of the book largely chronicles his difficulties with various tradesmen. Life then changes for Charlie (for the worse) and for wife Carrie (for the better, it seems) when their son Lupin returns to live with them. Lupin's behaviour and on-off relationship become a cause for parental concern. Charlie seems to fancy himself as something of a comedian, however much of the humour is at his expense. Even those he considers friends cause him no end of consternation.

The diary paints a vivid picture of their daily life, the social niceties of the period and the influences of fashion and trends particularly on Mrs Pooter. It makes for a very interesting portrait of life at the time. It isn't dissimilar to Cranford in style and while I felt like I was learning something, and it was a relatively short and easy read, I didn't find it quite as enjoyable. Maybe this was because it dwells a little more on the minutiae of their lives than Cranford, and focuses on a rather short time frame, excluding the possibility of seeing what happens to the characters in the longer term.

As it made me smile, and provides an interesting glimpe into a different period in history it was well worth the time it took to read.

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