Sunday, July 14, 2019

199. The Diary of a Nobody

The Diary of a Nobody
George and Weedon Grossmith
1892
Around 200 pages












I am not sure how one goes about writing a novel collaboratively, let alone with a sibling. It seems like you would have all sorts of problems with consistency and tone, and most writers I know (myself included) are rather...territorial about their work. But I have to hand it to George and Weedon; this felt very cohesive. Maybe they took turns writing entries.

Charles Pooter decides to keep a diary, despite the fact that his wife Carrie and son Lupin (unfortunately not the hot werewolf Lupin but a different Lupin) believe no one would ever be interested in reading it. Charles is mostly interested in chronicling his witty bon mots (i.e. dad jokes) that often go unappreciated and the various humiliations he endures trying to climb the social ladder. Of course, he would never admit to trying to climb the social ladder.

So this is a funny little novel. I recently read my first P.G. Wodehouse novel and it is easy to see the brothers influence on his Jeeves series. Like most Americans, I love reading about bumbling Englishmen, so I was delighted for most of the novel. It didn't overstay its welcome either; a concept like this could get wearing if it was more than 200 pages.

In conclusion, the Grossmiths make the Wright brothers look like literal garbage.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Evelyn Waugh called this the funniest book in the world.

UP NEXT: Born in Exile by George Gissing. The Big 200!

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