Archive for the ‘Comic Literature’ Category

My reading of the English classics continues 😊 One of my friends recommended George and Weedon Grossmith’sThe Diary of a Nobody‘ a few years back. I finally got around to reading it.

At the beginning of the book, the narrator Charles Pooter says this – “Why should I not publish my diary? I have often seen reminiscences of people I have never even heard of, and I fail to see – because I do not happen to be a ‘Somebody’ – why my diary should not be interesting. My only regret is that I did not commence it when I was a youth.” Then Charles Pooter starts his diary which he shares with us. It starts at the beginning of April and runs for a little more than a year, till the July of the next year.

In his diary, Pooter describes his everyday experiences – life at home with his wife, the people they interact with often like the grocer, the milkman, and the carpenter, his friends who come visiting, his relationship with his colleagues at work, his grown-up son who is a little eccentric – Pooter describes these and other things. So, it is just a description of everyday life. But ‘The Diary of a Nobody’ was originally published in ‘Punch‘ magazine (that great British institution which closed down in 2002, after being in print for nearly 160 years, because of the vagaries of the market). So, there has to be humour, right? And there is. The humour is not sharp, as a modern reader might expect. The humour is light and gentle, the way it is in the real world. There are funny situations, like in the real world. For example, in one scene, a friend invites the main characters for dinner at his place, but when they turn up, he is not around. In another scene, the main characters go to a party and they are invited to dinner by one of the people there and a few more join them at the table, and after a lovely dinner, all of them except the main character go to the main hall to dance, and when the main character tries to leave, he is presented with a hefty bill, and he discovers that the food is not free 😊 There are funny situations like this described throughout the book, and it is almost as if the authors included actual real experiences and just changed the names of the people involved. Sometimes the humour is based on wordplay and it is fun to read. The humour in the book is different, is old-fashioned, but once we get into it, it is charming and a pleasure to read. Carrie, the narrator’s wife, was my favourite character in the book. She was cool and awesome, kind and loving with a wonderful sense of humour, but ready to fight and not back down when the situation demanded it.

I enjoyed reading ‘The Diary of a Nobody‘. I am glad I read it. I discovered that George Grossmith has also written two volumes of his memoirs. I’d love to read that.

Have you read ‘The Diary of a Nobody‘? What do you think about it?


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