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Diary of a Nobody (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – December 5, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; New edition edition (December 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853262013
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853262012
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 4.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"There's a universality about Pooter that touches everybody...fits into the tradition of absurd humour that the British do well, which started with Jonathan Swift and runs through Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear to Monty Python" -- Jasper Fforde Time Out "The funniest book in the world" -- Evelyn Waugh "Pooter himself is as gentle as you could wish, a wonderful character, genuinely lovable. The book is beautifully constructed" -- Andrew Davies Glasgow Herald "One of those rare books that nails a cultural archetype and has won the affection of successive generations" The Times "The funniest book about a certain type of Englishness...there is a whole line of these comic characters like Captain Mainwaring in Dad's Army, or Basil Fawlty" -- Hugh Bonneville The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Fun, light read.
Bridget Hockney
You see yourself as well as people you know in this funny little book.
Thom Mulkey
Mr. Pooter (what a wonderful name!)
Anne-Marie G

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Donal A. O'Neill on December 22, 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
This book must be the most nearly perfect piece of comic writing in English, its humour gentle and subtle, its depiction of character, class, time and location flawless. It fixes forever the late-Victorian world of the respectable Lower Middle Class, populated by clerks, petty merchants and tradesmen, observing it with both objectivity and affection. It is splendidly read on tape by Frederick Davidson, whose assumed accent is perfectly gauged to reflect the upwardly-mobile aspirations of the Mr.Charles Pooter, the self-confessed nobody of the title, and which slips down the social scale by several notches in moments of stress and frustration. Though superficially simple, the construction of the narrative is complex in the extreme, with comic situations often being built up over a long period, and with clues carefully planted in earlier sections, only to come to fruition later. It is particularly impressive how the main characters - Pooter himself, his long-suffering and often silly but supportive wife Carrie and his exasperating son Lupin - emerge as rounded characters from apparently simple diary entries and achieve a realism and familiarity as great as any in more serious literature. The situations in which they find themselves - or rather get themselves - are not only ludicrously amusing, but also close to the normality of life as many live it, and one can often, uncomfortably, recognise one's self or one's friends in their reactions to them. What makes the Diary an enduring masterpiece is however the gentle and affectionate treatment of human weakness - and greatness. Pooter may be pompous, foolish and sometimes sycophantic, but he is also loyal, decent and honourable and his life, and his family's, for all its pettiness, also has its dignity.Read more ›
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you respond at all to this gentle, loving, intricately detailed, and acute (but never hostile)evocation of late-Victorian London, the chances are good that it will become one of your favorite books. The humor is rather special, and I've found that some Americans simply can't "get into" Grossmith. As for me, I reread the book every year and the very thought of it can make me smile.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By www.DavidLRattigan.com on November 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
The 'Nobody' of the title is one Charles Pooter, an ordinary middle-class Londoner in the late 19th century who reasons that if Pepys and Johnson can write diaries to entertain people, why should his diary be any less exciting? And so we are amused by such characters as Pooter's unpredictable son Lupin, his good friends Cumming and Gowing, and not least Pooter himself, whose most fascinating and hilarious trait is his tendency to write people off as lacking in humour when they fail to laugh at his occasional pun, whilst exhibiting a distinct lack of humour himself when it comes to some of the more trivial aspects of life.
Pooter's descriptions of the mundane, as well as the occasionally unusual, happenings of daily life are told in extraordinary detail, which brings a real vividness to some of the amusing predicaments our friend finds himself in. And he really is our friend by the end of the book. There is a certain air of pathos about this man that proves quite endearing. His Victorian prudery and sensibility provokes much laughter (reading this on the train to London, I had to put it down a couple of times to avoid drawing attention to myself), yet also provokes a certain affection for a character who is as tragic as he is admirable. That is, despite some of his more pathetic idionsyncracies, the warmth and genuineness of his character shine through.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Thom Mulkey on October 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is full of common everyday people, what is important to them, and how the generation gap forms. Very brief and as the name implies a diary. You see yourself as well as people you know in this funny little book.
I found myself laughing out loud several times at the jokes, as well as running physical comedy described in this book. The thing I found most poignant is the reason Mr. Pooter is writing this diary. It is meant that when he is gone, dies, his wife and son will have something of himself that will make them laugh and remember him well. Even though he threatens to stop writing the diary, he also finds that he cannot, that the diary has become a part of him and that at times it is were he can be most brutally honest, while hiding his feelings especially from his son, and at times his wife.
Enjoy this book, PLEASE. It is a little known classic, and if you do not mind my recommendation finish is and then read "Cold Comfort Farm" by Stella Gibbons. These should tickle your funny bone and give you a brief respite from your eveyday troubles.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Anne-Marie G VINE VOICE on January 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
I grabbed this at a used book sale because the cover reminded me of a P.G. Wodehouse book. I wasn't really off the mark with that superficial assesment. This book is charming. Mr. Pooter (what a wonderful name!) is a hapless middleclass nobody, as the title suggests. He works in an office, has a wife he loves dearly and a rather useless son.

He decides at the begining of the book that since it is so fashionable to publish one's diary he will try his hand at keeping one. The humour is more subtle than Bridget Jone's Diary or P.G. Wodehouse, but it is still there. Especially with Mr. Pooter's love of puns.

He takes us through about a year of everyday absurdities which are hard not to sympathise with, trying to impress the boss, trying to rub shoulders with the more important, etc.

Added to the fun of the story are the neat little illustrations that accompany each chapter and the plot summary that proceeds each chapter as well. Very fun overall, I'm surprised I hadn't heard of it before honestly.
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