|Print List Price:||$6.99|
|Kindle Price:|| $2.99 |
Save $4.00 (57%)
Your Memberships & Subscriptions
Martin Chuzzlewit Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
|Kindle, March 10, 2020|| |
After losing his inheritance, a young man strives to make his own fortune, in this witty, wide-ranging saga by the iconic nineteenth-century novelist.
When young Martin Chuzzlewit falls in love with his grandfather’s devoted nursemaid, the elder Chuzzlewit is furious and decides to disinherit the boy. Thus, Martin is thrust into the world to find his own way.An apprenticeship with an architect seems like a fine start. But not long after Martin begins working for Seth Pecksniff—who has a secret agenda in hiring him—Martin’s grandfather maneuvers to have him dismissed. Eventually, Martin makes his way to America in the company of his friend Tom. But the trip is an unmitigated disaster, and they are plagued by misfortune until they turn tail and race back to England. Little does Martin know there are far more surprises awaiting him in this novel of twists and turns, dreamers and schemers, greed and murder, from the Victorian era’s literary master.
- ASIN : B085FWJ9ZK
- Publisher : Open Road Media (March 10, 2020)
- Publication date : March 10, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 16561 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 832 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #816,035 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Reviewed in the United States on August 9, 2016
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The other work that was done this year with a similar aim in mind was "Martin Chuzzlewit". Unfortunately, our renowned author was off the mark in this quest. While Scrooge's transformation was transparent through the spiritual visitations, old Martin's took place over and extended period of time and only done through the actions of his adopted girl, Mary, and done completely out of the reader's purview. This difference leads the first to seem as a natural part of an ongoing sequence whereas the second is awkward, lacks a reality base and requires the reader to totally shift his conclusion about the book title's character at the near finish of the novel. In `A Christmas Carol' we have a wide variety of believable and endearing characters who show a vast array of positive human qualities. From the Crachits we see humble grace, from the nephew we find familial love, and from Fezziwig we find professional honor and grace. "Martin Chuzzlewit", on the other hand takes all these and other uplifting qualities of human life and places them in a single, awkward and less-than-handsome character known as Tom Finch. Yes, I realize that the author was simply pointing out that the true value of life's meaning can be found in the most unlikely of persons, but Dickens did it to such an extreme that it falls off the far side of the table called `reality'. By overly saturating us with Tom and his virtues, the author's important character lesson quickly loses its credibility. Lastly, unlike the novella, the action in this 800+ page tome is very limited and/or non-existent. It reads more like a Victorian soap opera than it does like Dickens's more commanding and directive works. "The Pickwick Papers" and this work are the only two novels written by Dickens that appear as they were presented to his reading public; as a series of installments that occurred over a one year period. This, too, adds to the awkwardness of this book when taken as a whole.
I have read "A Christmas Carol" numerous times and plan to do the same in the future. Although both this and "Martin Chuzzlewit" attempt to portray the same message, I do not see myself ever rereading the latter. It is far too cumbersome and lacks a firm thematic directive throughout..............
Still the plot seemed complicated enough for me to wonder where it led and to keep reading. I did get to the end and wondered why Dickens did not spend more time writing and developing the finish. As it is, I wished that I had given up about 50 pages earlier.
Top reviews from other countries
As with his other books, and also for many another writer of the time, so this was initially serialized, but it never caught the imagination of the public as his previous novels had done. With this being noticeable so Dickens did alter the plot somewhat whilst still writing this and had our main character heading off to America, where Dickens had been recently. This then does sit at an odd angle with the rest of the novel and does not fit neatly into the main tale, which in itself is a problem and causes an uneasy effect, and with his satire of the US did not go down well with his American readers. We know that Dickens did not have as deep an understanding of the US as he did of course of this country, and this is a satire, and so the author only did what he had done with his tales in this country, showing bad as well as good people and practises, but people do not like foreigners pointing out unpleasantries to them.
We are thus given something that is very uneven and at times with a rather messy plot and considering that at the time we are talking about when this was written stories were at times quite convoluted, so as to supply a hook to keep readers coming back for the following instalments, to see something as messy has to really stand out. With his own problems and feeling a certain sense of anger, so Dickens had a run in with his publishers wanting some of their advance back, all whilst trying to write something that would please his readers, and thus having to tinker with the plot. With hindsight it is of course really easy to look back and criticise a book, but his contemporaries were also criticising it, and personally I think that really the author tried to take on too much within his framework. This would I feel have worked much better if it had been a slightly shorter work, and the family squabbling that goes on was brought more to the forefront and kept there, as we follow certain machinations. After all this book is ultimately about selfishness and greed, and although the satire can add to this and make us laugh this would have been better if it had been given a more solid plot and substance.
When we first read that opening chapter, we can see Dickens in fine fettle and we cannot help but laugh art the history of the Chuzzlewit family, but this diamond clear precision is not kept up, with only certain chapters showing it, and this also leads to our disappointment. Although then a poor offering from one of our most loved authors, this is still an okay average read as such, but not one of Dickens’ best books and so one that will always lead to a certain amount of disappointment.
These editions are by far the best quality editions of books I have found, for quite a reasonable price, I feel.
They are quality bound, with acid-free paper; they have good size print; ribbon page markers; and come with dust jackets.
If you see your favourite books, in these editions: I cannot recommend them more.
They represent great value for money.
Basically, we have the usual Dickens trait of a situation early on in the story not only setting the scene, but acting as the core of several strands with each strand representing different characters but with each strand linked, to a lesser or greater degree, with each other, and with happenings and person / people we are introduced to very early on.
Old Martin Chuzzlewit, a wealthy, mean, family-hating curmudgeon, along with a faithful young female companion book themselves into an inn; separate rooms of course in case anyone asks . . . but the old man takes ill; the attack is so bad it's generally thought he would not recover. Within hours it seems, his entire wider family are gathered at the inn, hoping to find out who would benefit from the old man's passing, or to curry favour and put their case to him in his final hours. This fails - totally. Not only that, he recovers and steals away, with his companion in tow.
It is the above which really starts the whole thing off; we come to know many relatives, friends, enemies, and some odd humurous characters as the story progresses. Much of the tale is devoted to scheming, cynical supposed-architect, Seth Pecksniff; one of those love 'em 'cause you hate 'em Victorian hypocrites, painting evils as virtue, and true virtue as vulgar. He passes this philosophy on to his two daughters, Charity and Mercy (ha!), and the ones on the immediate receiving end of such compassion are the young gentleman who are duped into attending his architectural school, where from day one they are accordingly fleeced, both their cash and even their ideas. One in his employ, Tom Pinch, is a poor unfortunate meek young lad, supposedly also there to learn architecture but ends up part of the inventory, acting the part of general dogs-body to fathers and gals - poorly paid and ill treated. But he's also the nicest character in the book, and his meek mild ways can (and does at times) diffuse potentially nasty situations.
It's too much I think to mention all other main characters in depth, so here's just a few lines on most, and how they fit it into the tale.
John Westlock and young Martin Chuzzlewit, very similar in some ways, but John is the nicer of the two at first (at first as in, he stays nice, but Martin junior has to deal with some elitism issues along the way). They both leave Pecksniff's establishment, the former after a long spell, glad to go after realising Pecksniff is just an out and out fraud, the latter after only seemingly arriving and still drying his boots - he was sent to Pecksniff by Pops, and then due to family developments and tensions, Pops just as quickly asks Pecksniff to send him packing.
Young Martin's departure sees him off to the good ole USA; he takes this book's version of Sam Weller with him - Mark Tapley, a happy go lucky yet at the same time solid as reliable young-ish man. Current position, barman, but he wants to be rather jollier somewhere else, so virtually forces himself onto Martin as his butler-assistant-valet-horseman, or perhaps all-round gentleman's gentleman is a better way of putting it. It is at this point the disinherited Martin realises his days of lording it are over, and duly makes Mark an equal partner in any venture they get in to; Mark is unsettled at this idea but eventually agrees, although he unceasingly cannot forget what he sees as his rightful position. Now, on the USA side of the tale - it is two things at once, neither of which add much to the main story, but thankfully nor does it spoil; it stands alone, it does well standing alone, and once over, there's no problem with coming back across the briny, for us as readers that is. The two things in question though, firstly, I think it acts as pure padding with the original serialisation in mind, and I also think it's about Dickens' wanting to be honest in fiction and of course humour, about the somewhat dubious principals displayed by most eminent US citizens at that time. The almighty dollar was just as almighty then as it is now. But, Martin's and Mark's adventure is enjoyable as they set up home and business in a feverous swamp area somewhere in the south.
Tom's tale continues, we meet his sister Ruth, a lovely quiet girl much ill-used and abused (in a bullying sense) by her employers. They are flung together soon after Tom is also shown the door from Pecksniff's, and they try and eek out a living somehow, living in dingy rooms in a poor part of London.
Much of the rest of the tale concerns other wider members of the Chuzzlewit clan, mostly bent and obnoxious, especially Jonas, a drunken, arrogant violent man; Chevy Slyme - another neer-do-well for much of the tale but without the extra-harsh edge of Jonas, and who is really a foil for Victorian scam artist, Tigg Montagu. Near the end of the tale Tigg and Jonas come together in a banking / investment scam and even trap Pecksniff into its nets.
One other character, and her umbrella, also merits a mention - Mrs Sarah Gamp. She is - supposedly - a nurse of sorts, but her skills don't stop at the living; she is often drafted in to deal with the early aspects of death. She is a hoot. Her mannerisms and speech and turns of phrase, so so affected, are hilarious. Her nursly demands for her on-shift viands are considerable too, giving the maid her orders for her supper early on in the evening; including various beers and spirits, which, of course, are for medicinal purposes only (for herself that is). Her constant references to an old friend that may not exist, 'Mrs 'Arris, are delightful, and her relationship, both the good times and bad, with her shift oppo, are a joy to read.
Now I hope the above is non-spoilery for new readers, if not, then I do apologise, but these last few lines are quite possibly a spoiler to some degree, so do bear this in mind if thinking of buying and reading the book.
Not long after Martin and Mark return from the USA, wiser, poorer, poorly shod and probably even thinner than upon leaving, the different strands begin to come together, and we find, some things at least, are not what we as readers were led to believe was quite the case. Contrived, convenient, too much so perhaps? Yes, of course it is, but it just does not matter.
Martin Chuzzlewit is a highly engaging and entertaining yarn of life at the top, in the middle and at the bottom, as usual, or as we usually expect from the great man.