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The Pickwick Papers (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – December 3, 1998

4.2 out of 5 stars 392 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'The publication of this edition of ___The Pickwick Papers___ adds to the series of cheap but reliable coipes of Dicken's novels which are based on the formidable Clarendon editions ... authoritative introductions.' Margaret Reynolds, King's College, University of London

'Extremely useful edition with excellent introduction, notes ete. and very reasonably priced' Norman Vance, Sussex University.

From the Publisher

This book is in Electronic Paperback Format. If you view this book on any of the computer systems below, it will look like a book. Simple to run, no program to install. Just put the CD in your CDROM drive and start reading. The simple easy to use interface is child tested at pre-school levels.

Windows 3.11, Windows/95, Windows/98, OS/2 and MacIntosh and Linux with Windows Emulation.

Includes Quiet Vision's Dynamic Index. the abilty to build a index for any set of characters or words. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 786 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (December 3, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192834576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192834577
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.6 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (392 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,113,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ritesh Laud on June 4, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Charles Dickens wrote The Pickwick Papers in his early 20s, but the writing is first rate and as witty as any seasoned author could have done in his place! Like many of Dickens's works, Pickwick was published in monthly installments, or "numbers" as they were called then. Although Dickens originally intended to end the story at the twentieth number, the popularity of the series (and the resultant income) convinced Dickens to double the length to forty numbers. The end result is a large offering that'll take you a while to get through (~750 pages in the excellent Penguin edition, which I read).
Despite its length, Pickwick never tries your patience. It's delightfully humorous from beginning to end. Samuel Pickwick is the bumbling, middle-aged, wealthy namesake of this novel. He's the leader of a small group of single men that gets into all sorts of mischief, both physical and social. Booze is rampant. Apparently liquor back then was much more a part of daily life than today; everywhere these guys go they party and get drunk. They get into trouble with the law, women, unsavory characters, and more.
Characterization is superb. This is one of the few novels I've read for which I can actually say that I got to know the characters. In most books I've read, the characters remain two-dimensional and the plot is what carries the story. In Pickwick, the *characters* are the essence of the story and the novel wouldn't be memorable at all if a lesser author were attempting to breathe life into these people.
The Penguin edition includes a decent collection of endnotes to help explain unfamiliar portions of the text. Nevertheless, there were still quite a few words and concepts peculiar to early 19th century England that I didn't grasp.
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Format: Paperback
I have absolutely no doubts whatsoever that Charles Dickens, if he lived today, would still classify as an author's author. He's a master of all the things that make for great writing and storytelling. Dickens has an ear for dialogue most authors would kill their own mothers to possess. He also is a master of creating vivid scenery, another sign of excellence essential to great writing and one which many authors lack. Finally, but not least in importance, Dickens knows character development. He REALLY knows how to develop intriguing characters, to the point where many of his books spawned figures that have become literary archetypes. Not bad for a guy who grew up in extremely adverse circumstances. He even spent some time in a factory sticking labels on bottles after his father's imprisonment for debt. Most people wouldn't recover from such poverty, but Dickens did. He went on to a successful career in journalism before settling down as an author of serial novels. This format, which allowed Dickens to write and release his stories piecemeal, made him a great success with the public. The anticipation for the latest chapter or two of his stories often led to near riots. Not many writers can duplicate this feat today.

"The Pickwick Papers" is one of Dickens's earliest works, written when the author was a mere twenty-four years old. You wouldn't know his age by reading the story, though. "Pickwick" is a work that delivers healthy doses of sophisticated humor, keen observations on pressing social issues, romance, and a mature knowledge of human behavior. It's of course fiction, although Dickens presents the story as a true series of events documented by the "Pickwick Club," a social organization founded by retired businessman and all around merry fellow Samuel Pickwick.
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Format: Paperback
...reading delight. Whenever I get depressed or feel like I can't start another book, I re-read some passages of this book written by Charles Dickens. It is one of the best books written in English. Intentionally syrupy and over-sweet, Dickens writes so perfectly as to make the reader wonder how anyone could ever write so gorgeously. If you pass this one up, you're cheating yourself. I couldn't put the book down. It's a rare and special novel that keeps me in bed over the weekend reading from dawn to sleep.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This edition (ASIN B002RKSXJQ) is poorly formatted. There is a wide left margin throughout, and the amusingly long chapter titles get progressively smaller every few lines.

I was willing to put up with it until I came to the scene in the parlor at Manor Farm, which appears to be missing some text. Either that, or Dickens is more post-modern than I thought, trailing off (with no punctuation) in the middle of a sentence.

Amazon needs to do some quality control on this edition, and remove it from the store. There are plenty of others, why waste our time by listing inferior product?
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Format: Paperback
I don't think I've ever read a novel half as entertaining as The Pickwick Papers. I agree with the reviewer who said that it was as if Dickens had a million jokes that he wanted to get off of his chest. And such wonderful characters! The last part of the book though is more about Mr. Pickwick himself than about the club. He also becomes less of a doofus and more of a lovealbe and sympathetic character as the novel progresses. If you are ever down and feeling depressed then this is the book to read.Sam Weller is one of Dickens greatest characters, the book really comes into its own when he becomes Mr.Pickwicks servent.
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