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The Diary of a Nobody (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 8 May 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New Ed edition (8 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199540152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199540150
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 1 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 683,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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 alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

'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' Charles Pooter --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
My dear wife Carrie and I have just been a week in our new house, 'The Laurels',* Brickfield Terrace, Holloway*â ”a nice six-roomed residence, not counting basement, with a front breakfast-parlour. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Stracs VINE VOICE on 8 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had heard lots of good things about the Diary of a Nobody, but was not really sure I would enjoy this type of work so put off reading it. However, finally I got round to it and found a pleasant, amusing read which, whilst it didn't become one of my all time favourites, I am nevertheless glad I read. This edition contains not only the diary itself, but lots of the original illustrations created by Weedon Grossmith, which are delightful and really help to bring the characters and story to life, as well as giving you an idea of how literature was often presented in the 19th century.

Charles Pooter is a clerical worker who has worked at the same job in the same company for years. He has been overlooked for promotion throughout that time. He decides to keep a diary of his middle-class, run of the mill life. In that diary we meet his long-suffering wife Carrie, his son Willie who renames himself Lupin as he feels his real name is too common, some of his less than respectful colleagues and a number of his friends - most notably Gowing and Cummins.

He makes lots puns/jokes which he thinks are hysterical but are actually awful, and his complete obliviousness to this is actually very amusing. He has social aspirations which he can never quite realise. He is bothered by tradesmen who don't seem to take his social status seriously, and ensuing conflicts are very funny.

The diary is really an early example of the type of observational humour which many of our stand-up comics use today. The diary remains remarkably modern/funny even now, more than 100 years after it was first released. Many of the problems Pooter encounters are so familiar even now.
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134 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Guardian of the Scales on 24 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
The Diary of a Nobody tells in diary form the story of a certain Mr Pooter, clerk by profession and a man of no importance or interest. He is somewhat pompous, dull, and stuffy, with pretensions towards gentility but lacking in social skills and self-awareness. He is quite a ridiculous figure, and one who is taken advantage of by many who he is pleased to call his friends, and mocked by his juniors at work. Additionally, all tradesmen are his nemeses. As he sets this down in his diary, however, Mr. Pooter is often oblivious to his own foolishness and to the impression he creates in others, and in the reader.

Mr. Pooter's son Lupin is the main source of incident in his father's life. He is a youth of high spirits and little respect for his elders, including his father. Lupin undertakes a love affair with a young lady called Daisy Mutlar; he is desperately in love with this young lady , who seems to Mr. Pooter to be of no remarkable attraction or accomplishments. Concurrent with this torrid affair, Lupin finds and loses several jobs, joins an amateur dramatics club and speculates on the stock exchange with his father's money.

Though over 100 years old, this book is still funny for the modern reader. It was written with the contemporary audience in mind but the humour has not dated. As another reviewer noted, Mr Pooter is something of a 19th century David Brent. The style is notably uncluttered and unaffected. It is a short book(145 pages approx. in this edition) and extremely readable. From a relatively uneventful start, it gathers momentum with the arrival of Lupin. Pooter's character broadens somewhat to become a decent everyman, though none the less ridiculous for that. This book ends long before the reader has had enough of the bumbling central character, and is a very pleasant, undemanding read.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "jacquesbrel" on 23 Jun. 2004
Format: Paperback
This heart-warming classic is a strong contender for the funniest book ever written. Read it immediately, then buy a second copy as a peace offering for your worst enemy - if it doesn't wipe the snarl off their face, they're a lost cause....
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Uncle Barbar TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a little subtle - if you can't read in between the lines then you won't find it funny. If you can then the subtle humour can't help but amuse you. Pooter is lovable, ridiculous, pompous and trivial - a fully rounded character who is quite oblivious to how most of the world perceives him.
A classic.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By GavinBlk on 11 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book - I chuckled, smirked and slapped my head with delighted exasperation (whilst sitting on crowded commuter train - I am something in The City you know) at Pooter and his bewildered stumbling through the cosmic joke of his existence.
In some ways it is an 'old' book, the obsession with class and position drip through every page, with Pooters inept attempts to maintain or enhance his social position. But in many ways it is about the modern world - the alienated nobody, slogging away in an office, thinking he is better than this - when of course he isn't.
So glorious, that I am considering forming a religion based on the exquisite wisdom found inside this slim volume.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nina on 6 Sept. 2011
Format: Audio Cassette
Dear Martin Jarvis.

I wonder if the BBC are not releasing the Arthur Lowe recording of Diary of a Nobody because of the existence of a more recent one read by you (which is very good).

Please would you do your utmost to convince your friends at the BBC that you really wouldn't be offended if they did the proper thing and released this very special recording on CD.

Thank you.
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