The Diary of a Nobody (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 6 May 2010
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"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)
'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 PooterSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
The Diary of a Nobody first appeared in Punch magazine in 1888, with the serialisation concluding in 1889; it first appeared in book form in 1892.
Mr Pooter, a respectable middle-class gentleman, decides to keep a diary; he fails to see why his diary, because he does not happen to be a ‘Somebody’, should not be interesting. He and his wife Carrie settle down in their new home, and their respectable middle-class life continues. The wit in these diary entries is sometimes the slightly feeble wit of Mr Pooter himself, and sometimes something that happens to him despite himself – an embarrassment that he would not have seen, but which others, observing him, would have found funny, and which he records in all serious earnestness in his diary. He faces the usual trials and tribulations of friends and work issues, and of dealing with the household suppliers, and their son, who is, Mr Pooter fears, getting rather above himself in his ideas.
There is a gentle and ongoing raillery throughout these entries, and the reader, in on the joke of it even when Pooter himself fails to see it, can join in on the fun. There are some absolute laugh-out-loud moments in this book, and it is a delightful read; one that you find yourself returning to, to re-read again and again, and discover some new witty ‘Pooterism’ each time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It takes a couple of pages to get into but once you have you ca not help but laugh out loud at some of the things that occur in Mr Pooter's diary. Read morePublished 9 days ago by K S Dhindsa
I agree with Nick (where have I heard that before?). A great book ruined by a cheap and nasty publication. I would send it back but for the postage.Published 1 month ago by George
I think this is hilarious. I read it long ago, and it still makes me laugh.Published 2 months ago by Mrs J.
I bought it, having enjoyed Jerome K Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat" but it isn't nearly as good.Published 2 months ago by JMc
Loved reading this, really funny character who's plans never go quite right. Will definitely cheer you up if feeling down.Published 2 months ago by naathented
As entertaining a read as I remember from previously reading years before.Published 3 months ago by AG1111
Excellent reading. Could not literally put it down. Great addition to my library. I love this book. Buy it folks. You won't regret it.Published 3 months ago by Sherrisse Lindsay