Monday, 29 September 2014

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

The first ray of light which illumines the gloom, and converts into a dazzling brilliancy that obscurity in which the earlier history of the public career of the immortal Pickwick would appear to be involved, is derived from the perusal of the following entry in the Transactions of the Pickwick Club, which the editor of these papers feels the highest pleasure in laying before his readers, as a proof of the careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination, with which his search among the multifarious documents confided to him has been conducted.

A very long first sentence that because of its verbosity, it has a sarcastic tone to it, giving the Pickwick club an authoritarian air. On the surface this line reads like preamble but because it's purpose is to establish tone it reads like a cheesy announcement giving the reader a taste of more to come. Some might consider it overwritten, but one can't help think that is the intended effect.

What follows is the announcing of the rather ostentatious minutes of their meetings.

First thing said:


part of the charm of this novel is its silliness and what better way to convey that then with the style and tone of this novel.

This is part of the series: the top 100 novels from Daniel S. Burt's book called Novel 100, the top 100 novels of all time. There is debate of course as to what should be on that list, but his opinions are as good as any. The Pickwick Papers ranks as the 76th best novel of all time.

Verdict: Pass (barely)

Theodore Moracht

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