Friday, October 25, 2013

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: The Pickwick Papers

If you haven't been following along, and who can blame you, I've been reading The Pickwick Papers. I had a rather bad experience with Tale of Two Cities in high school and have shunned Dickens ever since, until this year. Overall the book was enjoyable and a lot less annoying than Tale. My husband was kind enough to act as circulation manage and doled out installments much as someone in the 19th century would have read the book although in 6 months rather than 2 years.

The book consists of the Pickwick Club heading out and exploring the world for the purposes of research. Although this trope fades rather quickly and poor Mr. Pickwick becomes embroiled in a lawsuit with his landlady.  The travels do provide an opportunity to see what politics, the law, prison and travel in general was like in 19th century Britain. Spoiler alert, the law and politics are actually significantly worse than now.

I think the lasting impact of the book is that it has spurred me to give other authors a second chance and to give authors I had a bias against for no reason a chance. I have Nana by Balzac sitting on my to-be-read stack now as well. In college, Balzac was the only 19th century author I didn't like, well I didn't like Germinal. However, I'm giving him a second chance as well. It only seems fair. 

What is The Cephalopod Coffeehouse? It's a blog hop book club. Check out what other bloggers have been reading this month.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Review The Pickwick Papers Chapters 49-57

All's well that ends well. These 2 installments give us a ghost story, funeral and the wrapping up of all loose ends. Mr. Pickwick could into the marriage fixing business with 2/3 of his companions married by the end of the book. Poor Mr. Tupman.

Dickens does a good job of not forgetting any of the characters we've come to know throughout the book so no questions are left unanswered. I have to admit I do like that. Despite my love of the modern novel it is nice to have everything wrapped up rather neatly every once in awhile.

I've joined the Cephalopod Coffeehouse this month so I'll post a full review of the book on the 25th. Thank you for going on this journey with me.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Pickwick Papers Chapters 49-57

Sorry I've been lax. I'll do a review of all 8 chapters soon. Now you can get reading, too.

Dear valued subscribers,

Enclosed, please find chapters 49-51 of Mr. Dickens's Pickwick Papers.  The next and final installment should arrive by September 30th. 

Best regards,
A.B. Ysmal

Dear valued subscribers,

Enclosed, please find chapters 52-57 of Mr. Dickens's Pickwick Papers.  With this installment, the story concludes.  If you have enjoyed the story, we would be happy to transfer your subscription to another book of Mr. Dickens: Oliver Twist.  Upgrade now to Industrial Age status and we'll send you all back issues plus, of course, a free tote bag.  But that's not all!  Telegraph now and we'll give you a cloth bound copy of Pickwick Papers, a second tote bag and a complete set of Ginsu knives absolutely free (plus S&H). 

It has been our pleasure to serve.

God Save the Queen,
A.B. Ysmal, OBE
I guess helping the Queen move gets you an OBE.