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.


  1. Germinal was good, but perhaps a little long. And it's probably hard to go wrong with Dickens, although I haven't read nearly enough of him, including this one.

  2. I've gone back and reread a few of the novels I was assigned to read (and never did) back in high school. I've generally been pleasantly surprised by how much I've enjoyed them. Never read The Pickwick Papers though.