The Pickwick Papers

The Pickwick Papers

Streaming Audiobook - 2009
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The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (commonly known as The Pickwick Papers) is the first novel by Charles Dickens. The book became the first real publishing phenomenon, with bootleg copies, theatrical performances, Sam Weller joke books, and other merchandise. Written for publication as a serial, The Pickwick Papers is a sequence of loosely-related adventures. The novel's main character, Mr. Samuel Pickwick, Esquire, is a kind and wealthy old gentleman, and the founder and perpetual president of the Pickwick Club. To extend his researches into the quaint and curious phenomena of life, he suggests that he and three other "Pickwickians" (Mr. Nathaniel Winkle, Mr. Augustus Snodgrass, and Mr. Tracy Tupman) should make journeys to remote places and report on their findings to the members of the club. Their travels throughout the English countryside provide the chief theme of the novel. Its main literary value and appeal is formed by its numerous memorable characters. Each character in The Pickwick Papers, as in many other Dickens novels, is drawn comically, often with exaggerated personalities. Alfred Jingle provides an aura of comic villainy. His misadventures repeatedly land the Pickwickians in trouble. These include Jingle's elopement with the spinster, Aunt Rachael of Dingley Dell manor, misadventures with Dr. Slammer, and others.
Publisher: [United States] : Blackstone Audio, Inc. : Made available through hoopla, 2009
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781441724076
Branch Call Number: eAudiobook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (30hr., 45 min.)) : digital
Additional Contributors: Prebble, Simon
hoopla digital

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May 30, 2019

Early 19th century situation-comedy in book (or audiobook) form. Many similarities to the Seinfeld TV series; i.e. much ado about nothing. Here's the plot: A few men and women go about their business of trying to enjoy life, with sort of a "have your cake and eat it too" plan. Men like women. Women like men. What could possibly go wrong? Instead all sorts of mundane complications seem to be conspire to get in the way. At one point the main characters end up in prison in a comedic Kafkaesque scenario, another similarity to Seinfeld. Upsides: It's a fun, easy listen about early 18th century routine life in the UK, perhaps as would be reported in a local newspaper gossip column at the time. Each chapter is more or less independent of the others; as a series of humorous and mostly heartwarming stories, this is something you can listen to over a length of time without losing the continuity. Given Dickens is the author, a person could learn a few things about how to write an interesting paragraph as well. Finally, the audio-book reader does a good job. Downsides: Dicken's forte' is his interesting use language to tell a story; plot and character development on the other hand, not so much. Also the early 1800's writing style might be off-putting to some modern readers; it comes across a little on the too-silly side. Overall, for an easy enjoyable audio-book that you can listen to over many weeks at 10-20 minutes at a time, recommended.


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