Martin Jarvis simply owns this comic novel about hapless London city clerk Charles Pooter, an endearing stuffed shirt whose life is a series of misunderstandings. Written in 1892 by two actor brothers, one of whom starred in Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas, this fictitious diary gives voice to the grandiose hopes, simple pleasures, near misses, and outright disasters that comprise most peoples' lives. Jarvis's Pooter speaks with orotund vowels and a bemused tone. As this is a diary, Pooter necessarily tells the story, but Jarvis gives such life to Pooter's comments about his companions that we imagine their voices clearly. The diary is interspersed with snippets of period classical music, which add to the all-around pleasure.
The Diary of Nobody (1892) created a cultural icon, an English archetype. Anxious, accident-prone, occasionally waspish, Charles Pooter has come to epitomize English suburban life. His diary chronicles encounters with difficult tradesmen, the delights of home improvements, small parties, minor embarrassments, and problems with his troublesome son. The suburban world he inhabits is hilariously and painfully familiar in its small-mindedness and its essential decency.
(P)2005 Naxos Audiobooks
This is one of my favourite books. It is delightful and funny. Gentle humour pervades this endearing tale of an ordinary man, his family and friends of a past era. I laugh aloud with this book. The narrator is marvellous and does not let one joke or nuance slip. I have read this book many times and have listened to the audio book version many times too. Charming and uproariously amusing. Magnificent performance. A happy book!
Teacher; writer; poet.
Diary of a Nobody is in a class of its own and I do not rank my books. It is amusing and true to its original form, which I first read in the traditional way 30 years ago.
The most memorable moment in Diary of a Nobody is when Pooter paints the bath red and gets into all kinds of subsequent trouble.
I also liked it when Willie changed his name to Lupin, consequently shocking his father.
Never listened to Martin Jarvis before, but he does this book 'perfectly' in my opinion.
It is impossible to rename this book. The name is perfect.
I recommend anyone who has not read or listened to this book to get it; curl up on the sofa on a wet and miserable day, with lots of snacks and a nice fire, and get some free laughter therapy.
This book belongs in the heart of 'everyman' (and woman).
This book is in the top tier of my library.
I actually think it could be a satire of FB pages although it was written over a century ago! Mr. "Nobody" records his daily life and thoughts, and plans to have them published. He is oblivious to how others view him - somewhat of a sop. And yet, he is a sympathetic character because he always tries to act honorably.
The narrator is perfect for the material - his inflections, etc. sound just like the diary author would speak.
It is so humorous in such as understated way that I found it hilarious.
Humor is very individual but if you like absurd, deadpan satire (some Monty python skits come to mind) than you will probably like this.
I think I would have enjoyed this more if I'd recognized Mr. Pooter. I wonder if he's too far away in time and place for me to "get" the humor in this nicely crafted work. While I recognized (and laughed at) my own obsessions, vanity, and naivite in Adrian Mole's and Bridget Jones's diaries, Mr. Pooter's adventures left me bemused. I wondered also if it would have been funnier if I'd read the actual book rather than listened to Martin Jarvis's excellent performance: part of the pleasure in reading a "diary" can be the disconnect between the flat delivery of the words on the page, and all they leave unsaid. Three stars for the story, five stars for Mr. Jarvis.
What a roller coaster ride following the mundane life of Victorian clerk Charles Pooter - two setbacks for every break he catches, though that's often his own fault, given his petty, narrow outlook.
Jarvis' narration effectively highlights Pooter's pomposity, and general cluelessness.
I bought this because it was on a list I found of the best 10 books with happy endings. It was not to my taste and I gave up after about 90 mins listening. The narrator, although annoying, is perfect because the book is supposed to be annoying. Too bad I couldn't make it to the end. Some may like this style, but I grew up with someone around who was too much in real life like the character being parodied in the book!
"An utter delight"
Martin Jarvis is of course a master of the audiobook and this is a wonderfully uplifting showcase for his talents.
"A classic of comedy"
I can't begin to think how many times I've read 'The Diary of a Nobody', but this audio version still managed to bring out comic details I'd never noticed before! It's an enduring classic of quintessentially English humour.
Martin Jarvis reads brilliantly, and you can really picture Mr Pooter setting down his diary entries every night. This is a book not to be missed.
"Still chuckling after many readings and listenings"
I love this book , I have read it a good few times and listened to it similarly and still I chuckle at Mr. Pooter's tales of his life. A wonderful slice of life that has characters that are timeless and vivid in their portrayal. I have shamelessly pressed copies of the book on family.
Always amusing Martin Jarvis' reading brings this brilliantly humourous book to life. Reccomended.
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