The Pickwick Papers: The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club by Charles Dickens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was Charles Dickens first novel and it was published by Chapman and Hall in installments between March 1936 and November 1837. The last sections of this novel, according to CharlesDickensInfo.com, overlapped with the writing/publication of Oliver Twist which began in January 1837. This novel tells the adventures, many of them quite ridiculous, of Mr. Pickwick and his friends Mr. Snodgrass, Mr. Winkle, and Mr. Tupman. Pickwick's loyal servant Sam Weller assists and adds commentary to many of the events. Interspersed in the novel are several short stories (tales told to the friends in pubs mostly). There is a line of serious commentary on the failings of the legal system throughout the book. Dickens is no fan of lawyers. The premise of the whole thing is that Pickwick and his companions are the "Corresponding Society of the Pickwick Club" and will travel around observing the country and send back their reports to the club (which votes to pay the postage and cover the cost of packages).
I first heard about this book when I was quite young and read Little Women for the first time. The sisters play at being the Pickwick Club and have meetings as such in Alcott's novel. I wasn't as taken with Pickwick Papers as the March girls were, but it was definitely an enjoyable novel.
This book is on my Classics Club List and it counts toward the Back to the Classics Challenge as a classic travel or journey narrative.