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The Diary of a Nobody  By  cover art

The Diary of a Nobody

By: George Grossmith,Weedon Grossmith
Narrated by: Martin Jarvis
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2005 Naxos Audiobooks (P)2005 Naxos Audiobooks

What listeners say about The Diary of a Nobody

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Hilarious and Suprebly Read

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!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

The Original "Sad Sack"

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Not my cup of tea

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!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Classic Commentary

Beautifully performed portrait of London suburban life 130 years ago. Lovable narrator and short, punchy comedic turns. Sweet.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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absolutely loved it

this is the second time I've listened to this book. I am sure I will listen again. It is a wonderful story if you like humorous British fiction. Absolutely fantastic.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

English classic performed very well.

Where does The Diary of a Nobody rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Diary of a Nobody?

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.

Have you listened to any of Martin Jarvis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Never listened to Martin Jarvis before, but he does this book 'perfectly' in my opinion.

If you could rename The Diary of a Nobody, what would you call it?

It is impossible to rename this book. The name is perfect.

Any additional comments?

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).

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

a pleasant period piece

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.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Mildly amusing

Mildly amusing. Nothing more. Just funny enough to keep me listening to it. Should have moved on sooner.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ed Newsome
  • 12-31-10

An utter delight

Martin Jarvis is of course a master of the audiobook and this is a wonderfully uplifting showcase for his talents.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bibliomaniac
  • 09-13-10

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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Nicola
  • 09-07-15

I love this audio book.

I have listened to this book so many times and it still makes me laugh. The narrator is fantastic and really adds to the story. I would def reccomend this book.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pamela
  • 02-17-15

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.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dez
  • 12-15-19

Necessary medicine for all

Keep this one in your collection. A classic for everyone. Feeling low? 15 mins blast of this will sort you out. I'm not usually a fan of M Jarvis but by jove he owns this. Brilliant! Cracking stuff.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Libby Hall
  • 12-04-19

A perfect book to have read to you

Martin Jarvis gets every character exactly right.

I've always loved The Diary of a Nobody, not just because of how very funny it is but for the sense it gives you of that sort of lower middle class society at that moment in time.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. N. J. Murphy
  • 03-20-10

A Delight

Always amusing Martin Jarvis' reading brings this brilliantly humourous book to life. Reccomended.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anna
  • 10-23-22

Wonderful!

One of my favourite books!
I absolutely love Mr Charles Pooter, his wife Carrie, his old friends Gowing and Cummings and their -slightly - errant son Lupin.

Dear old Pooter is a pompous little twit but I love him for all that.

Perfectly read by Martin Jarvis.

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  • Sam
  • 04-11-22

Perfect pairing

A slice of history. Perfectly performed. Amusing, quite funny in parts. Remarkably relevant to current middle classes as a satire.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amanda G
  • 05-11-21

Hard to believe it was published in 1892

It was originally serialised in Punch magazine between 1888-89, before being turned into a comic novel. Former musical performers, the brothers George and Weedon Grossmith, wrote the novel and Weedon provided the illustrations. Amazing satirical book, exposing the foibles of the lower middle classes through descriptions Charles Pooter's life (dominated by his delusions of grandeur and frequent humiliations) as well as the exploits of his family, friends, servants and local tradesmen/women. Hard not to sympathise with his poor, long-suffering wife, Carrie. The book will make you wince and laugh. it doesn't feel dated, given its age. It is a perspicacious description of human beings, cleverly written, with understated irony and charm.