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The Diary of a Nobody

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Published: 1892
Language: English
Wordcount: 42,281 / 122 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 77.8
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 7,505 3056
More Info:

The humors of English suburban life naively revealed by one Charles Pooter, a clerk, who has taken a house in Holloway.

Show Excerpt

d the three were immediately admitted.

Gowing called to me across the gate, and said: "We shan't be a minute." I waited for them the best part of an hour. When they appeared they were all in most excellent spirits, and the only one who made an effort to apologise was Mr. Stillbrook, who said to me: "It was very rough on you to be kept waiting, but we had another spin for S. and B.'s." I walked home in silence; I couldn't speak to them. I felt very dull all the evening, but deemed it advisable NOT to say anything to Carrie about the matter.

April 16.--After business, set to work in the garden. When it got dark I wrote to Cummings and Gowing (who neither called, for a wonder; perhaps they were ashamed of themselves) about yesterday's adventure at "The Cow and Hedge." Afterwards made up my mind not to write YET.

April 17.--Thought I would write a kind little note to Gowing and Cummings about last Sunday, and warning them against Mr. Stillbrook. Afterwards, thinking the matter over, tore up t

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.4 from 5 reviews: *****
Leah A. Zeldes

"Why should I not publish my diary? I have often seen reminiscences of people I have never even heard of, and I fail to see--because I do not happen to be a 'Somebody'--why my diary should not be interesting. My only regret is that I did not commence it when I was a youth.


So Charles Pooter of The Laurels, Brickfield Terrace Holloway, commences his journal. A somewhat stuffy but very human senior clerk in an undescribed business, Pooter likes nothing better than to putter around his suburban home -- perhaps because of his ability to make high drama of trivial circumstances, and get himself into humiliating (and often very humorous) situations in front of other people.

I suspect this comic novel told in diary format will seem tame and rather dry to some modern readers, but to me it holds just much interest as the daily updates from some of my Facebook friends. Recommended.


I second:

"It is extremely funny; the story of a self-respecting clerk who manages to constantly humiliate himself at home and at work. His son is hilarious."

I ran across it in a college library and wondered why it was there; the explanation about the author might explain it. I started to read it and got halfway through, just standing by the shelf chuckling, before I reluctantly gave it up to get back to my textbooks. Glad to know it's here.


funny, a little dated, worth the little bit of time that it takes to read it.


I have alays enjoyed this book. The main character fancies himself to be a nobody...but he is a nobody with aspirations. He finds the most trivial things to be worthy of expounding upon and babbling about. Charles Pooter is the original Basil Fawlty- getting himself into awkward and humiliating positions much to the chagrin of his family.

There were sections that had me laughing out loud and sections that made me cringe with discomfort. A worthy read, fairly fast paced once you get past the dated style.


This is (or was) a very well-known book. It was written by a comedic actor in the original D'Oyly Carte Opera Co. (Gilbert & Sullivan). It is extremely funny; the story of a self-respecting clerk who manages to constantly humiliate himself at home and at work. His son is hilarious.



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