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Extended Audio Sample The Diary of a Nobody Audiobook, by George Grossmith Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: George Grossmith, Weedon Grossmith Narrator: Frederick Davidson Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2009 ISBN: 9781455170142
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Says Charles Pooter, “I fail to see—because I do not happen to be a ‘somebody’—why my diary should not be interesting.” Surprisingly, Mr. Pooter’s life is fascinating. The fascination is two-fold: firstly, his astounding arrogance that we should care about his domestic trivia and narcissistic scribblings. Secondly, we can all sympathize with (and wince at!) this ridiculous slave to convention.

Above all, Mr. Pooter’s life is funny. His constant battles with tradesmen, his pathetic pride and banal wit, his clashes with his carefree son, his absurd social crises and petty dilemmas: all are part of Mr. Pooter’s life as a worried, proud, and anxious Nobody! Listeners are certain to learn why Hilaire Belloc asserted that Pooter was “an immortal achievement.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The great thing about Pooter is that he is still lovable in all his self-important absurdity. He always tries to make the best of everything, and although he is a figure of fun, his celebration of a life that leaves little mark upon the world is gently moving.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “[A] masterpiece of comic irony…Frederick Davidson’s impeccable reading is truly inspired, in perfect unity with the Pooteresque view of the world.”

    AudioFile

  • “One of the funniest books ever written.”

    Andrew Davies, British author and screenwriter

  • “The idea that this man is one of themselves, but that readers can see what he does not, whilst still feeling benevolently sympathetic towards him—that they are, in some way, superior to their neighbor—provides the most enduring ground for the Diary’s popularity.”

    Kate Flint, author of The Victorians and the Visual Imagination

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Clbplym | 2/15/2014

    " Can't even be bothered to finish this. Why is it funny to laugh at this pathetic man? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 The Cat | 2/6/2014

    " If you haven't read this then do, it is just an amazing book. Simple, clever and totally pointless in a polite way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ayela Najeeb | 2/2/2014

    " The most random book I ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Williams | 1/31/2014

    " Charles Pooter slips fully-formed into these pages and delights us with his naive observations on his own humdrum domestic life in Victorian England. Among the great skills of the brothers Grossmith who created this classic character are their ability to make Pooter's low-reaching snobbery endearing, the clarity of caricature that allows us to see the real world behind cast in an absurd light, and a quality of humour that wraps us in like welcome guests at a modest but convivial party. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 1/30/2014

    " Very funny, even though written so long ago, it still had relevant content. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fi | 1/21/2014

    " I really didn't know what to make of this book, but on reflection I did enjoy the wry wit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tenzin | 1/21/2014

    " The Diary of a Nobody is so self-effacing, unobtrusive and natural a piece of work, that missing it completely could be forgiven, well almost. It is a thoroughly obscure piece of writing armed with a unique format that provides for riveting comedy instinctive to the writer, which cannot but make this seem like a very peculiar achievement, a masterpiece nonetheless, albeit a seemingly accidental masterpiece. This idiosyncratic achievement that went horridly right is the diary of a Charles Pooter, a nobody to himself and others, who asserts his right to record events despite of it (I'm afraid the 'in spite' is reserved only for the Grossmiths). I explored his I had teas and Sent my dress-coats with rapt attention, experiencing it, not mocking it. This social failure, patriarch failure is so comic in his manners, in his daily existence without any intention to be so that all I did was laugh as is human, and sorrowfully identify with him, as is also human. I guffawed at Pooter's self-important absurdity, along with his friends and cad of a son, Lupin, but in a manner suggesting that Pooter and his unconscious gaffes are refreshing and even lovable. Deviating from much of British writing that is tainted with snobbery, the writers do not patronise this hapless clerk, there is no hint of facile aspirations as there is no invitation to laugh at social gaffes, the response elicited is very much dependent on the reader, more that anything else. After reading through Waughs and Kiplings and 1970 working-class lit., this lack of snobbery and reverse snobbery is refreshing, it's earnestness, or lack of it, shining through. The book itself is pleasant and undemanding. Pooter's errors are manifestations of our own, his idiosyncracies relatable and his profound anguish on being though of as a complete and utter dunce - mirror-like!, confirming that we are all nobodys (bringing to trial if there is indeed a somebody) thus, makes this book an ironical self-indulgence. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dovile | 1/12/2014

    " A funny book, although I personally didn't find it hilarious. Also, it's very easy to read, there are few long or outdated words, unlike in other novels of the same period, and the writing style is plain and easy to understand. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 1/12/2014

    " A slightly humourous little book of the slice-of-life genre. Charles Pooter is a fastidious man with very set ideas and is constantly bemused and often suprised by his friends, son and work as English life starts to change to the modern era. A good book with no real plot but a happy ending indeed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Haidé | 1/10/2014

    " Genial, divertido y maravilloso "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gemma | 1/9/2014

    " I love this book and have read it several times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louise | 1/7/2014

    " silly fun sweet for ladies and gentlemen every where "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sho | 12/30/2013

    " I read this as a teenager and was unimpresed. This time around I found it well written and hilarious. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 James | 12/23/2013

    " Apparently this is some sort of hysterical classic. Hmmm. Maybe if I was Victorian. Harmless stuff. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laesar | 12/11/2013

    " I got to 46% and I couldn't read anymore. It was just strange, I didn't get it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jules | 12/9/2013

    " Quick easy read which made me smile in parts but not laugh out loud. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Esther Dawson | 12/7/2013

    " Only read cos it was free on Kindle, to get me through a few days. It got me through is all I can say really! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betty | 10/20/2013

    " Martin Jarvis does a wonderful job of bringing this little gem to life! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gwen | 12/9/2012

    " Not my brand of humor, as it's based mostly on bad puns and the foibles of a bumbling, misinformed old man. I'm not sure why it's on the 1001 Books List instead of say, Zuleika Dobson, which was a regular riot, but I suppose there really is no accounting for taste. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nerina | 6/30/2012

    " A funny, gentle read, and yet so much of the humour is still relevant today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matraversg | 4/4/2012

    " A real gem of a bk. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mike | 3/15/2012

    " mannered, not a thigh-slapper "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andy | 2/8/2012

    " Truly is Seinfeld in the 1800's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen Hargrove | 12/17/2011

    " Funny, enjoyable and a fast read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dorothy | 11/12/2011

    " Unusual account of the daily doings of a Nobody. Quite enchanting in its way - I thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 10/22/2011

    " Hiarious , but full of bathos! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alex | 8/30/2011

    " Perfect example of Murphy's law or Sod's law in 19th century England. Good for a quick read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Park | 5/24/2011

    " I found the book amusing, the style in which it was written and the way in which they addressed each other and viewed lifes normalities, such a stark contrast to attitudes of today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betty | 4/16/2011

    " Martin Jarvis does a wonderful job of bringing this little gem to life! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ali | 4/15/2011

    " Really enjoyed this, very glad I read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shannon | 4/13/2011

    " Currently reading. So far, it's absolutely hilarious. I look like an idiot laughing out loud (and I mean LAUGHING), but you really can't help it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jules | 4/11/2011

    " Quick easy read which made me smile in parts but not laugh out loud. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sho | 3/27/2011

    " I read this as a teenager and was unimpresed. This time around I found it well written and hilarious. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lesley | 3/23/2011

    " I really picked this one up because it was something I felt I should read - and then couldn't put it down again. It gives great insight into life in a suburban home in Victorian times but written in a style that is easy to read and very entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Simon | 3/8/2011

    " A delightful and funny little book. Mr Charles Pooter, the eponymous “nobody”, is an accidental comic genius. Reading his simple diary entries felt like sitting down with a nice cup of tea and a plate of biscuits – an ordinary and everyday experience that's somehow also unbeatable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fi | 3/7/2011

    " I really didn't know what to make of this book, but on reflection I did enjoy the wry wit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louise | 3/4/2011

    " silly fun sweet for ladies and gentlemen every where "

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About the Author
Author George Grossmith

George Grossmith (1847–1912) and Weedon Grossmith (1852–1919), were brothers whose father was a friend of Henry Irving (whose theater was managed by Bram Stoker), Ellen Terry and her family, and other theatrical people. Both pursued successful theatrical careers. In 1888 The Diary of a Nobody began to appear in Punch, with text by both brothers and illustrations by Weedon. Its popularity with a wide range of readership was immediate, and has not faltered.

About the Narrator

Frederick Davidson (1932–2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile’s Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.