Chuzzled

8 02 2014

Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens

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Wealthy old Martin Chuzzlewit is surrounded by a host of grasping, unscrupulous relatives and suspects the family vices of selfishness and greed are already showing in his grandson. The younger Martin is therefore cast out upon the world to learn to fend for himself. Apprenticed to the oily hypocrite Pecksniff, he meets both the sweet-tempered Tom Pinch and the irrepressible Mark Tapley, with whom he sets forth to America to find his fortune. Dickens created some of his most gleefully repulsive and enduring characters in this tale of corruption and virtue, murder and unrequited love.

It’s a really good (and, of course, very long) yarn. The diversion in America is all a bit off-piste but you can understand why it caused a bit of controversy for its portrayal of Americans. Overall though it’s classic Dickens, pretty amusing in places, and well worth the commitment.

four stars

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