Martin Chuzzlewit in September

Snak75 Books Challenge for 2014

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Martin Chuzzlewit in September

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sep 1, 2014, 11:06 am

Short month; long book: it figures....

Redigeret: sep 1, 2014, 11:28 am

(How odd. For a long time the first post was deleted...... Now, there it is. So here's another first post.)
Join SouloftheRose and Bohemima and me as we make our way through this early Dickens, his sixth.

Dickens stopped Barnaby Rudge at the halfway point to make a journey to the USA and Canada in August 1841. Martin Chuzzlewit (among other names he tried were "Chubblewig, Cuhuzzletoe, Sweezleden and Swezzlewag") was the result. He "announced the title to Forster: The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewig, his family, friends, and enemies. Comprising all his will and his ways. With an historical record of what he did and what he didn't. The whole thing forming a complete key to the house of Cuzzlewig."
The book didn't do well initially, but such characters as Sairy Gamp and Pecksniff have joined the inner circle of Dickens Immortals.
~Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens


Redigeret: sep 3, 2014, 4:50 pm


Seth Pecksniff
Charity (Cherry) and Mercy (Merry) Pecksniff, his daughters
John Westlock, former student of Mr. Pecksniff
Tom Pinch, Pecksniff's assistant and long-time student
Mrs. Lupin, landlady of the Blue Dragon
Martin Chuzzlewit the elder, a very wealthy, very unpleasant and suspicious old man; Pecksniff's cousin
Mary (Graham), MC's young companion (who is paid as long as MC survives)
Montague Tigg, a disgusting scoundrel
Chevy Slyme, one of MC's disgusting nephews and a companion of M. Tigg
Jonas Chuzzlewit, MC's brother, and his son Jonas
The Spottletoes and other rapacious relatives of MC
George Chuzzlewit, yet another rr of MC
Mark (Tapley), employed at the Blue Dragon
Martin Chuzzlewit, the old man's grandson, pupil of Pecksniff

Redigeret: sep 1, 2014, 4:06 pm

I'm here and enjoying the Pecksniffs and Mr Martin Chuzzlewit (Snr). I'd forgotten how funny CD (I loved the opening chapter) and how gothic? Melodramatic (in a good way)? he can be. The scene with Mr Chuzzlewit in bed talking about wills and inheritances to Mr Pecksniff was wonderful.

September could be a pretty horrible month work wise so I'm glad I have MC to keep me company.

ETA: Forgot to say thank you so much for setting up the thread Peggy!

sep 1, 2014, 10:40 pm

No time to join the group read - no time - but I will be following along with the posts... I am currently reading Dan Simmons' Drood and it makes some interesting references to Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit.

sep 2, 2014, 4:23 pm

Lori, I know about time, and *MC* is monster - but it's a terrifically funny monster! I'm off to try to catch up with Heather since I'm pretty sure that she's read more since yesterday. Then maybe I'll have something to say!

sep 2, 2014, 7:26 pm

Ooh, I think I'm in for the read! I found a copy on Project Gutenberg.

Karen O'Brien

Redigeret: sep 2, 2014, 8:16 pm

YAY! Welcome, Karen!!! It's delightful to have you aboard. I'm already a bit daunted with trying to list the characters, but I'll continue if this is the first time you've read the book if you think you'll find the list helpful. Lori, I wish you could join us...... I read Drood some time ago and wished with my whole heart that it had been a bit shorter!
Meanwhile, I've read the first 5 chapters, so I suspect I'm behind Heather. My inclination is to quote a bit here and there. Uh oh. For some reason, my Kindle has not saved my underlining. I'll have to do it from the Penguin which means I can't do it now.
I'll simply say that I had forgotten that Pecksniff was a Chuzzlewit cousin.
I also neglected to say that I put *MC* on a TIOLI challenge (as though I were going to finish it this month, but who knows?) and I'll go back to see which one.

sep 2, 2014, 8:34 pm

I see *MC* listed on TIOLI challenge 13 ("Read a book that is epic in nature or scope"). I added my name there in a moment of bravery. Seriously looking forward to this read.

Karen O.

sep 2, 2014, 10:39 pm

Oh yes! That's the one. Thank you, Karen.

On Pecksniff:

"Mr Pecksniff was in the frequent habit of using any word that occurred to him as having a good sound, and rounding a sentence well without much care for its meaning."
"...warming his hands before the fire, as benevolently as if they were somebody else's, not his;"
"...he always said of what was very bad, that it was very natural..."

I really enjoy Cherry and Merry a lot even though I didn't pick up any quotes about them.

sep 5, 2014, 2:46 am

>8 LizzieD: "Meanwhile, I've read the first 5 chapters, so I suspect I'm behind Heather."

Maybe not. I haven't had much reading time this week :-(

I've just read Mrs Todger's Commercial House at the end of chapter 8.

sep 6, 2014, 6:50 pm

Well, you're not very far ahead of me, Heather. I plan to read the Mrs Todgers chapter tonight. I have been trying to make progress in The Bone Clocks, my ER ARC, and a Virago, The Dud Avocado, which is turning into a dud for me. *BC* is going faster than I thought it might, so I hope to be able to step up my Chuzzlewitting in a week.

sep 9, 2014, 5:42 am

A bit more time for reading this week and I'm at the end of chapter 15. I'd forgotten that they made it to America this early in the book.

I've also been wondering whether Martin Chuzzlewit Junior is an unusually unheroic 'hero' for a Dickens novel. Normally, Dickens' heroes are very, very good (Nicholas Nickleby, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield) but Martin is quite self-centred at this stage of the novel.

sep 11, 2014, 5:47 pm

He is, isn't he? I'll have to give it some thought with more brain than I have at the moment. I am nowhere near you now, so you may be reading this one alone if I can't make myself free up more time. This was a killer week, though, and it's not over yet. AND next week my ma and I are off to a family reunion on Thursday. Great for living but bad for reading!
And I remembered the American sidetrip as more in the middle of the book too...or even closer to the end.

sep 29, 2014, 11:06 pm

I'm back to say that I'm still reading bit by bit, but I'm stuck in America with Martin & Mark. This is not my favorite section by any means. Oh! I think chapter 18 gives me some relief, so maybe I'll do better!