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A very funny novel
am 19. Mai 2000
Besides "Bleak House", "Martin Chuzzlewit" is easily my favorite Dickens novel. Where else do you have an opening chapter (describing the past Chuzzlewit family history) that is so absolutely hilarious you find yourself rereading it several times before you begin chapter two? Where else do you have a character as funny as the greedy and transparent Mr. Pecksniff? People complain that the plot is paper-thin even for a Dickens novel and that the American sequence is an unneeded digression. Perhaps true, but I think the characters and comedy in this book overcome any of its shortcomings. While others point to better known novels like "David Copperfield" as the best to be found in Dickens, I think "Martin Chuzzlewit" tops everything except "Bleak House" (but then how could it, seeing that "Bleak House" is probably the greatest English novel of the 19th century). In closing, if you're new to Dickens, you would do well to start here--the book, although long, is fast-paced, funny, and, at the end, even macabre.