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Most helpful customer reviews 57 of 60 people found the following review helpful. A Major Milestone for Dickens By Thaddeus Wert With this novel, Dickens left behind the shallow characters that sometimes marred his early works, and developed full-fledged people. Pecksniff and his daughters are marvelous creations that make one cringe with embarassment while laughing at their incredible selfishness. Tom Pinch is another character in a distinguished line of "too good to be true" Dickensian personalities, but he is shown to suffer and grow into a believable human being. The American episodes are biting in their satire, but overall they are on the money. Dickens' contempt for American armchair philosophers and "freedom-loving" slave owners fueled some of his most pointed social commentary. As always, there is a happy ending, but the plot is more complex than anything Dickens had written before. I have read Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiousity Shop, and Barnaby Rudge, and Martin Chuzzlewit ranks right up there with his best. 38 of 41 people found the following review helpful. Martin Chuzzlewit is funny, memorable, and insightful. By Kenneth Umbach Martin Chuzzlewit is a funny, memorable, and insightful book. The engravings in the Oxford Illustrated edition are a charming addition to this story of hypocrisy, family intrigue, selfishness, loyalty, and friendship. Dickens's use of language is precise and often stinging. The book is laced with humor in the service of more profound goals. If you buy the Oxford Illustrated edition, skip the critical essay at the start of the volume, as it gives away some plot elements best left for the reader to discover. (Read the essay AFTER you have finished the book, if you like, or just ignore it.) My 9 rating reflects the combination of humor, satire, memorable characters (most especially the resolutely jolly Mark Tapley and the hypocritical Mr. Pecksniff), and a thoroughly entertaining plot. 18 of 19 people found the following review helpful. Great Cathartic Read for problems with $ and Family By Ted Martin Chuzzlewit the elder is dying and all the family has designs on gaining their inheritance. His grandson seems the odds on favorite but young Martin, the grandson has fallen madly in love with the elder Martin's altruistic nurse, Mary Graham. Why the elder Martin finds this terrifying is puzzling. Does he really think Mary's interest in Martin the younger will compromise the quality of her job? Oh, oh...I've done it, I've caught Dickens capturing the foibles of humanity again!!! These characters sometimes make me scream. I'd like to be face to face with them, vigourously attempting to argue them out of their other-destructive behavior...Of course it would be totally useless as far as they're concerned, but hopefully cathartic for me. The PBS video (6 hours) is how I was introduced to this story. After viewing the video I read the book. Dickens offers a marked contrast to his near contemporary Alexis deTocqueville's. Where Tocqueville saw free association and high community spirit in his Democracy in America, Dickens saw flim-flam and greed everywhere. -As greed and selfishness are big themes in Chuzzlewit, America proved an apt foil. It is said American publishers pirated Dickens work, paying him no royalties, adding fuel to his ire. Other reviewers have commented on Pecksniff , Mrs. Gump, Jonas Chuzzlewit and Tom Pinch. Oh, there are Dickensian characters in this book. The rivalry between Mercy and Charity Pecksniff results in this case, in alarming tragedies of self-centeredness. If there be humor in such goings on, you'll love Montigue Tigg (Tigg Montigue). He is every bit the operator, having much in common with Mr. Merdle of Dicken's Little Dorritt. Rest assured, as Dickens torments the reader with the trials of his characters, this is one of those tales where just desserts are served in the end. See all 116 customer reviews...
"No more handsome edition of Dickens has yet appeared, nor is it easy to conceive of any which might surpass this one." --The Scotsman From the Publisher This book is in Electronic Paperback Format. If you view this book on any of the computer systems below, it will look like a book. Simple to run, no program to install. Just put the CD in your CDROM drive and start reading. The simple easy to use interface is child tested at pre-school levels. Windows 3.11, Windows/95, Windows/98, OS/2 and MacIntosh and Linux with Windows Emulation. Includes Quiet Vision's Dynamic Index. the abilty to build a index for any set of characters or words. From the Inside Flap At The Center of Martin Chuzzlewit -- the novel Angus Wilson called "one of the most sheerly exciting of all Dickens stories" -- is Martin himself, very old, very rich, very much on his guard. What he suspects (with good reason) is that every one of Iris close and distant relations. now converging in droves on the country inn where they believe he is dying, will stop at nothing to become the inheritor of Iris great fortune. Having unjustly disinherited Iris grandson, young Martin, the old fellow now trusts no one but Mary Graham, the pretty girl hired as Iris companion. Though she has been made to understand she will not inherit a penny, she remains old Chuzzlewit's only ally. As the viperish relations and hangers-on close in on him, we meet some of Dickens's most marvelous characters -- among them Mr. Pecksniff (whose name has entered the language as a synonym for ultimate hypocrisy and self-importance); the fabulously evil Jonas Chuzzlewit; the strutting reptile Tigg Montague; and the ridiculous, terrible, comical Sairey Gamp. Reluctantly heading for America in search of opportunity, the penniless young Martin goes west, rides a riverboat, and is overtaken by bad company and mortal danger -- while the battle for his grandfather's gold reveals new depths of family treachery, cunning, and ruthlessness. And in scene after wonderful scene of conflict and suspense, of high excitement and fierce and hilarious satire, Dickens's huge saga of greed versus decency comes to its magnificent climax.
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