Book Review: The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith

Have you ever wondered what 19th century English lower-middle-class ramblings sound like? Look no further and dive into this book about frivolous things and missing diaries and failings of one’s son. I’m not sure what else to tell you about the plot or the book. It is a jovial, dry little thing which transported me back to those English movies situated in the same era where there are no wars, no human suffering, just personal problems and painting the stairs and the bath.

I’m not sure if I can say I enjoyed it. For sure, it didn’t arouse a great passion for me, but neither it caused great pain or hatred. It is there for those days when mundane things get their act on the front stage. The book itself is a satire of the petty concerns of the middle class, but also an excursion to such life, peeking behind the curtains, so to speak. Many writers have copied the same sentiment afterward. Making nobody’s life and thoughts something to follow and consider important was somewhat novel, so I have to give kudos for this book, changing the demand for ordinary people’s misgivings, but now this book feels outdated. Those things which one should snigger at feels like from another world and don’t cause that satirical effect it must have done when published. Or it can be the fact that I’m not part of the British middle class, and the rules and social expectations re-enforced and broken and poked fun at the book didn’t work for me.

How to finish this review? This book is a classic, and I loved the feeling of those lazy, frivolous days when your most significant concerns are the color of the paint and who your son will bring home, but I missed substance and gravitas. Of course, you can read between the lines what is expected from a middle-class person and how they should behave, and the book contains a mockery of that, yet, this book is a passing memory and won’t continue living inside me like those whose prose has a hint of clarity or doom.

Thank you for reading! Have a lovely day.

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