The Grossmiths’ marvellous spoof diary tells the story of Mr Pooter, clerk, of Holloway, North London, who is definitely not a ‘somebody’ but who believes his life to be as interesting as anyone else’s. The irony and wit of the writing makes it one of the greatest comic novels.
‘I was doomed to still further humiliation. I was leaning out of the box, when my tie – a little black bow which fastened on to the stud by means of a new patent – fell into the pit below. A clumsy man not noticing it, had his foot on it for ever so long before he discovered it. He then eventually picked it up and flung it under the next seat in disgust. …. To hide the absence of the tie I had to keep my chin down the rest of the evening, which caused a pain at the back of my neck.’
‘The book was greeted with a great shout of laughter when first published in 1892, and this laughter has gone on continuously ever since’ Sir John Squire in the introduction to the Everyman 1940 edition