The Diary of a Nobody

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Although I’m knee-deep in reading about diaries that Virginia Woolf read or kept in her early years, I randomly began reading this book when it cropped up in Family Roundabout, Mrs. Fowler deciding to spend the afternoon reading George Grossmith’s Diary of a Nobody. It’s a slender volume that I wish had shrunk even moreā€”the joke is prolonged and becomes shrill over all the extraneous pages. It’s the tiresome recounting of an average London clerk’s life with friends who take advantage of his hospitality and a son (Lupin) who’s kicked out of school and comes to live at home again while stirring up mischief. The title headings are the best bits, summarizing the contents within and usually containing some self-praise like “I make one of the best jokes of my life” or “I make another good joke.”