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Modern manners

Jeremy Clarke confesses a blind spot for Dickens and a love of playing Pat the Balloon

By Jeremy Clarke   February 1997

Although I enjoy reading about Charles Dickens, I have yet to complete any of his novels. I usually give them up after the first chapter. Recently I had a stab at Martin Chuzzlewit; but had to put it aside after completing just 57 of the 920 pages, mainly because I did not have the physical strength to hold the book open for any length of time. The heavy, virtually cuboid paperback seemed to have been designed to spring shut like a gin trap the moment I relaxed my grip.

Even by page 57, I still had not become acclimatised to…

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