Friday, April 15, 2016

Martin Chuzzlewit

Ecod! One character in Martin Chuzzlewit starts nearly every sentence this way.  I think he is scared of cods. My, Cod!  I'm not sure why he keeps coming across so many cods in London, or maybe he keeps dropping a cod he keeps in his pocket. No wonder no one liked this guy.

Ok, do not read this book if this is your first Dickens novel.  This book is sometimes known as the American one, because two characters go to America for a bit.  The Americans in this book are portrayed as rude, gun-toting, money obsessed, uncultured, swindling, patriotic folks who hate foreigners. I mean, really.....*cough.* Luckily, Martin Chuzzlewit is not set entirely in America.  The book is over 800 pages but there are sections that are hard to read especially the lady with the cockney accent who rambled -- I hated her more than the two villains in this book. Also, the Internet has ruined my attention span. I must admit that cracking nuts and drinking wine by the fire, which three characters do in this book, sounded really nice. Now we just show each other our phones with some YouTube clip. I want to crack some nuts...wait, that sounds nasty.

I would not consider this a comedy but there are some funny bits like when the guy was trying to take off his boots and promptly fell into the fireplace.  Also, there are a number of lines that probably not meant to be funny but definitely are, as in: "touching the organ for my own amusement" (he was playing a church organ). Everything sounds nasty!    

There is a drink featured in this book that according to Dickens is the only good thing about America. Sherry Cobbler: 1 orange slice, 1 lemon slice, 3/4 simple syrup, 3 ounces dry sherry. Muddle the orange and lemon in a pint glass and add the simple syrup and sherry.  Pour those into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain and pour into your pint glass with some crushed ice.  Garnish with another orange wheel.  This will be pretty sweet and cold so wait until you are on a steamboat during the height of summer.

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