Sketches by Boz
Sketches by Boz collected a rich and strange mixture of reportage, observation, fancy and fiction centred on the metropolis. It was Dickens's first book, published when he was twenty-four, and in it we find him walking the London streets, in theatres, pawnshops, law-courts, prisons, along the Thames, and on the omnibus, missing nothing, recording and transforming urban and suburban life into new terrain for literature.Walter Bagehot once remarked, Dickens wrote about London "like a special correspondent for posterity".
Sketches is a remarkable achievement, and looks towards Dickens's giant novels in its profusion of characters, its glimpses of surreal modernity and its limitless fund of pathos and comic invention.
"The first sprightly runnings of his genius are undoubtedly here," wrote Dickens’s friend and biographer John Forster.