Old Martin Chuzzlewit has heaps of money that has never brought him anything but misery. Estranged from his grandson and namesake, when word gets out that he is ill, he finds himself surrounded by a throng of relatives that he despises, all hoping to get a piece of the pie. He allows himself to be taken under the wing of his obsequious and hypocritical cousin, Seth Pecksniff, who is more than happy to shelter him and kowtow to him and to keep all other relatives away. Will this vulture be the one to inherit the old man’s fortune, or is there more going on than meets the eye?
Treachery, mayhem, and possibly murder, along with some genuine love and compassion are skillfully intertwined in this book, along with Dickens’ classic wit and brilliantly created characters. His villains are odious, his good guys are delightful, and those that fall in between truly deserve to be called “Characters.” (summary by Debra Lynn)