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A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy

3.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,272 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
Owing, perhaps, to his Irish blood, Laurence Sterne is one of the most engaging buttonholders in literature. He launches into conversation with no story to tell, little plan of narration, and a habit of slipping down every side-turning ... but there is no getting away from him. A Sentimental Journey began as an account of a tour by coach through France and Italy: it ends a ...more
Paperback, The Penguin English Library, 160 pages
Published 1982 by Penguin Books (first published 1768)
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Aug 18, 2013 William1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is pure character-driven, plotless fun. It's a travel tale in which the first-person narrator drifts from incident to incident and it is always the idiosyncratic power of his voice that carries us along. The text is not easy, loaded with archaisms and French expressions as it is. Light readers steer clear. Endnotes are copious--and essential--about two or three to a page. If you loved Tristram Shandy, as I did, this should also satisfy. The prose here seems lighter than in that previous nov ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
The only novel I know where the author purposedly omitted the last word. And that word, if I may so delicately disclose, is CUNT. Or the equivalent old slang term they use for it when this was first published in 1768: CASE. As in:

"His Pego measur'd to the Female Case,
"Betwixt a Woman's Thighs his proper Place."
--Essay on Woman, John Wilkes (1763)

Virginia Woolf surely would have disagreed. She read this sometime in the late 1920's, expressed admiration for Laurence Sterne's "delicate, flashing st
MJ Nicholls
For those curious as to Sterne’s “other thing” besides Tristram Shandy, let me make it clear: no, this is not another spearheading postmodern masterpiece. This is a vicaresque (ha—see what I did there?) travelogue narrated by the curious Yorick, a man of questionable virtue. The chapters are bitesize but thin-in-content, making it pleasant to read if not altogether interesting—a few semi-comic mishaps befall the narrator, and the Tobias Smollett parodies are amusing too. The novel does lean towa ...more
Nov 23, 2009 Ckane737 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, if I could rate this lower than a star I would.
May 14, 2007 Kristopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who liked Tristram Shandy
The other major Sterne work. And though much shorter, I don't know if I would recommend it to read first. The complexity of this book is not immediately evident (which makes it all the more fantastic for me). I think it gains in greatness with its comparison to Tristram Shandy.

On its own, though, I think it might make an interesting read. It is largely credited for starting the sentimental fiction subgenre - which can be a bit unfair to the book, since sentimental fiction is marked by ridiculous
Grace Fetterman
Oct 13, 2009 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written in the rambling, laconic but clearly deliberate and perfectly modulated style which Sterne got down to a fine art in ‘Tristram Shandy’, ‘A Sentimental Journey’ is the loose journal of the lonely and very English Parson Yorick on a trip through France in the mid-Eighteenth century.

The book is made up of short chapters sub-titled ‘The Monk – Calais’, ‘The Husband – Paris’, ‘The Passport – Versailles’, etc. Yorick has a keen and self-deprecating sense of humour and is always trying to be po
Feb 03, 2012 Skookum rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I read the negative reviews of this book, I have to guess that people just didn't get it. It's very funny. It's about an upper class young man's erotic adventures in France. He writes as if he's very chaste, but he keeps finding himself in compromising situations with beautiful women and he falls victim to his passions. Don't condemn him unless you've been in an identical situation. Yorrick loves women--All women. It's not all spelled out. You have to read between the lines to know what's ...more
Jun 17, 2015 Deni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
empecè a leer esto debido a que Viktor Shklovski le dio este mismo nombre a su genial òpera prima. querìa encontrar puntos en comùn y llevarme una buena sorpresa con el posible feliz contenido de este libro.
la ironìa y complicidad con el lector que maneja este autor me arrancò resultando muy simpàtica junto a un estilo pomposo, zumbòn, plagado de un dramatismo encantador. su afinidad con las mujeres, lo maricòn que es: 'Sì, ya sè que soy dèbil como una mujer, pero ruego al mundo que no se burle
Jun 11, 2013 Dylan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Maybe more of a 3.5 out of 5.

Main Thoughts...
1. I think its extremely important when reading this, to know that 'purse', 'case', and some other words don't mean what you think they do. Unless you were thinking they were female sex organs...Then your right!
2. The subtext in this book is what was great about it, if you have a dirty mind. Reading this will make you feel fancy and intellectual while still having a dirty mind.
3. It was a bit slow for 118 pages, its definitely something you should giv
i haven't read all 7 vols, but did "sentimental journey through france and italy" in weeks edited "great short novels"
and weeks' introduction does help the reader understand the context sterne wrote this very modern 18th century short novel. seems sterne was a real hounddog preacher from york, and terribly sick too, so to keep his spirits up and juices flowing he would fall in love, lots. so this short story is his chronicle to his last lover, of his tri
Matthew Gatheringwater
I read this book while attending a sick man who, every time I had just started to make sense of one of Sterne's infinitely regressive passages, woke up from a nap and cried "Help!" When he fell back asleep, I had to start from the beginning again. As a result, I have difficulty giving a coherent account of the entire book, but recall that parts of it were very amusing. Of course, I can say the same thing about Tristram Shandy, which I read without interruption.

Basically, I have taken away the me
Douglas Dalrymple
Aug 15, 2011 Douglas Dalrymple rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The heart is for saving what it can.”

I finished Tristram Shandy a couple months ago and was missing it. Vacationing at the beach this past week (surrounded not only by my own children but in-laws and three very enthusiastic miniature nieces), I dedicated an hour each morning to A Sentimental Journey, and consider it the best part of my holiday. It might be an epilogue or dessert sequel for Tristram Shandy, narrated, as it is, by the Shandy family's parish priest, the Rev. Yorick. Necessarily of
Sep 22, 2012 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-drama, humor
Not sure what the author was going for here. This is one of those old satire/parodies that makes very little sense to me because I'm not at all familiar with whatever it is that's being satirized/parodied. The only thing I found particularly amusing about it was the way in which the main character put on a pious, Christian facade as a means of getting into the pants of just about every woman he met. Sexual encounters written in Olde English crack me up, seeing as how you have to be paying very c ...more
Aug 08, 2015 Ben rated it liked it
3.5 stars (when will Goodreads offer a half-star option?). There is a reason that Tristram Shandy is Laurence Sterne's best known work. Shandy may or may not have been complete at the time of Sterne's death, but A Sentimental Journey is most definitely incomplete (and even ends mid-sentence, in the middle of a bawdy story). It's been suggested that Sterne wrote A Sentimental Journey to repair his reputation as a clergyman, which had been injured by the bawdiness of Shandy. As such, the work is c ...more
Nov 24, 2008 Karen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm happy that this book was so short because I did not like reading it. Perhaps the story was good but the style that it was told in made it so difficult to read and understand what was going on that I got frustrated by it.
Jonah Rosenberg
Sep 09, 2013 Jonah Rosenberg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Horrible book. It did not make sence
May 15, 2013 Padarn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't stand it.
Justin Evans
Apr 05, 2011 Justin Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Another great example of why you need to really think about what a book's trying to do before you judge it. This is nice and subtle- on the one hand, it tugs the heart-strings unashamedly; on the other hand, it makes ruthless fun of you for having your heart-string tugged. Great stuff- unless you're expecting well rounded three dimensional characters and believable plot turns and a coherent narrative and so on. Not here, friendo. Here you get intriguing reflections on the general goodness/evilne ...more
Dec 15, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Al die zoete en fijne conversaties. Hoogstaande conversaties en omgangsvormen. We kunnen er wat van leren in onze moderne tijden. Zeer geestig geschreven met geraffineerde stoute dubbelzinnigheden en een titanenwerk voor de vertalers die ervoor zorgen dat lezers toegang krijgen tot dit meesterwerk. Laat ons zeggen dat deze fijne taal zowat het uiterste omgekeerde is dat wat hiphoppers de dag van vandaag uit hun schuimbekkende muilen braken. Over atavisme gesproken.
Oct 26, 2014 Rachel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 18th century lovers
Recommended to Rachel by: forced to read it (are we seeing a pattern?)
My hatred of this book stems from a class that I took in college. I expected crazy libertine writings and pornography (for instance: the Earl of Rochester's poems), because that was how the professor advertised it, but alas! The course I got stuck with was clogged with sentimental writings and other works that I had no interest in.

I'll be blunt: I only read about 1/3 of the way through because I couldn't be bothered. While it's obvious that Yorick isn't meant to be a three-dimensional and flawed
Jul 09, 2014 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not for me, DNF. I am halfway the book and I have not encountered a single thing I am glad to have read. As the Goodreads summary already says, it has no real plot: "Sterne's tale rapidly moves away from the narrative of travel to become a series of dramatic sketches, ironic incidents, philosophical musings, reminiscences, and anecdotes; sharp wit is mixed with gaiety, irony with tender feeling." All well and good, but it doesn't make for interesting reading for me, I found it just plain boring, ...more
Jan 14, 2016 Philip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lawrence Sterne’s Sentimental Journey is very much the follow-up after the success of Tristram Shandy. The author does not try to re-create the near anarchy of the earlier work. Indeed, especially when compared with Shandy, Sentimental Journey at times even approaches coherence. But it remains a variety of coherence that might confuse a modern reader, since the book is neither a novel nor a travel book, though at times it aspires to be both. What it is not can be listed, but what exactly it is r ...more
Dec 17, 2015 Coni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*traduzione di Didimo Chierico - cioè Foscolo*

Sono abbastanza abituato a leggere traduzioni di inizio secolo Xx. Forse mi piacciono anche di più rispetto alle moderne edizioni editate col consueto vocabolario "moderno" di poche migliaia di vocaboli.

La lettura di libri "moderni", editati con un vocabolario limitato, ancorché facile, la trovo abbastanza noiosa.
Detto questo però affrontare questa traduzione di inizio ottocento ad opera del buon Foscolo non è mica stato facile eh.
Anzi. Non solo per
Oct 27, 2015 Cescuschrist rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Романтичный, действительно сентиментальный, что едва оправдывает всю эту невозможную графоманщину, автор, этот Марсель Пруст восемнадцатого века, вызывает легкую улыбку, которая сопровождает книгу на протяжении всего действия.

Все эти рассуждения, претендующие на серьезность, при этом никуда не годящиеся, прелестны, как лепет какой-нибудь чистой и невероятно наивной души. Донкихотское приключение со своим Санчо Пансой и горничными легкого поведения еще более нелепо с точки зрения (само)влюбленнос
Grace Harwood
Sep 23, 2015 Grace Harwood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is so much irreverent humour in this book and so much of the ridiculous that it's almost like a precursor to Monty Python. Yorick, (The sentimental traveller) sets off on his journey to France in a fit of pique, after taking offence at the offhand remark of one of his acquaintances. It only occurs to him after the fact that (a) he does not have a passport and (b) Britain and France are at war, which might render travel difficult for him. But Yorick is not cast down for long - via a method ...more
Fatih Balkış
Jul 19, 2015 Fatih Balkış rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) ününü borçlu olduğu “Tristram Shandy”yi yazdığında 45 yaşındaydı.
Bir din adamı olarak sağlam bir eğitimden geçmişti, ancak vaazlarından çok yazdığı romanla saygı uyandırdı. Yapıtın içeriği ve biçimi o kadar farklıydı ki mensubu olduğu sınıfın zorunluluklarını ve İngiliz edebiyatının sınırlarını bu eşsiz romanla aştığı söylenebilirdi. “Tristram Shandy”nin getirdiği yenilikler ancak Don Quijote’unkilerle kıyaslanıyordu ve romandaki zamansal sıçramalar, bilinç akışları,
Jo Kaiser
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 29, 2014 Kelsey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to read this for my post-modernism class in college, and we spent an incredible amount of time on this book just discussing it (almost a level 400 class, we spent about two months on this), because that's how hard it is to read. At the time this book was written, the post-modern sentimental genre was all the rage, so I'm sure it was widely popular then, but now, it doesn't really make much sense.

It's fragmented, lines cut off, there are blank spaces, and really, the story is just the musi
Nov 24, 2015 M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[…] «Me he portado muy mal», me dije. Sin embargo, no había hecho más que emprender el viaje; ya adquiriría mejores modales a lo largo del camino.


[…] Ni aunque hubiera invertido siete años en el aprendizaje de buenas maneras podría yo haber hecho nada parecido.


[…] ¡Qué gran número de aventuras pueden contenerse en este breve instante de la existencia de un hombre cuyo corazón se interesa por todo!


[…] Como esta no es una obra de razonamientos, dejo la reflexión tal como la encontré…


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Laurence Sterne was an Irish-born English novelist and an Anglican clergyman. He is best known for his novels The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, and A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy; but he also published many sermons, wrote memoirs, and was involved in local politics. Sterne died in London after years of fighting consumption (tuberculosis).

See also http://en.wikipe
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“Dear sensibility! Source inexhausted of all that's precious in our joys, or costly in our sorrows! Eternal fountain of our feelings! 'tis here I trace thee and this is thy divinity which stirs within me...All comes from thee, great-great SENSORIUM of the world!” 10 likes
“I pity the man who can travel from Dan to Beersheba, and cry, ‘Tis all barren—and so it is; and so is all the world to him who will not cultivate the fruits it offers. I declare, said I, clapping my hands chearily together, that was I in a desart, I would find out wherewith in it to call forth my affections—If I could not do better, I would fasten them upon some sweet myrtle, or seek some melancholy cypress to connect myself to—I would court their shade, and greet them kindly for their protection—I would cut my name upon them, and swear they were the loveliest trees throughout the desert: if their leaves wither’d, I would teach myself to mourn, and when they rejoiced, I would rejoice along with them.” 8 likes
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