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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,121 Ratings  ·  803 Reviews
Tristram Shandy es una pieza clave en la formacion de la novela moderna, en la que el lector descubre con asombro como la veta subversiva que alienta la narracion desborda los limites de la peripecia para contaminar las mismas convenciones del género. La autorreferencia, la paradoja y el subjetivismo se alían con la explotación de los recursos tipográficos para crear, adem ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 1767)
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Renato Magalhães Rocha
I failed big time in reviewing this.
Oh well.
I tried mentioning Sterne's style and his humor. I tried to include some of my favorite quotes and even show one of the cool drawings included. And I tried stating how much I loved it.
However, when I finished and read it, it didn't do the book any justice at all.
So all that's left for me to do is tell you to go read it.

Rating: 5 stars

This is one of those books we encounter in life that, despite being completely enchanted and raptured chapter after chap
Reviewed in February, 2014

Before I began this book------
Now don’t climb on your hobby-horse, or rather, don’t pounce on your keyboard to tell me that I didn’t actually begin this book, that it was Laurence Sterne who began this book more than two hundred and fifty years ago, long before I was even a in my mothers’s eye or an answering in my father’s------

So, before I began reading this book, like many amongst you, I had preconceived ideas---
Yes, it is worth paying attention to the wording here
Paul Bryant
Jul 04, 2014 Paul Bryant rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels

I would like to dedicate the following old review to a much missed GR friend, Bird Brian, who appears as a character in my review. He provided us with many hours of free entertainment with his great rants against every possible aspect of capitalism and the American government. But 50% of him left when Amazon bought GR, and the rest of him disappeared when the censorship controversy splurged all over our heads. And now he is not here to excoriate all the bad people and discover all the conspiraci
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
The Shandian Spawn

“If on a friend’s bookshelf
You cannot find Joyce or Sterne
Cervantes, Rabelais, or Burton,

“[Gaddis or Gass, Pynchon or McElroy,
David Foster Wallace, William T Vollmann,
Alexander Theroux or Gilbert Sorrentino,]

“You are in danger, face the fact,
So kick him first or punch him hard
And from him hide behind a curtain.”
― Alexander Theroux [Ergänzung von "N.R."]

Do I really have to say that again?

But, so, let’s look at what Steven Moore claims to be the stream of spawn flowing f
Ian Grayjoy

This was a re-read of a novel that I first read when I was about 14 and that has stayed fresh in my mind ever since.

It was recommended to me by my cricket coach and favourite teacher, John Carr, who taught me English for five years and cemented my passion for Literature in the early 70’s. His Master’s Thesis was on Evelyn Waugh’s "Sword of Honour” Trilogy (which I’ve also read and plan to re-read).

I was amused to learn from Steven Moore that one John Carr rushed out a fake version of
Nov 27, 2015 Darwin8u rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aere-perennius, 2013
“Shall we for ever make new books, as apothecaries make new mixtures, by pouring only out of one vessel into another?”
― Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman


or, a repartee on jeopardy.

If on a friend’s bookshelf
You cannot find Joyce or Sterne
Cervantes, Rabelais, or Burton,

You are in danger, face the fact,
So kick him first or punch him hard
And from him hide behind a curtain.

― Alexander Theroux*


I was (of course) destined t
Everywhere I seek I now see Shandy. In my eyes, my ears, my mouth as I cry his name in the unfixed ecstasy of sleepless sleep. All the ballyhoo about subversion need not negate that this truly is a collection of opinions to warm one’s life by like a friendly flicking fire. It is a book of secret thrills and shameless life. I finished it during my last hotel nightshift,—maybe not ever, I do not know—the job I’ve held since January of 2011. It is departure about which I am conflicted. I started an ...more
MJ Nicholls
This edition from Visual Editions expands upon, or at least emphasises, the typographical fancies Sterne deployed for his maddening nine-book digressive epic. Combining black and red font effects (all the dashes and chapter titles are in red), with unique artistic stunts (the infamous black page is replaced by a strikethrough design, various font frolics are exaggerated in amusing ways, and one page includes a ‘moisture’ effect using semi-laminate bubbles over the text), the book isn’t perhaps a ...more
Dec 27, 2014 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tony by: Fionnuala
Shelves: irish, top-10-2014
May it please your honours, and you, Madam, who certainly inspired the reading if not the reviewing of this book with your own * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *; as I tend not to dabble in the 18th Century. This seminal tale, waxing autobiographical, takes three of the nine volumes at play before our narrator is coaxed out and erroneously christened. My own arrival was unremarkable----if somewhat delayed; My mother, prone to superstition and intuitive causalit ...more
Apr 07, 2008 ba rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, I never heard of this book before the film came out last year. My wife heard an NPR report on the film, and they used the terms Post-Modern and Unfilmable so many times that she knew I would be interested. We saw the film and liked it. I finally picked upthe book and read it, expecting a challenging work that would yield some intellectual dividends if I could just plow through it somehow. In actuality, the book was a very fun read. It did indeed have the foreshadowings of postmoder ...more
David Lentz
Jun 20, 2011 David Lentz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is so much in this novel one hardly knows where to begin, which is Sterne's hilarious problem for the first 300 pages or so. Tristram Shandy is a comic masterpiece, like Fielding's Tom Jones, which arose barely after the invention of the genre. Even Sterne's name almost seems a play on words and it's easy to see why great minds who followed Sterne like Nietzsche (Note "The Ass Festival" in Zarathustra), Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot), James Joyce (Ulysses) and J.P. Donleavy (Darcy Danc ...more
Jul 19, 2014 Jeremy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this, I really did. Sterne is a hugely inventive, hugely capable writer. Maybe he doesn't go in for the batshit linguistic free-for-all that people like James Joyce do, but he is every bit as bizarre and technically innovative. You could recognize one of his wildly digressive, over-mannered sentences in a heartbeat. But I still couldn't stand Tristam Shandy. Not because it's 'bad' per se, (parts of it are extremely engaging and genuinely funny in a way that basically no writing ...more
Melissa Rudder
Jul 22, 2008 Melissa Rudder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: master-s-exam
I am shocked at the drastic change of my opinion on The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne. After I read it a mere three years ago, I swore I would take my MA Exam without rereading it to avoid undergoing such torture a second time. I gave it one star on goodreads. Having forgotten everything about the novel (aside from my distaste for it), I had to reread it for the exam. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wrote "ha!" in the margins more than I have in any other book. I laughed ...more
Há livros que me fazem sentir tão burra!
Este é um desses. Não percebo o que há para gostar e juro que me esforcei: aturei sermões, excomunhões, narizes grandes, castanhas quentes, cavalos-de-pau,...uma cegarrega!
O Tristram Shandy parece-me aquelas pessoas que para contarem que na véspera jantaram peixe frito, contam a história do filho da prima da vizinha, que namora com a amante do chefe da cunhada da padeira que está grávida de trigémeos que vão nascer, de cesariana no Natal do próximo ano, e
Ronald Morton
This book is amazing. I’m just going to stick that up here at the top, before I go off on a tangent, so it shows up for any of you browsing reviews attached to this book.

Books like this cause me a great deal of anxiety. I know that’s weird, so let me explain. I’ve been aware of Tristam Shandy for the majority of my reading life, though it was only in college (a decade or so ago) that I became a bit more aware of the general gist of the work, which at least placed it somewhere on my “to read” lis
aPriL does feral sometimes

'The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy' is a fictional memoir of sorts, but the novel is written in a manner to subvert the formal conventions of the novel (a proto-post-modern genre), and along the way, assert the role of the author as a Maximus Prime Writer, or in other words, someone in complete control of your television set. It is all in good fun, a wonderful satire that aims for lowbrow comedy by using every single aspect of the highbrow educated culture of 1760. To mention some example
Nov 19, 2011 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To describe this late 18th century novel as being characterized by constant digressions, as is often done (and even by Sterne himself), is probably inaccurate, since to digress implies that one has an ultimate goal in mind from which one is recurrently sidetracked. Sterne’s narrative has no particular goal from which to digress, his interest being more in following his mind and its associations wherever they may lead him. In that sense, his mind is like the minds of all of us, and we are invited ...more
Oct 07, 2013 Ted rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 1/2. I can't quite up this to a 5 since by my criteria I'd have to believe I might read it a second time, and I don't think that's likely, more because of the length than anything else. It is a very impressive piece of literature, and extremely funny in many, many parts. Hopefully I will write a more illuminating review at some point.

I started reading it as an e-book, and persevered through Volume V chapter III, almost half way. At that point I bought a used copy of the Oxford World's Classics
Aug 10, 2015 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve got but 20,000 characters with which to express my thoughts on Laurence Sterne’s digressive-heavy masterpiece The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, so I must make sure to add no digressions of my own on the subjects of buttonholes, pishes, knots or anything else. Though a digression on digressions might be warranted it too must be avoided. While a space consisting of 20,000 characters may seem ample for reviewing a work, its shortcomings surely become quite evident when one c ...more
Jun 13, 2015 Lotz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nothing odd will do long. Tristram Shandy did not last.
—Samuel Johnson

I wonder if Laurence Sterne, duty bound as he was, him being the author, or at the least the transcriber of this tale—as sometimes stories seem to come from some higher power, and we merely jot them down—I wonder, I say, if he had duly considered what he was about when he birthed this work from his brain;—whether he well understood how much depended on the doing, as there is after all no telling how many people will come to r
Feb 16, 2016 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
So...this book is one giant joke constructed of smaller jokes and it takes the mick out of nigh on everything; novels, novelists, travel, travel writers, army officers, doctors, clergymen, amours, marriage, you name it, and not least readers.

Considered by some to be the first Modernist novel, appearing nearly two centuries before the term was coined, there's no over-all plot and only a few episodes that could really constitute something approaching a sub-plot, there are blank chapters, a space f
Before I get into this, just look at this guy:

See that smirk? This is what you're getting into when you read Tristram Shandy. That's the smirk of a man about to toy with you for his own enjoyment. Because in part that's what the book is, a joke on the reader. This was the only false start I've had all year, I got 40 pages into this at maybe ten pages a day and then didn't, couldn't read anything for a week after. I've read my fair share of "difficult" books this year but they didn't quite knock
Mar 20, 2013 Ursula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books, england
I've wrestled with what to write about Tristram Shandy since I finished it. It isn't a book you can sum up very well, and the most entertaining bits of it are best found on your own, I think.

So I'll just say this: it's not as hard to read as you might think. The language takes some getting used to, and I read it at a pace of 20-30 pages a day. But you do acclimate to it and get into a rhythm. And yes, it's full of digressions and stories within stories and soliloquies about battles and fortifica
Lazarus P Badpenny Esq
Unerringly digressive, intermittently baffling, invariably hilarious, absolutely fabulous.
May 22, 2012 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Diggers of antiquity and tilters at verbal windmills
Recommended to Alan by: The latter-day film of this unfilmable book
This enormous, sprawling, exuberant proto-novel is all the more amazing for having been written and first published more than two centuries ago—Tristram Shandy is older than the United States, in fact, by a small but significant margin, and some might say it's holding up rather better. I was introduced to Laurence Sterne's novel via the film of this unfilmable book—Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005)—which, despite some significant flaws, turns out to be a fairly good introduction. The ...more
"Read, read, read, read, my unlearned reader! Read...for without much reading, by which, your reverence knows, I mean much knowledge, you will no more be able to penetrate the meaning of my next marbled page (motly emblem of my work!) than the world with all its sagacity has been able to unravel the many opinions, transactions and truths which still lie mystically hid under the dark veil of the black one." (III.35)

There's the most-quoted bit from Tristram Shandy, which is full of references to o
May 24, 2011 Bev added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes stream of consciousness
Recommended to Bev by: Richard Nash
Pardon me a moment while I do a little victory dance...I'm done with Tristram Shandy!!!!!!!

OMG. Was there ever such a book? I am pleased as all get out that I can say that I'm done with the thing. It's behind me and I'll never be tempted to pick it up again.

What is Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne about you might ask--and well you might and maybe if you ever read it you might figure it out better than I; because I, well, I got all distracted by the INCREDIBLY long sentences and odd punctuation
I struggled mightily with this one. In turns brilliant, like being transported in a time machine to Eighteenth Century England and having an extended pub conversation after at least 12 pints of gin. On the other hand I mostly felt like I had just had 12 pints of gin, was desperatly trying to hold onto to some antiquated concept of linear plotting while a whirling deverish of an author strode off unfettered by the mundane. Most frustratingly as I followed yet another digression into a literary ra ...more
A post modern book written before modernism was even a twinkle in the Widow's eye.

I'm tempted to say the entire book is a digression, truer prehaps to say that it is an exercise in the art of digression for comic effect.

Tristram Shandy attempts to tell the story of his life and opinions but almost everything from buttons to noses requires further explanation and chapters of their own, so the book progresses like one of those 18th century sieges that Corporal Trim and Tristram's uncle are so bu
Mar 21, 2014 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 1751-1799
Many English novels are essential. Shandy is essentialer. Sterne's con/cocted a great game for anyone able and willing to pick up a book and be fucked with. All postmodernistness is alpha-omega'ed here, plain and simple. I recommend drawing in the margins and/or writing between the lines.
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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
More about Laurence Sterne...

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“I begin with writing the first
sentence—and trusting to Almighty
God for the second.”
“Human nature is the same in all professions.” 25 likes
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