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Tristram Shandy and A Sentimental Journey (Modern Library)
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Tristram Shandy and A Sentimental Journey (Modern Library)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  145 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Tristram Shandy provoked a literary sensation when it first appeared in a series of installments between 1759 and 1767. The ribald, high-spirited book prompted Diderot to hail Sterne as 'the English Rabelais.' An ingeniously structured novel (about writing a novel) that fascinates like a verbal game of chess, Tristram Shandy is both a joyful celebration of the infinite pos ...more
Hardcover, 832 pages
Published February 10th 1995 by Modern Library (first published 1941)
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Dec 14, 2011 Judy is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
The physical book disintegrated, so we got the electronic version. The narrative is rambling, the several speakers hard to tease out, the punctuation a chore to modern readers. Sterne uses and mocks various methods of discourse in propelling his narrator's tale, with many side trips. There are jokes, word play, address to the reader(s), and asides. At the moment half the book is read, and the narrator has not actually appeared in the story, other than by inference regarding construction of an ap ...more
Lee Ann
I don't know what to make of this one. It's all over the place. It's less a novel than one long parlor joke. “Where was I wounded, madam?” It's more humorous than funny. It's slow and pretty weird. Would leisurely be a better word? The humor is mostly farce. It was undoubtedly daring and rather fresh at the time but is now a bit stale. I find most classics are like that. Tristram himself is more of a foil for the real stars of the novel, Uncle Toby and Trim. The monologue in defense of Toby's Ho ...more
Way ahead of it's time. Especially loved chapter 19 of the last book, which basically is a blank page ; ).
Christopher Miller
Jul 23, 2009 Christopher Miller rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: only to English novel specialists
Recommended to Christopher by: required for course in English novel
This book nearly drove me crazy when I read it in college back in the mid-60's. I have a love-hate realtionship with it. Considering that Sterne used the device of stream-of-consciousness narration a couple of hundred years before it was invented, it's pretty amazing. Compare his technique with Virginia Woolf's "Orlando" and you'll be surprised how "comtemporary" it is, despite the archaic style of language. Not an easy read, however.
If you want to read something form thjis period that is more a
One of the best books ever written. A diatribe on life.
I really like the concept of this: a fake autobiography in which the titular character is only "onstage" for about 40 pages. The whole story is about the detours and tangents. There were some hilarious moments, but I found myself growing impatient with some of the characters' antics.
May 02, 2012 John added it
I'm just getting started on the 1940 version, edited by James A Work. This is a really complete study edition with cool essays and background on Sterne, the 18th C and the book. I'm getting a pretty good feel with this edition, glad I happened on to it.
I don't care what you've read. You can't call yourself a literary snob until you've conquered this beast. (By the way, the movie that recently was made of this is surprisingly worth it. But don't watch it until you've read the book!!!)
Lon Michael
Most awful part of my required reading as an English major. Really not worth your time unless you want to somehow brag about having read it.
Jul 14, 2008 Ruth added it
Not ashamed to admit that I didn't understand this one. At all. Wonder if I would understand it better if I read it now.
Karen Hogan
I have to be in the right mood to read the flowery, long-winded writing from the 1700's, but I couldnt do it this time.
A post-modern novel (one whole page is black) in the 18th century.
Jul 06, 2009 Andrew marked it as to-read
Two books I very much want to read in the same volume? I'm there!
Language is a bit hard to get into, but it's altogether awesome.
using the word "read" loosely here.
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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.
See also
More about Laurence Sterne...
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman A Sentimental Journey A Sentimental Journey and Other Writings A Sentimental Journey with the Journal to Eliza and a Political Romance The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy -Vol I

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