Rachel Brand's Reviews > The Expedition of Humphry Clinker

The Expedition of Humphry Clinker by Tobias Smollett
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's review
Apr 03, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: en3161, classics, own, 2012
Read from February 26 to April 03, 2012 — I own a copy

Read for:
EN3161: The Development of the Novel to 1840, 2012

I enjoyed this book initially, but ultimately I ended up getting rather frustrated with all the tangents that the book went off to, particularly the pages and pages devoted to detailing the way that people lived in certain parts of Britain. The parts about Scotland were interesting, particularly in comparison to Johnson's accounts from around the same time, but were tedious at times. I think that if the plots about Tabitha, Libby and Clinker himself had been expanded, and if Jery had been given more personality, this book could have been a lot more enjoyable. All of the characters had some real potential at the start of the novel and quite defined personalities, but they lost them as the novel spent more time dwelling on tangential details about the places and people the family visited in their journeys. Definitely more of a travelogue and social commentary than a novel. I'm not sure if this is representative of Smollett's work, but I would consider reading more of his novels if they were, well, more novel-like! I would have rated this novel higher if there had been more character development and more of a plot, so as it is I'm giving it 3 out of 5 stars.

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Reading Progress

02/26/2012 page 8
2.0% "I still haven't finished Joseph Andrews but I need to have read this by Thursday so I'm skipping forward to this book instead. Plus, Joseph Andrews was boring me to sleep."
04/03/2012 page 314
84.0% "So close to finishing this, finally!"
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