Bill Kerwin's Reviews > The Unfortunate Traveler

The Unfortunate Traveler by Thomas Nashe
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's review
Dec 13, 13

bookshelves: 16th-17th-c-brit, proto-novels, picaresque
Read from September 26 to October 10, 2011

This is an odd book, extremely loose in construction, and surely not a novel in any formal sense of the word. It begins as a collection of prankish anecdotes, shifts into a picaresque account of continental travel, studded with casual satire and stylistic parodies, and ends as a grim Italianate narrative fraught with rape, murder and revenge.

But the style, oh the style! Nash is a master of English prose--the sort of rambling, periodic prose, discursive and musical, that expired with the eighteenth century. The book is often difficult to read (the vocabulary is at time obscure and daunting), but the stylistic beauties of Nashe's prose make the journey worthwhile.

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