Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Leben und Ansichten von Tristram Shandy, Gentleman” as Want to Read:
Leben und Ansichten von Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Leben und Ansichten von Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  15,957 Ratings  ·  940 Reviews
Laurence Sterne's great masterpiece of bawdy humour and rich satire defies any attempt to categorize it. Part novel, part digression, its gloriously disordered narrative interweaves the birth and life of the unfortunate "hero" Tristram Shandy, the eccentric philosophy of his father Walter, the amours and military obsessions of Uncle Toby, and a host of other characters, in ...more
Hardcover, 852 pages
Published 2006 by Eichborn (first published 1767)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Before I start my review of this delightful classic, I have to tell you a short anecdote from my teaching life. But don’t worry, it is not really a digression at all, as it is leading directly to the essence of this novel. It actually has more relevance for Tristram Shandy than many of the anecdotes Tristram himself tells in his story. If it is a digression, (which I formally dispute, partly because you can’t really digress before you have begun, and partly because it is crucial for the review’s ...more
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 because the Life and so
Paul Bryant
Sep 27, 2007 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
Dec 26, 2013 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
Ian "Marvin" Grayejoy

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
The name of this review in its saved document is “Review Tristram Shandy NEEDS A FULLER REVIEW”. Hence this fuller review, dashed off in a few minutes, or tens or twenties or thirties of minutes. Which of course reminds us, as Montaigne once wrote, “The hour of parleying is dangerous.” But given that truth, what am I to say about my own parleying with Sterne, if it goes on beyond an hour? or achieves its end in less than an hour? By whom would this danger be faced? By I the writer? Or by you the ...more
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Hindsight is a beaut! I should have written separate reviews for each of the original nine Shandy volumes, since I just spend about two days just trying to put some order into my multitudinous notes and now I have enough material and food for thought for at least nine reviews. This book is a glorious, licentious, philosophical mess designed right from the start in a labyrinthine manner by one of the brightest and sharpest wits of our literary pantheon. I thought, when I first noticed the glowing ...more
Evripidis Gousiaris
Πρώτα από όλα… Θα σας παρακαλούσα να επισκεφθείτε την σελίδα του συγγραφέα, εδώ στο Goodreads, προκειμένου να δείτε το πορτραίτο του. Παρατηρήστε το πρόσωπο του και στην συνέχεια φανταστείτε τον να γράφει ολόκληρο το βιβλίο με αυτό ακριβώς το βλέμμα.

Αυτήν η ίσως παιχνιδιάρικη ματιά, το μάλλον πονηρό του χαμόγελο και γενικότερα το ύφος του, μεταφέρεται και μετατρέπεται στο ύφος του βιβλίου.

Γραμμένο τον 18ο αιώνα, το βιβλίο όπως μας αναφέρει ο ίδιος ο συγγραφέας στην εισαγωγή του έχει έναν και μ
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
Jul 26, 2014 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
David Lentz
Jun 11, 2011 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
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wittgenstein once noted that you could profitably write an entire work of philosophy that is comprised entirely of jokes. I wonder if he got the idea from Tristram Shandy (since he said it was one of his favourite books), because this is exactly what Sterne has done here. Because he has chosen humor as his medium, Sterne, like Shakespeare's tragically prophetic and misunderstood jester Yorick (who seems to be chosen by Sterne as his emblem, since he figures not just here but also in his A Sentim ...more
Mar 27, 2012 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
Apr 07, 2008 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
Melissa Rudder
Jan 24, 2008 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
Maddie (Heart Full Of Books)
I can't believe I actually finished this.
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
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
Nov 19, 2011 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 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, fiction
পাককা দেড়টা মাস লেগে গেলো এই বইয়ের শরাদধ করতে।
তবে, বই নিয়ে কথা পরে। আগে আলাপ পাড়ি।

ঐদিন শেকসপীয়ারবাবুর মযাকবেথ হাতে লইলাম, উলটেপালটে দেখি, পড়া যেতে পারে, ইতংবিত। তেসরা পাতায় দেখি এক সৈনিক আরেকজনেরে শুধায়, আমরা পরতিপকষরে এনটারটেইন করি কী পরকারে?
ফুটনোটে লেখা, এনটারটেইন মানে পরমোদিত করা নয় এখানে, এর মানে হলো বযসত রাখা!
তা, এই যে বযাপারটা, ফুটনোট ছাড়া এ বই পড়তে দিলে কী হত বলুন ত?
ত ভাবছিলাম, একেকটা ভাষা ত বদলে গেছে এই কয় বছরে, অনুবাদ করতে চাইলে ত সেই সময়টারে জানা চাই, সেই সময়ে কোন শবদের, কোন বাকযবনধের
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: immortal
(Lightning Review)

Real review someday. In the interim, just know that this should be in close proximity to Don Quixote on your shelves. Hard to believe it was written in the 1700's, but also hard to believe it was written at all. Basically most of the stuff ya love has some roots here, you postmodernist length-lovers. Not judging, I'm a size queen myself.

Lightning review grade: Throwdown-before-Theroux-down
Jun 01, 2015 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
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
Dec 21, 2012 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
Roy Lotz
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 re
Ahmad Sharabiani
963. Tristram Shandy, Laurence Sterne
زندگانی و عقاید آقای تریسترام شندی - لارنس استرن (تجربه) ادبیات

رمانیست نوشته «لارنس استرن» در ۹ جلد. دو جلد نخست از رمان در سال ۱۷۵۹ منتشر شد، و جلدهای بعدی طی ۷ سال پی آیند به چاپ رسیدند. کتاب «داستان زندگی و عقاید» نجیبزادهای به نام «تریسترام شندی»ست. نویسنده برای نوشتن این رمان شیوهای را به کار میگیرد، که ادامه سنت «فرانسوا رابله» در داستانگویی است. داستان «تریسترام شندی» پر است از، اظهارنظرها، و عقاید راوی، که به شکلی نامنظم و پراکنده، به خواننده ارائه می
Mar 08, 2013 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Expedition of Humphry Clinker
  • Joseph Andrews
  • Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady
  • A Tale of a Tub
  • Jacques the Fatalist
  • The Man of Feeling
  • The Bottle Factory Outing
  • Julie, or the New Heloise
  • Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
  • Nightmare Abbey
  • بوستان سعدی
  • Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus
  • The Female Quixote
  • The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia
  • Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable (The Trilogy, #1-3)
  • Sybil, or the Two Nations
  • Gargantua and Pantagruel
  • The Vicar of Wakefield
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...

Share This Book

“I begin with writing the first
sentence—and trusting to Almighty
God for the second.”
“Human nature is the same in all professions.” 32 likes
More quotes…