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Tom Jones

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  26,997 Ratings  ·  765 Reviews
A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neighboring squire; tho he sometimes succumbs to the charms of the local girls. When Tom is banished to make his own fortune & Sophia follows him to London to escape an arranged m ...more
Hardcover, Lit. Heritage Collection, 460 pages
Published November 1st 1978 by Heron Bks. (first published 1749)
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Nicola Yes, she was well paid.
Chris Gage First of all remember this is widely acknowledged to be the first true novel written. It was published in 1749. In those days people talked and wrote…moreFirst of all remember this is widely acknowledged to be the first true novel written. It was published in 1749. In those days people talked and wrote in a different way compared to today. For this reason you must be very determined and very patient in order to get the most out of it. But believe me, it is truly one of the great works of fiction and worth every effort you can put into it.

I might suggest you try going "half way" to Fielding by reading the more modern early 19th century style of Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters. This would be particularly useful if English is not your native language. I particularly recommend Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

In respect of age, I would say that you are perhaps a couple of years early, but do not fear, the subject matter is ... life itself ... but does not contain any of the extremes you may find in the literature of today. In fact Fielding takes delight in describing "indelicacy" in a very delicate way. That is part of his genius.

A practical suggestion. For the first few pages, read each sentence very carefully and, if necessary, more than once, to make sure you understand exactly what the old-fashioned sentence means, and think how you would say the same sentence in 21st century English. If there is an unfamiliar word, look it up. In the mid-18th century there were many words that were in common use then, but are rarely if ever used today. There are also words which had slightly different meaning from today. Some words are spelled differently, unless you are reading a “modernized” edition.
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J.G. Keely
Oct 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to J.G. Keely by: Ama
Who reads this and laughs not at all may be forgiven only as a simpleton, and does not comprehend.

Who reads this and laughs but a little is too dour and prideful to be of much use, and only laughs when he cannot help it.

Who reads this and laughs a score is the wretched false-wit, and only laughs when it suits his crowd.

Who reads and laughs but once a chapter has a mirthful soul, if no great love for words.

Who reads and laughs at every page shall be my boon companion, and a kiss for each grinning
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

بالاخره این 809 صفحه هم تمام شد اما پایانش میارزید به تمام وقتی که سر این کتاب گذاشته ام , داستان به قدری نبض خوب و هیجان انگیزی داشت و به موقع اتفاقات و زندگی شخصیت ها بالا و پایین میرفت که دلم نمیامد به دلیل سنگینی زیاد خود کتاب ! و خستگی دست ها برای نگه داشتن این کتاب قطور ! و چشم ها برای خواندن سطر های طولانی اش , کلا بیخیالش شوم و در عوض تا انتهایش را با ولع زیادی خواندم و از آن واقعا لذت بردم و اینگونه یک ماه و نیم از تابستانم را سرش گذاشتم و پشیمان هم نیستم و جا دارد بگویم که ترجمه ی فوق
Dec 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If a crazed literature professor ever holds a gun to your head and threatens to pull the trigger if you don’t read one of two interminable, gazillion-page satirical British novels (that would be Vanity Fair of the 19th Century or Tom Jones of the 18th Century), I recommend you choose Tom Jones. Tom Jones is more original (some say it’s the first modern novel), ‘way funnier than VF, and even has a few naughty bits to make you giggle—though tame by modern standards. To read Vanity Fair, you need t ...more
Roy Lotz
Fielding being mentioned, Johnson exclaimed, ‘he was a blockhead;’ and upon my expressing astonishment at so strange an assertion, he said ‘What I mean by his being a blockhead is that he was a barren rascal.’ BOSWELL. ‘Will you not allow, Sir, that he draws very natural pictures of human life?’ JOHNSON. ‘Why, Sir, it is of very low life.’
James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson

I have been Tom Jones (a child’s Tom Jones, a harmless creature) for a week altogether.
Charles Dickens, David Copperfi
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys classics or love stories and humor
This is a wonderful book. It'll make you laugh over and over and it is written like no other book I've read in that the narrator talks to the reader throughout, but not directly. It's a long book but it never gets boring. You'll fall in love with more than one character and it is just a book not to be missed. I can also highly recommend the audiobook on Audible. Can't recall the narrator's name now, but I'll edit it in later. Just wonderful. Thanks to Fiona for being a relentless book pusher, as ...more
Mar 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hearty reading souls with tough bibliophilic skins and saintly patience
[2016's entry for my "Big-Ass Summer Read" shelf.]

Some books stand before us like mountains, daring us to cast the first hooks and lines and pierce its imposing walls with ice ax and spiked boots and ascend. Though the challenge is certainly there on the lower slopes -- there are boulders and loose gravel to stump the overconfident -- things seem genial enough, the cracks and the outcroppings give us enough to work with and there's sufficient flat ground for respite.

But Henry Fielding's The His
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Ford Maddox Ford on Tom Jones ; from The March of Literature.

“...only paralleled in nauseous prurience and hypocrisy by the introductions to chapters of Fielding’s Tom Jones.” (498)

“...has always seemed to the writer to be one of the most immoral books ever written...” (ibid)

“...if you are lousy, and I use the word on purpose, you will live like a louse and, if there is a hell, go to hell. And what other word could describe Tom Jones--the miserable parasite who was forever wreathed, whining abou
Vanessa Wu
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've seen a lot of people telling writers to build a platform. I disagree. What they should be building is a personality.

Writing experts drone on about an author's voice. They're not wrong. But your voice is just a means to express your personality.

Misled by writers of genius like T.S. Eliot and Flaubert, some authorities stress revision. They force you to focus on smoothness of style. They want you to rewrite everything until your personality completely disappears.

That's okay if you have been w
Justin Evans
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
So, I give this five stars, but, you know, not every five star book should be read by every person. If you have great patience, and are willing to admit that your tastes have been formed by the nineteenth century novel and then by certain aspects of modern literature; if you're willing to test your (my) assumption that novels are best when they're realistic or modernist; if you don't mind a bit of slap and tickle... then you should read this. If you want to judge a book based on whether its char ...more
Wowzas! What a lot of waffle!

The history of the novel is perhaps one of a decline in the use of the Authorial Voice, which was still quite prevalent in the Victorian era.


See the complete review here:

Ahmad Sharabiani
975. Tom Jones, Henry Fielding
سرگذشت تام جونز: کودک سر راهی - هنری فیلدینگ (نیلوفر) ادبیات
characters: Tom Jones, Squire Allworthy, Sophia Western

عنوان: «سرگذشت تام جونز کودک سرراهی»؛ اثر: «هنری فیلدینگ»؛ برگردان: «احمد کریمیحکاک»؛ نشر: «تهران، نیلوفر،۱۳۶۱، در چهل و ۸۰۹ ص»؛ شابک چاپ سوم: 9789644480782؛ چاپ دوم: پاییز 1368، چاپ سوم: زمستان 1377، چاپ چهارم: 1388، موضوع: داستانهای انگلیسی -- قرن ۱۸م

تام جونز، که عنوان کامل آن «سرگذشت تام جونز کودک سر راهی» است؛ در ردیف «دون کیشوت»، «تریسترام شندی»،
Apr 03, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Tom Jones is hands down the dumbest book ever written. Before reading this dreck, I had thought Pamela had that title on lockdown, but I was mistaken. I still think Pamela is horrible (all 500 pages can be summarized in two sentences: Master attempted to sexually assault me in the gazebo, o most wretched PAMELA. Master proposed marriage to unworthy PAMELA, o virtuous Master and most blesséd PAMELA.) but Tom Jones is longer - almost 1300 pages of pain - and stupid. Really, really stupid. Stupid i ...more
900 pages later, I can confirm what my friend Wales told me: this book has nothing to do with the Tom Jones who asked, "What's new, pussycat?"

Instead, it's a massive blow-up of a classic Shakespeare comedy that exactly follows the classic structure: our likable heroes are introduced; a series of miscommunications and devious acts by rivals conspire to rend them apart; you know how act V goes in these things, and you'll see it coming here as soon as you realize this book is a comedy, which if it'
Steven Greenberg
One of the earliest--and probably still the greatest of English novels, Tom Jones is still a delight to read and savor after 250 years. Richardson's film, which captures the world of 1750 England with extraordinary fidelity, is still a must--and one of the greatest movies of all time, by the way. But the book itself! I read it first in a lit class in my pre-med undergrad days--and I was astounded! Astounded that this fellow Fielding was chatting with me wittily and poignantly through the centuri ...more
Virginia M.
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite, inglesi
Tecnicamente l'avevo finito l'anno scorso, ma Internet mi aveva abbandonato.

Questo libro è uno dei libri più belli che abbia mai letto nella mia vita.
Non sono una persona che assegna 5 stelline facilemente, nè viene sorpresa altrettanto facilmente. Henry Fielding ha uno stile ricercato, ma allo stesso tempo chiaro. Sebbene sia un gran tomo, non mi ha mai annoiato; forse grazie alla suddivisione in più libri, che fornivano dei capitoli introduttivi metaletterari (penso).
Forse per i personaggi chi
Sep 12, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A very long romp of a story. Tom Jones, a foundling, is an engaging fellow, particularly with the ladies. He is not however generally accepted in genteel circles where his bastardy and lack of property is a severe social impairment.

It is on the whole pretty readable although much too long in my opinion. Its great attraction for me is in what it reveals to me of 18th century English life at all levels, particularly rural society. It contrasted more favourably for me with the rigidity of Victorian
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

The audio version can be found at LibriVox.

Book X - Chapter i:
Reader, it is impossible we should know what sort of person thou wilt be; for, perhaps, thou may'st be as learned in human nature as Shakespear himself was, and, perhaps, thou may'st be no wiser than some of his editors. Now, lest this latter should be the case, we think proper, before we go any farther together, to give thee a few wholesome admonitions; that thou may'st not as grossly misu
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoy reading this book (as a side read from The Novel: A Biography)

It's a long read (more than 900 pages), but I found it quite easy to read it. I didn't get bored at all. It didn't feel as if I was reading a book that was more than 200 years old.

The thing I like most about the book is its structure. It's divided into 18 smallish books, each of which is divided into chapters. The first chapter of each book is the narrator talking to the reader. I really enjoyed the feeling that the
Apr 08, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Destestable. Just tedium punctuated with banalities. The hero's a guilded void. And the heroine is praised for never attempting opinions or wit. *aspires*
Fielding belittles other writers whilst citing critics as worse than murderers.

*shakes fist at hypocrisy*

Plus, it's supposed to be socially subversive but the hero is revealed as an heir.

My copy only escaped the cleansing flames cos I'd been indoctrinated with carbon footprint consciousness.

*refrains from underwear-throwing*
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Right. So we watched this -- BBC ; 1997 ; five hours. Definitely not the BBC’s finest moment. That tendency toward a literalistic adaptation/translation fails more than it succeeds. They seem to have done well with Brideshead, but you can’t really fail with Jeremy Irons playing your narrative ear. Bleak House really was fantastic. Best thing really in this Tom Jones is quite predictably the thing they did with the pre-chapter essays Fielding wrote ; they threw in a narrator character. How else t ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
I'm throwing in the towel on this one, after 200+ pages and dreading to pick it up once more. What I noticed immediately is his apparent influence on my beloved Anthony Trollope. Mr. Thwackum was introduced with his giving a thrashing to Tommy Jones. Trollope has many minor characters who are named because of their personalities. Fielding uses authorial intrusion, speaking directly to the reader away from his story. Trollope does this in a way I like.

And so, you'd think this might have been wri
Jan 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll give this line to Cecilia from Atonement: "Give me Fielding any day. Much more passionate."

This book is hilariously funny, riotous, chaotic, rip-roaring... and all those old fashioned adjectives for a damn good time. You know what, read this /and/ see the movie- its much more joyous if you've read it first, I think, but either way will do. It might take you a little to get into the lingo, but after that, it should be pretty smooth (and fun!) sailing.
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those thousand page books I had three days to read before moving on to the next masterpiece when I was an undergraduate English major. I remembered almost nothing about it, except for scraps from my professor's lecture, when my hunt for copyright-free classics for my e-book reader led me here. It was the first English-language novel, as we define them today, or one of the first, my professor told us. I'm pretty sure I also read a John Irving book once in which a main character ta ...more
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review in few words:
A brilliant (genius!) book. I think what placed this book above a number of others (in my eyes, at least) are not only the poignant essays at the beginning of each book/chapter, but also the keenness and delicacy in the narration that Henry Fielding uses to take me, the reader, into the topsy-turvy life of the most unfortunate (?) Tom Jones.

Other details I enjoyed/noticed about the book:
- Tom Jones is a simple, handsome, seemingly perfect young fellow with one glaring defect
هل أبدأ مراجعتي بالحديث عن الإبتسامة التي تعلو وجهي منذ أن انتهيت من الرواية؟ أم هل أكتفي بالحديث عن ظرف الرواية وامتاعها لي؟

من الذي لا يحب توم جونس?

الحق يقال أن توم جونس هو شخص لطيف جدا ... يمتلك من الوسامة والشهامة وطيبة القلب ما يجعله محبوبا فعلا، ولا أعلم إن كان يمتلك من المكر والدهاء ما يمكنه من خداع محبوبته أم أن طيبة قلبه هي ما توقعه في مشاكل عاطفية -لو كنت من محبوبته ما كنت سامحته عليها :)- أم أنها بالفعل كانت تصدقه

ليس هذا فحسب، فبخلاف مشاكله العاطفية فإن توم يقع في مشاكل ومكائد بسبب
I read a lot of historical romances and this book is actually very similar. Yes, it's a simple boy meets girl, boy loses girl, etc. But it's also funny, generous, perceptive of human nature, and excellent for showing the facets of hypocrisy people are capable of. It's a little epic coming of age journey with laughs as our hero goes through the wringer, some of it's his fault, and some just bad luck.

It's a credit to the author that a book written in the 1700's is easy to relate to almost 300 year
Aug 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Insomniatic lexophiles
Shelves: read-2012, classics, dnf
I just can't do it. Not for the sake of my on-line book club (who have finished it long ago), not for my own paranoia about missing something important, not for my strange compulsion to never leave a book unfinished. I have to draw the line somewhere, and I draw it at Henry Fielding's feet. I've left Tom Jones on my "currently-reading" shelf for months, thinking guilt could inspire me through the remaining 600+ pages, but the very thought of picking it up again drains the joy from my reading tim ...more
W.D. Clarke
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fat-bastards
I started this months ago, and put it aside for a spell, but really fell into it over the past month or so. I need to revisit the somewhat theoretical opening chapters of each of the "books", though, as in them Fielding has much of interest to say to both writers and critics. Anyhow, I loved the cadences of HF's sentences, and most of all the narrative voice -- at once knowing, urbane, and worldly-wise yet at times sentimental as well. Also I appreciated the view it gave me of the 18C "law of th ...more
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this! Such a fun adventure. Tons of humor! I swear I read with a smile on my face practically every time I picked this up and laughed out loud regularly. Some of the funniest characters I think I've ever encountered. A pure delight from start to finish. I listened to the audio as I read and can't recommend it highly enough. Kenneth Danzinger does the narration and absolutely knocks it out the park. May very well be the best audio performance I've listened to. Truly good stuff!
Oh, to have lived in Fielding’s time when instead of tirelessly talking about sex they just had it…all the time. Clergy jumping into the bushes with the scullery maids, casual encounters between not so weary travelers, whatever couplings you can imagine they are probably included in this 1034 page bawdy romp. Because apparently in 18th c England without the distractions of the Internet and video games there was a lot more time for sport f*cking. Ah, the nakedness, the intrigue, the machinations, ...more
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LIW Nook: Tom Jones - not the musician. 11 14 May 31, 2016 03:32AM  
Around the World ...: Discussion for The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling 4 45 Sep 23, 2014 08:46PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Alternative cover 4 14 Jul 25, 2014 01:40PM  
All About Books: Week 5 - Tom Jones by Henry Fielding 20 28 Oct 24, 2013 06:46AM  
18th Century Enth...: Tom Jones by Henry Fielding 1 10 Oct 19, 2012 05:10AM  
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Henry Fielding was born in Somerset in 1707. The son of an army lieutenant and a judge's daughter, he was educated at Eton School and the University of Leiden before returning to England where he wrote a series of farces, operas and light comedies.

Fielding formed his own company and was running the Little Theatre, Haymarket, when one of his satirical plays began to upset the government. The passin
More about Henry Fielding...

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“No one hath seen beauty in its highest lustre who hath never seen it in distress.” 64 likes
“For I hope my Friends will pardon me, when I declare, I know none of them without a Fault; and I should be sorry if I could imagine, I had any Friend who could not see mine. Forgiveness, of this Kind, we give and demand in Turn.” 36 likes
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