Harrison Wein's Reviews > The Monk

The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis
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really liked it

I'd read about how influential The Monk was and was curious to read it myself. It was scandalous in its day, and Lewis was forced to put out a censored version. According to the introduction, there were actually four different versions released over the years. This is really one of the most outrageous books I've ever read. That's an amazing thing to say about something that came out in 1796.

It's best not to know too much about the plot before coming into this. It's a classic Gothic novel, with crazy atmospherics and convoluted stories within stories. The central plot is about the corruption of a celibate monk by evil forces. Along the way, there are ghosts, a cross-dressing monk, seriously evil nuns, and more. I found myself laughing at how outrageous it all was and thoroughly enjoying every minute.

If you're a devout person, you'll likely find this book offensive. The characters are also not exactly fully fleshed out. But it's a fun, quick, and easy read. If you're looking for a classic that pushes the boundaries, this is about as good as you can get.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 12, 2019 – Finished Reading
May 28, 2019 – Shelved

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