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The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
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Past Group Reads > Tom Jones by Henry Fielding (Book 1-3)

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message 1: by Jamie (last edited Nov 16, 2011 12:11AM) (new) - added it

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 738 comments Mod
This is for the discussion of Tom Jones by Henry Fielding (Book 1-3).

Tom Jones


Gitte - Bookworm's Closet (gittetofte) I'll probably start reading this one in December - looking forward to the discussion!


Sadie | 16 comments I read this one a few years back and liked it. I may get it on audio, just to refresh my memories.


message 4: by Ryan (new)

Ryan (rcs9182) | 25 comments I'm not too far into this yet, but I am enjoying it, despite the LENGTHY foot notes. I am a little taken with how involved the narrator is with his story and how he's already managed to establish himself as a trustworthy narrator. While narrating part of the story he has already disclosed how he is "unaware" of certain actions of certain characters. Why create this rifts? Certainly he has the authority to fill them in? Why not just do it? I'm not complaining, just curious.


LeeAnn *the crazy, hell on wheels crip* (winniesgal2000) | 6 comments i'm doing the audio - on part 9 book 3, chapter 4-6 now. thats how they have the sections set up on free audio book app
it's a total of 67 parts and 71.5 hours!


message 6: by Jamie (last edited Nov 09, 2011 01:47AM) (new) - added it

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 738 comments Mod
I need to start! To make it easier I may add more folders to break up the book. If we need more than 2 months we can hold off on the next book. I will try and start tomorrow!


Silver Ryan wrote: "I'm not too far into this yet, but I am enjoying it, despite the LENGTHY foot notes. I am a little taken with how involved the narrator is with his story and how he's already managed to establish ..."

I think the reason why he creates the rifts is becasue he does want this to be a "history" and in any true history there will of course be things which the author of the history cannot absolutely know.

If he did take the approach of being the omniscient narrator I think it would make it a less authentic history.

Perhaps in this case we should not make the assumption that the narrating voice is one and the same with the author. But perhaps we should see the narrator as being like another character who was planted by the author to tell us this story, rather than viewing the narrator as being the author himself dictating the story to us first hand.


message 9: by Jamie (new) - added it

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 738 comments Mod
I just started reading this but I feel like the narrator may try to take over the book haha.


Courtny | 16 comments I just started reading as well. And I am loving this narrator. I'm afraid I will eventually find the narrator to be an unwelcome distraction, but in the beginning of the novel I'm enjoying the entertainment value added by the narrator as the plot gets moving along and I get introduced to the characters.


message 11: by Trisha (new) - added it

Trisha I hope it's not too late to join in on this read! I just unburied my copy from my bookshelf, so I'm hoping to jump right in :-)


message 12: by Jamie (new) - added it

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 738 comments Mod
Not too late at all!


LeeAnn *the crazy, hell on wheels crip* (winniesgal2000) | 6 comments i finished it finally! liked it a lot. wont comment any more until it's time - after end of challenge


message 14: by Trisha (new) - added it

Trisha Haha! That is funny, because I am just starting it :-)


message 15: by Trisha (new) - added it

Trisha Finished this part and I really loved it! It had a lot of humor and was very entertaining, definitely not what I was expecting. I will shamelessly admit that I ignored most of the footnotes. I found them to be tiresome, usually unnecessary, and a gigantic distraction from the story.

I have been viewing the "narrator" as more of a character in the story, rather than as an author, but I do commend Fielding for his ability to really bring the characters to life in an endearing and humorous way. I certainly didn't like the Captain, but I did snicker at the irony of what happened with him.

I am definitely looking forward to reading more of this novel!


message 16: by Trisha (new) - added it

Trisha Did anyone else notice that random words were capitalized in the middle of sentences, or is it just my edition?


message 17: by Sadie (last edited Dec 01, 2011 01:27PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sadie | 16 comments I enjoyed this novel, but I tired of the chapters of social commentary and explanations to the reader. I'm not a big fan of reading books that constantly address the reader. It's not as easy for me to immerse myself when I'm constantly reminded that I'm just reading. I ended up skipping those chapters altogether not too long after starting the book. I will have to reread with the narrator in, and see if it makes a difference. I just felt it interrupted the story too much and it flowed much better for me once I stopped reading the narrator's chapters.


Silver I have mixed feelings about books which address the reader, at first it did not bother me so much in this one, but the more the story progresses the more intrusive the narrator seems to become and at moments he seems to diverge completely from the story itself.


Courtny | 16 comments I like it when a narrator addresses the reader, as long as it is done smoothly, on topic, and for a purpose. The narrator in Tom Jones doesn't seem to agree with my preferences. :-)

Maybe all these personal beliefs he is inserting will have a purpose by the end of the novel, but I'm not counting on it. I want to like the narrator, but then he goes off on another tangent and annoys me.


Sadie | 16 comments Luv2read wrote: "I like it when a narrator addresses the reader, as long as it is done smoothly, on topic, and for a purpose. The narrator in Tom Jones doesn't seem to agree with my preferences. :-)

Maybe all th..."


I agree. I have read books where the reader is addressed and it works, it just didn't work for me in this one.


Courtny | 16 comments I agree Sadie. This narrator is far too obtrusive. Really, what's the point?


message 22: by Jamie (last edited Dec 02, 2011 04:56PM) (new) - added it

Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 738 comments Mod
On one website is says "The novel mixes slapstick comedy with farce, and it's also a satire of the England of Henry Fielding's time"

I think some of the things he says are meant to be funny and sarcastic. Many things he says may have a double meaning so try to look at his words from different points of view. I will be focusing on the book soon! Things have been busy for me.


Gitte - Bookworm's Closet (gittetofte) Luv2read wrote: "I agree Sadie. This narrator is far too obtrusive. Really, what's the point?"

I feel the same way! I'm very annoyed with the narrator. He just keeps rambling on and on! I want to read about the characters and their stories, not the narrator's thoughts on this and that.

I'm on page 76 and I'm actually wondering if I should stop reading... I'm just not enjoying it...

So frustrating! I was really looking forward to this.


MjerrieT | 4 comments I to started reading this story as well; this read is different from what I've read so far. There is a lot of jumping around with the characters as it progresses.


Sadie | 16 comments Gitte, just do what I did the first time around. I finally skipped the chapters with the narrator and the story went much smoother and more enjoyable for me. Don't stop reading because it really is a fun and good story, there are some good twists coming, just skip the narrator


message 26: by Trisha (new) - added it

Trisha I actually didn't mind the narrator at all, in fact, I kind of liked it. I have read classics where the narrator describes and describes....and describes, but I felt like this narrator kept it amusing and kept the story moving. So far I am really enjoying it. Definitely alot more humor than some of the Russian lit that I've read!


Gitte - Bookworm's Closet (gittetofte) Sadie wrote: "Gitte, just do what I did the first time around. I finally skipped the chapters with the narrator and the story went much smoother and more enjoyable for me. Don't stop reading because it really i..."

I might try that, Sadie!


message 28: by Ryan (new)

Ryan (rcs9182) | 25 comments Does anyone else find the women in the novel terribly self-destructive?


Silver One of the things which I found interesting is that it seems to me often, those characters who are the most religious are also seen as the most self-serving, malicious, evil-minded while those whom are viewed as being of looser morals are also in many ways more Noble hearted, good-natured, and compassionate.

Also in the early part of the book Tom Jones reminded me of Tom Sawyer in a lot of ways, as while both tended toward mischief, at heart seems to genuinely mean well, and when the result of thier actions causes others pain show sings of deeply regretting it and wishing to make amends.


Jessie (jrwirts) | 4 comments I'm in the 2nd book and I'm really enjoying it. The narrator is hilarious. I've never read something quite like this before. I love how the narrator is weaving all these crazy stories together.

I'd classify this as a "tragicomedy" from what I've read so far.

Ryan: Yes, the women, so far, are terribly self-destructive and seem intent on destroying other people's lives, too.


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