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The Monk (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Matthew Lewis , Emma McEvoy
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

17 April 2008 Oxford World's Classics
'The Monk was so highly popular that it seemed to create an epoch in our literature', wrote Sir Walter Scott. Set in the sinister monastery of the Capuchins in Madrid, The Monk is a violent tale of ambition, murder, and incest. The great struggle between maintaining monastic vows and fulfilling personal ambitions leads its main character, the monk Ambrosio, to temptation and the breaking of his vows, then to sexual obsession and rape, and finally to murder in order to conceal his guilt. Inspired by German horror romanticism and the work of Ann Radcliffe, Lewis produced his masterpiece at the age of nineteen. It contains many typical Gothic elements - seduction in a monastery, lustful monks, evil Abbesses, bandits and beautiful heroines. But, as the Introduction to this new edition shows, Lewis also played with convention, ranging from gruesome realism to social comedy, and even parodied the genre in which he was writing. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New Ed. / edition (17 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019953568X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199535682
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 13 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'The Monk was so highly popular that it seemed to create an epoch in our literature.' Sir Walter Scott.

About the Author

Emma McEvoy is a Lecturer at Goldsmith's College.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
SCARCELY HAD THE Abbey-Bell tolled for five minutes, and already was the Church of the Capuchins* thronged with Auditors. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Monk 13 April 2010
By Tom
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I stumbled across this book via Amazon's financially lethal `recommendations'. As a 27 year old bloke I was slightly seduced by the sordid plot description, but also by the fact that I like to read things that are slightly off beat but known of (if that makes sense); the Walter Scott "epoch in our literature" quote did a lot to secure my purchase.

The book is pitched as a gothic horror by some but it comes nowhere near the likes of Dracula and Frankenstein in terms of its requirements for the reader to dispel a grasp on reality. Whilst there are elements of the `supernatural' they do not dominate the book and prove more allegorical to the characters motivations and feelings than anything else.

The atmosphere of the book I found very `close', almost claustrophobic at times; it is primarily set in Madrid and unsurprisingly is predominantly focused around a monastery. There is a broad cast of characters but I did feel they were, at times, distant from the reader; Lewis does not foster the character development of many classic authors and this did lead me to feel slightly detached from their respective endings and the conclusion to the various plots. In this vain it does take a while for the book to get going (I started to get really involved after 260 pages), but in this time the characters (barring what I said above) do develop and do become enticingly intertwined, leading you through to an exciting conclusion. I think my main gripe was that I wasn't quite sure where the 260 pages went, I've felt more attached to characters in other books after a couple of pages: this could however be as a result of the age of the book and perhaps a feeling that the characterisations are now a little dated.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I have just finished reading this book and it truly arrested my attention. This is not your typical love story. This is gothic at its greatest. One thing I loved about the book is that there are about 4 (if not more) different romantic plots within the book which at the end of the book is beautifully interwoven.There is Raymond and Agnes, Lorenzo and Antonia (Later with Virginia), The Monk and Matilda, then The Monk and Antonia. If you understand how to read and understand classics then this is definately a must read. The first chapter might be a little confusing and the poems were a little unnecessary but stick with it and I promise that you will not be disappointed. The monk proved how pride can just as well be a sin. This novel touches all areas like pride, lust, sexual obsession, murder, rape, incest, magic, sorcery, demons, adventures with dangers (i.e armed robbers) etc,. I love this novel and if you enjoy classics, then this should not be missing from your collection
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghastly 12 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback
This book really transports the reader into the heart of darkness. The scenes of Agnes sufferings in the tomb are truly horrific and unforgettable. Were they to be portrayed accurately in a film version of the book, I think some people might be forced to leave the cinema. Great stuff.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Gem of Horror 4 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback
I have read horror books, but there are too few that I consider outstanding. What is even worse is that modern horror tends to depict too much blood and gore with poor story telling.

That is why I started to search for classical horror. To my surprise this book really entertained me. What is more surprising is that this was first published in 1796.
A book that depicts murder, sex and pacts with the devil. With a sinister monastery as background and its dark atmosphere.

I'm very satisfied to have found and bought this book. I totally recommend it and I consider it a Classic Gem of Horror.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plain awesome 16 Nov 2011
By Pius
Format:Paperback
Written by Matthew Lewis during a short period of ten short weeks when he was just nineteen, "The Monk" proved to be a controversial novel at the time that it was written. Faith, deception, loyalty, sorcery, murder, Satanism, incest, rape, ghosts, and the inquisition gave the novel the popularity it has retained until today. Even though its plot made the novel controversial when it was published in 1796 to the point where it as held to be blasphemous and resulted to censorship, Lewis nevertheless gained in popularity.

The story is basically about Ambrosio, who as an enfant was found at the doors of the abbey, stirring talks that he was a divine-sent child. He grew up to become an ostensibly pious and deeply revered Abbot of the Capuchin monastery in Madrid, a fit in holiness that aroused the resentment of the devil who decides to plot his fall. The devil plotted the fall through the working of a young female who disguised and became a novice under the tutelage of Ambrioso, the immaculate monk. Ambrioso's fall is plotted through out the later stages of the novel as his fight with the deep passions of his body, the machinations of the devil and his attempts at redemption. Anti-Catholic in nature, this Gothic classic is perhaps the best in its genre. I am certain the author enjoyed every moment while he was writing it because the story flowed all the way through to the end. Like Disciples of Fortune, The Monk is a recommended classic.
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