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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love Pamela, but I also love this!
I admit that when I came into reading this story, fresh from reading Pamela, which was an enjoyable satisfying read, I was ready to be defensive in reading these stories. I very much liked Pamela's innocence, despite it's lengthiness, so with Fielding's work being a hostile satire of Pamela it wasn't going to gain my favour easily. However, I must say that I enjoyed...
Published on 5 May 2006 by Sammybrave

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3 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disgusting
I read Pamela -of which Joseph Andrews and Shamela if a parody- some years ago. I read both volumes, namely the adventures until Pamela marries her master and also what happens after theie marriage. I know most people find it boring. Although I must accept the after-marriage part was too keen to give moral advice I liked the first part. I agree with the the opinion that...
Published on 18 April 2001


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love Pamela, but I also love this!, 5 May 2006
This review is from: 'Joseph Andrews' and 'Shamela'(Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
I admit that when I came into reading this story, fresh from reading Pamela, which was an enjoyable satisfying read, I was ready to be defensive in reading these stories. I very much liked Pamela's innocence, despite it's lengthiness, so with Fielding's work being a hostile satire of Pamela it wasn't going to gain my favour easily. However, I must say that I enjoyed Joseph Andrews immensely and it's credit to Fielding for writing such a funny, engaging novel.

The book consists of two stories: Shamela, which is a direct parody of Pamela as suggested by it's title (i.e. Pamela: The "real" story), and Joseph Andrews, which is a novel, set in the same world as that of Pamela. In fact Pamela even makes an appearence in this story also, but be aware that this isn't really a flattering one, although the satire is nowhere near as strong as in Shamela.

Shamela is a very short novel (under 50 pages) that follows the structure of Pamela and re-interprets events in order to make Pamela an ambitious schemer who seduces a besotted rich husband for power and money.

This is generally very cleverly done and it includes a lot of humour ("vartue" for "virtue" for example). Shamela is a real treat for Anti-Pamelists who suspect that she isn't all she seems. However, for me this story ruined my fantasy of the youthful innocent who defies the advances of the powerful Mr B. Frankly, although I see the funny side of Shamela, I don't want to believe it. Added to this, the letters are slightly boring and preachy to read before Shamela's first letter.

Joseph Andrews follows Pamela's cousin Joseph Andrews who is a male-servant for a relative of Mr B (or Booby as he is called in Fielding's work) Mrs Booby who grows infatuated with him. Ultimately, because of this Joseph, as he is a righteous character, is forced away and embarks on a journey, alongside Parson Abraham Adams and his true love Fanny.

This adventure goes through a series of turns and events before it reaches its surprising conclusion (I kick myself still as I didn't see it coming), and is very funny from start to finish. It's one of the few books I have found laugh-out-loud funny at least. The characters in the text are all flawed, but all reassuringly human. The narrator also is very engaging, much more so than in Pamela, and you can't help but get caught up in the adventure, the humour and the hypocrisy of the book. It's light, entertaining and has many twists and turns and stories along the way.

On the negative side Fielding's narrator does tend to waffle on every so few chapters and generally this is unintersting and makes difficult reading, but Joseph Andrews is still a great story. Ultimately I would recomend this book, as I found it very entertaining and funny, but please don't hold too many preconceptions about this book, because it denies its enjoyment.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a read!, 11 Jun. 2003
By 
T. Gambrell "Brellers" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 'Joseph Andrews' and 'Shamela'(Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
Joseph Andrews. This book has it all: double entendres, hilarious scenarios, wicked clergymen, frothing squires, physical violence and lewd women. This might sound like the 18th Century equivalent of a Carry On film - but maybe that's not a bad analogy. This is apparently a harmless, humorous read. It is spirited and lively. For the more scholarly reader there is also a lot of socio/political undercurrent to the work - as the experienced reader would expect from Fielding. A book to be enjoyed by all, and one that survives multiple readings.
Shamela. This is probably best read straight after Samuel Richardson's Pamela - of which it is a famous parody. If you do, this becomes a gut-buster of a laugh. If you don't, it's still very funny. Short, to the point and devastatingly successful. There is possibly even more going on in the way of Fielding's commentary in this little work than there is in Joseph Andrews.
Tom Keymer's introduction helps the casual reader without alienating them, and is also of value to students of the novel too because it is not 'dumbed down'.
This is where 'the novel' really started.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, energetic and immensely funny., 7 Sept. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: 'Joseph Andrews' and 'Shamela'(Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
Fielding's Joseph Andrews is a joy. The picaresque adventures of Andrews and his "mentor", the redoubtable Parson Adams are tremendously engaging, and the author's explanatory inter-chapters are very amusing indeed. While Shamela, a direct parody of Richardson's characteristically tedious and sententious Pamela, is somewhat less appealing (since, alas, knowledge of Richardson's book is a prerequisite to real enjoyment), it is effective satire of a most deserving target. Because Joseph Andrews makes up the bulk of the volume, Shamela can be treated simply as a bonus. Joseph Andrews is a novel of unremitting good humour and displays frequent flashes of wisdom and insight. It is not on the scale of Tom Jones, but I found it as engaging in its own right.
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3 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disgusting, 18 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: 'Joseph Andrews' and 'Shamela'(Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
I read Pamela -of which Joseph Andrews and Shamela if a parody- some years ago. I read both volumes, namely the adventures until Pamela marries her master and also what happens after theie marriage. I know most people find it boring. Although I must accept the after-marriage part was too keen to give moral advice I liked the first part. I agree with the the opinion that Pamela tends to be hypocritical at times. But I think its main reason is the way that the story is related from her mouth: It is impossible not to seem hypocritical when you are telling how virtuos you are. One thing I didn't like about Pamela was that nobody in the world sees that girl as a free human being but because she is a maid, everybody thinks that she belongs to her master. The Housekeeper helps her master; when she goes to neighbouring aristocrats they don't help her. I find it really disgusting.
Well. If we come to Shamela... OK. There are some sides of Pamela which deserves making fun of. But to think that she, her mother and the housekeeper are prostitues, to think that she is having an affair with the parson! I think that's too much. What Fielding tries to convey is, the idea that servants cannot be virtuous. In the letter which is written by Parson Oliver, Fielding makes it open that the book Pamela encourages servants to catch their masters in their net. I think this is just a way of emphasising class difference. Also if people of that time denounce Pamela as "pornography in disguise" I wonder what they did when they read Shamela which is not even in disguise. You can find allusions to prostitution and even to male physiology in the novel.
When we come to Joseph Andrews I admit I found it a pleasurable read at the beginning. But when I came to the part where Parson Adams and Joseph travel to their parish I was disgusted to see rapers, robbers, inkeepers who do no want to take a wounded youth to their inn, lawyers who want to leave a robbed guy in a ditch to die, ladies who do not want to take him in to their coach because he is a servant, maids and housekeepers who jump on handsome servants, judges who put innocent guys to jail because the aristocrats want them to etc. etc. In short you cannot find one honourable person here. Even Joseph and Parson Adams are hypocritical.
I read Fieldings' Tom Jones years ago. I remember it as being much better than these two books
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'Joseph Andrews' and 'Shamela'(Oxford World's Classics)
'Joseph Andrews' and 'Shamela'(Oxford World's Classics) by Henry Fielding (Paperback - 8 July 1999)
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