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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The old ones are the best
A funny if tough read. A far cry from such 'Thin' literature that proliferates these days. Stick with it and be rewarded.
Published 20 months ago by Leonard K

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3.0 out of 5 stars A Hotchpotch Hobby Horse
Famously digressive, fanciful and, at times, infuriatingly convoluted in its train of thought, 'The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy' is certainly one of a kind.

Largely, I would say, a comic novel with a good smattering of sentimentality which, admittedly, can pall a little at times. Yet it is very good-natured, the characters sympathetic (Uncle Toby...
Published 4 months ago by Woolco


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The old ones are the best, 8 Mar 2013
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A funny if tough read. A far cry from such 'Thin' literature that proliferates these days. Stick with it and be rewarded.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Hotchpotch Hobby Horse, 14 July 2014
This review is from: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
Famously digressive, fanciful and, at times, infuriatingly convoluted in its train of thought, 'The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy' is certainly one of a kind.

Largely, I would say, a comic novel with a good smattering of sentimentality which, admittedly, can pall a little at times. Yet it is very good-natured, the characters sympathetic (Uncle Toby positively a comfort!), and much of the observations of human behaviour highly perspicacious and often amusing. I understand that Sterne was inspired by Cervantes' 'Don Quixote' and it's true that Walter Shandy (Tristram's father) and Uncle Toby's friendship bears some resemblance to that of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in a way, though located in a totally alien era and setting. For me though, the novel lacks the cohesion and emotional charge of 'Don Quixote'.

And it did rather fizzle out. I found the later volumes following the drama of Tristram's eventual birth, scant and hotchpotch by comparison. Apart from a brief misadventure with a window sash in his formative years, Tristram's development is largely overlooked. Then suddenly we are whisking through France, with a mature Tristram, on a whistle-stop, disconnected adventure - the novel loses touch with its heart and soul. Diversionary and tangential it may be, but whilst anchored in the curious and touching relationship of Walter and Uncle Toby (in the earlier volumes) the digressions always seem relevant, reflecting aspects of the two protagonists. In essence, Tristram is chiefly a narrator to begin with - yes, a rather intrusive one, but a narrator all the same. Later on, it's as if our narrator has ditched his original story (which actually is not a record of his own life and opinions but those of his father and uncle) and finally embarked on his own memoir, in a jarring sort of epilogue.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Suspend your expectations before entering, 3 Nov 2014
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This review is from: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
What Joyce was trying to achieve when he wrote Ulysses one hundred and sixty years later.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A classic ramble, 23 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
Whilst a classic, this book covets that title due to its failing - it is a long ramble by a man who is not the most likeable literary character. It is not until the second section of the book that the narrator is born, having given such rambling detail to his conception and pre-birth. Yet that was the intention of the book and what made it a classic, a revolt against the then established dictates of fiction. It is my guess though that whoever is looking at this book is doing so as they have been forced to by either a university tutor or a list made by someone who has placed it on the list without actually picking it up.
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