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|Print List Price:||£2.50|
Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Tom Jones (The Penguin English Library) Kindle Edition
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|Kindle Edition, 30 Aug 2012||
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Fielding breaks the cardinal rule of novel-writing ("show, don't tell") and pulls it off magisterially. Tom is a lad with a good heart but that doesn't stop him falling into all manner of bawdy situations with a combination of gusto and innocence. As a precursor to Dickens, Fielding manages to cram in a whole social panorama, and controls his story precisely.
A great C18th classic that's also a very easy, immensely good-natured, and very funny read.
It starts wonderfully well, with a cast of memorable characters, beautifully drawn; hilarious incidents; witty asides addressed to the reader.
Unfortunately, Fielding has a taste for long philosophical dispositions, which become thoroughly boring. The only sensible thing is to skip them.
To make matters worse, when Tom and Partridge embark on their picaresque adventures, they meet the man who lives at the bottom of a hill. He tells the story of his life, which is devoid of interest, and goes on for pages.
I have left it there for now. If I ever try to finish the book, it will be by skipping and skimming.
I'm very pleased to see that so much great literature from around the world is available on the Kindle at no charge, and hope this will encourage people to read more.
Although not all scenes are bawdy, there is enough straight talking references to sex (to a degree, with the era in mind of course) that makes it stand out from most other classic novels. However, I suspect most readers are expecting the eponymous Tom to be in a great number of landlord's daughters' and other wenches beds, every five minutes, he isn't, but nor is he particularly slow in doing so at certain points in the book.
Basically, Tom Jones is presumed to be a foundling. He is left in the care of a wealthy and kindly man, only to find his kin and his household take exception to Tom's being brought up as a son / on equal terms with his actual son. Fortunately for his enemies, including said real son, Tom finds himself led through life far too often by his nether regions rather than his head; this then supplies much of the ammunition which he is then beaten with and eventually cast out, although - his enemies have magnified his faults to a far greater degree than is the reality, but this was enough to finally test the patience of his benefactor resulting in his forced removal from home and polite society.
The story rolls on, and we see a gradual change in Tom, not that he was ever a baddun at all, but his head - and heart- begin to win the battle with his trousers, and, with the aid of friends and sheer good fortune, things begin to swing more in Tom's favour.
The true tale is a really good read; but I would advise spending time looking for a seriously abridged version, one that chops all the useless guff from Fielding which mars each chapter.
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