In one of the first novels in the English language, we follow the picaresque adventures of Joseph Andrews, a virtuous young man who is keen to maintain his innocence despite being coerced by nearly every woman he encounters.
The episodic journey sees him travel home to London with his tutor, Parson Adams, as he heads to find his sweetheart, Fanny. Much mayhem ensues along the way as they become embroiled in a series of escapades and slapstick brawls.
Fielding is an expert satirist, and through the many twists and turns of narration he combines high and low literature and high and low humor to create a wittily funny novel that he aptly named a "comic epic poem in prose".
Public Domain (P)2015 Naxos AudioBooks
Henry Fielding is a delight, and John Telfer's narration hits just the right tone, for the narrative as a whole and for each of the characters: the likeable and virtuous Joseph, the well-meaning but bumbling Parson Adams, and the malicious pair Lady Booby and Mistress Slipslop. It resembles Tom Jones in that the story is loosely built on the frame of a journey to London: many interesting characters are met along the way, and some of them, as in Don Quixote, tell their own stories in charming digressions. The tone is light, the characters engaging, and the ending a happy one. I smiled throughout and laughed out loud more than once.
I love this book. We do not wear nightcaps, but we have the same follies as characters in this book. Published in 1742, it is about us. The reader is excellent.
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