Laurence Sterne's beloved comic novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, is the "biography" of Tristram Shandy - a wonderfully humorous and eccentric narrator who guides the listener from his conception to his birth and on to his life as an adult. The twists and turns of Tristram's life expose him to such memorable characters as Uncle Toby, Corporal Trim, Parson Yorick, Dr. Slop, and the Widow Wadman - whose own stories enrich the central narrative of Tristram's life.
Published in nine separate volumes from 1759 to 1767, Tristram Shandy is recognized today as one of the first modern novels in English literature.
Public Domain (P)2016 Recorded Books
This is regarded by many people who study literature as one of the great books of humanity. So it's ridiculous for me to review it here. But I honestly understood very little of this book. Keep in mind that I loved Moby Dick, Middlemarch, To the Lighthouse, Don Quixote, Crime and Punishment etc. But this book was mostly beyond my comprehension. There is not really a story. Just an incredible compilation of digressions. It's incredibly self-referential and self-aware. The author talks directly about why he has written what he has written and plays with the medium in very modern ways. The constant allusions to classical literature were largely beyond me as was most of the book. I wanted to love it, but just couldn't.
The narrator seemed quite good to me. I don't think his performance had anything to do with my problems. Without hearing a better performance it's hard for me to imagine what else he could have done. He was incredibly clear and gave a subtly different voice to each character.
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