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Tristram Shandy | [Laurence Sterne]

Tristram Shandy

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman is a novel by Laurence Sterne considered one of the greatest comic novels in English. It was published in nine volumes, the first two appearing in 1759, and seven others following over the next 10 years. Laurence Sterne (1713 - 1768) was an Irish-born English novelist and an Anglican clergyman.
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Publisher's Summary

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman is a novel by Laurence Sterne considered one of the greatest comic novels in English.

It was published in nine volumes, the first two appearing in 1759, and seven others following over the next 10 years.

Laurence Sterne (1713 - 1768) was an Irish-born English novelist and an Anglican clergyman.

Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.

(P)2009 RNIB

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  •  
    Theodore Waterbury, VT, United States 08-28-10
    Theodore Waterbury, VT, United States 08-28-10 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A classic and a hoot"

    The shaggy dog story may be a tale told aloud that never quite makes a point, or gets to a point. Like a verbal meme, you find yourself trying to re-tell the story, a bit like whistling a tune that lingers in your mind. If the story touches on married life and even approaches the bawdy, the prose and the humor are so innocent that even good-humored blue-noses have secretly enjoyed Sterne for literal centuries.



    If you read the ink and paper version - even if you never quite finished - you may find Peter Parker's reading opens whole new vistas. Besides accents and cadences, this book cries out for a slower, no-slimming approach. A bit like rolling an elegant coffee over your palate. The Librivox version is a joy, but Parker is a quiet but unanswerable argument for the thoughtful, professional reader.



    A gentle, laughing ramble through unlikely but kindly people, with philosophy as love of wit and wisdom and the ever-surprising.

    In an oddly post-modern opening, the dedication to the English prime minister (Pitt the elder, French and Indian war leader in American terms) is followed by an offer to sell the dedication for the second and following printings. Not the passionate and personal rejection of noble patronage, but writing and reading for joy, laughter and elegant stories.



    How about a chapter on "whiskers" as a word for "bawdy," or Uncle Toby whistling Liliabollero (there are recordings on the web, and whistling along is itself a hoot) discussed and characterized as formal rhetoric following Aristotle and Cicero?



    Whether you enjoy or ignore the Military History channel, Uncle Toby's model of the fortification outside Nemours (where the original Dartagnon won fame) partly frames the intricate technical terms of fortification (a boulevard originally meant a street built where a large, low earth-core wall once stood; Toby watched them being built around most serious cities in West Europe).

    The cash price may be cheaper than a credit.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Oakdale, MN, United States 03-26-12
    Mike Oakdale, MN, United States 03-26-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Well read!"
    What did you love best about Tristram Shandy?

    The narrator really captures the mood feel and tone that you would imagine to be the author's own. It is said this was Thomas Jefferson's favorite book and one can only marvel at what he would have thought of a device that lets you listen to the book.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reuben Australia 08-21-12
    Reuben Australia 08-21-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Hard to follow"
    Where does Tristram Shandy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I haven't actually downloaded that many, but it's definitely not at the bottom of the list. This book is a classic for sure it's just pretty hard to follow what exactly the author is talking about.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would have slowed the pace of the story down a bit, in order to be able to actually follow what the Author is talking about. I do like the character of the book, but I just can't understand what the hell he's talking about most of the time!


    What about Peter Barker’s performance did you like?

    I think Peter Barker nailed the character of the author for sure, great voice acting. It's just unfortunate that the character of the author / narrator is such a mental case. Having said that though it's definitely a really enjoyable book if you can pay enough attention to what he's actually saying.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The tagline would be some really long drawn out thing probably 1 or 2 full lines of text, just to establish the point that the author really really digresses a lot. I'd make the tagline itself pretty digressive too haha.


    Any additional comments?

    Interesting and humorous book, well read, hard to follow when you're not giving it your full attention.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BB APO, AE, United States 12-25-13
    BB APO, AE, United States 12-25-13 Member Since 2007

    Editor, www.neglectedbooks.com

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The world's geatest shaggy dog tale"

    If there was ever a book where the journey, not the destination, matters, it's "Tristram Shandy."

    Once you're prepared to step back into the 18th century, where things never were said in a short, straight-forward manner, and prepared to put yourself in the hands of a wry old joker and a superb narrator, however, you'll find this one of the finest audiobook experiences ever recorded. I am in awe of Peter Barker's achievement: there are dozens of passages where nothing remotely pronounceable-readable-sayable appears, and yet he always manages to convey the right message. I dearly wish I had a sound clip of his rendition of Mr. Walter Shandy's favorite oath ("G-g-g-g-g-ood GAWD!").

    I do not for a second regret setting aside my haste and allowing Mr. Sterne and Mr. Barker to take all the time they needed not to get to the point, and wholeheartedly recommend you do the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Jonathan
    SOUTH CROYDON, United Kingdom
    8/1/12
    Overall
    "My wound in the groin"

    For years I've known Tristram Shandy by reputation but never got on with it. I've listened to it complete now and I am getting to love it. For a book that makes such a point of being a printed thing (blank pages, chapters in the wrong order, wiggles on the page and so on) it is not the most obvious choice for a talking book, but this way I could let the (probably deliberate) longeurs (the sermon Trim reads and so forth) wash over me, and appreciate the wacky world Sterne creates. Whenever I've driven past Namur in Belgium, I've always murmured "my uncle Toby's wound in the groin". It is all the more vivid now, and I'll never know what the Widow Wadman found out whether Toby could still get it up after the wound.

    The smuttiest book ever written by an Anglican vicar.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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