Laurence Sterne's most famous novel is a biting satire of literary conventions and contemporary 18th-century values. Renowned for its parody of established narrative techniques, Tristram Shandy is commonly regarded as the forerunner of avant-garde fiction. Tristram's characteristic digressions on a whole range of unlikely subjects (including battle strategy and noses!) are endlessly surprising and make this one of Britain's greatest comic achievements. A cast of strange characters populate this strangest of novels: gentle Uncle Toby, sarcastic Walter, and of course, the pompous, garrulous Tristram himself. This edition is read by Anton Lesser in a tour de force performance.
Please note: In print, Tristram Shandy is filled with visual, typographical, and compositing jokes - pages that are completely blank, pages that are completely black, misplaced chapters or chapters consisting only of their title, squiggly lines to indicate waving a stick, and much more besides. This audiobook tries in a variety of ways to match Sterne's invention with aural equivalents. (When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.)
Public Domain (P)2009 Naxos Audiobooks
Tristram Shandy is one of the great, landmark masterpieces of English fiction writing, though relatively unknown. Of course 18th Century literature isn't everybody's cup of tea, but I love the great care taken over style, allusion and wit found in Sterne, Swift, Defoe, Johnson et al. This book is a wonder of linguistic and stylistic invention and much more interesting in those respects than Ulysses for example, a work which it predates by about 200 years. It's funnier too, being quixotic rather than vulgar - and far less portentous and pretentious. My guess is that Dickens would have loved it - and even been influenced by it. Anyway, if you've tried to read this book before but found it difficult to persevere with, Anton Lesser is here to do all the hard work for you. He does it so well, and reads in so many styles and for so long that he must have been exhausted when they finally let him out of the studio. He really is top notch; in fact it's the kind of performance that creates new fans among people who don't know Sterne at all. I'm looking forward to reading his interpretation of A Sentimental Journey. Brilliant value and great fun!
I loved this audio. Having read some extracts of the book it was not exactly what i expected, though I was still not dissapointed. The extracts I had come across were short self contained humerous paragraphs so could not prepare me for the deliberately meandering drawn out gags and observations in the text.
Laurance Stern writes the book in the charming persona of 'Tristram' and Anton Lesser makes a greater job than anybody else I can imagine. It gave me a real 'laugh out loud' moment when the nuns were trying to get the donkey up the hill.
It's not to everyones taste I'm sure, however I think most people would find moments of real pleasure from listening.
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