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Summary

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

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  • DRew
  • 06-07-17

Thick but rewarding

It took me a while to get acquainted with the style of writing both in parlance and in chronology. For me it really clicked after the chapter on Slawkenbergius's nose chapter. I highly recommend reading along with an unabridged physical copy because of things like the black page.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Antonio Aguilar
  • 06-04-18

Excellent

I have read this year two contemporary classics, Tristram Shandy and Jacques le Fatalist, and I cannot underscore the importance of these two works in the world of literature and the art of the novel (to quote Kundera) it self. These two books take on the Quixote and move it to places not travelled before their time and very seldom after their publication.

I will not try to review the book as many more capable than I have walked this path. Suffice to say that I am delighted to have read this book and highly recommend its lecture or hearing. Whatever suits your taste.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 23-02-17

This Book is Beyond Me

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • 09-09-17

A marvelous work, a dull performance.

Sterne's Tristram Shandy is my favourite book and has been for many years. I was looking for a recorded reading for a very long drive of 3 days and purchased this one. The work of course is unique and wonderful as ever but I'm sorry to say that John Keating's performance was really rather dull. His delivery was very flat and missed much of Sterne's humour.