Sunday, November 6, 2011

28. The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle

Adventures of Peregrine Pickle
Tobias Smollett

Honestly, I did not take much away from this book.  It was so dull that my eyes went on automatic and read while my mind wandered.  The novel tried desperately to imitate both Don Quixote and Tom Jones and it failed miserably.  It actually ended up being a carbon copy of Roderick Random which was just as boring.

My version of the book was around 800 pages.  Like I said, Smollett was obviously trying to one up his rival, Henry Fielding.  However, the main character is nowhere near as lovable as Tom Jones.  Likewise, Smollett tried to be charmingly random like Cervantes.  There was a random novella inserted into this book titled Memoirs of a Lady.  This was mildly entertaining but completely unoriginal (it read almost exactly like Moll Flanders).  It also had no place in the book; at least Cervantes gave some reasoning for inserting The Impertinently Curious Man.

Altogether, this book was a sloppy composite of more popular books from the era.  What's worse, this isn't the last Smollett on the list.  Ugh...

RATING: *----

Interesting Facts:

I read Howard's End during this which was also a yawn.  I hope the next book is really good.

Henry Fielding, David Garrick, and Fitzroy Lee were all models of villains in the book.

I love reading comments!  Thanks everyone for putting them up!


  1. I think I liked Peregrine Pickle better than you did. At least I found it funny and I did not have to read Roderick Random first.

    1. Is that the only Smollett in the edition you are working on? There is three in mine, which is completely unnecessary (and maybe I would have enjoyed this more if it had been my only taste of Smollett). At least he comes up with awesome character names.

    2. There is a second one later on, Humphry Clinker, but I suppose the editors of this edition realized there was no need to make people read two so similar books.