Monday, April 23, 2012

40. The Man of Feeling

The Man of Feeling
Henry Mackenzie
1771



All right, so evidently, I am missing something here.  This "novel" is missing huge chunks of text on purpose so there is no smooth narrative action and everyone is okay with this????  I mean, what the hell even happened? What was the plot of this thing???


So apparently, this book is about Harley experiencing some stuff that was pretty boring.  It was really short and I didn't retain a lot of it.  Did anyone actually read this?  Skip it if you haven't.  If you had, I humbly request that you tell me what the hell that was about.

RATING: -----



Interesting Facts:


Inspired future Sentimental novels.


Reached its sixth edition in 1791.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

39. A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy

A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy
Laurence Sterne
1768
Around 200 pages

Look at how impressive I am, doing two posts in two days.  I read this entire book today; it is a very fast read.  I actually had the most pleasant Sunday imaginable despite having to read Laurence Sterne.


So the benefit of this book as opposed to Tristram Shandy is that it is only around two hundred pages.  Besides that, this novel is pretty much Tristram Shandy Part II; even some of the characters were from his previous book.  This novel follows Yorick as he...um...travels through France and Italy.  Along the way, he meets truly forgettable characters that will not move you a bit!


Laurence Sterne died before he was fully finished with this book, so it looks like we will not see anymore of him.  Which is a tragic piece of news.  If I didn't think that, I would be a horrible person, right?


RATING: *----


Interesting Facts:


Sterne met Smollett in his travels and hated him.  To me, they seem like birds of a feather.


Helped establish travel writing as a genre.


Don't believe me about how boring this book is?  Check out a bit of the audio of the novel:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

38. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Laurence Sterne
1759-1767
Around 725 pages

Ugh.  I have been reading the most boring books lately. I read this book on my iPad and I am currently reading On The Road, which is just awful.  If anyone has any book suggestions for me for a break, I would love to hear them!


Anyway, onto Laurence Sterne, who apparently considered himself the successor of Rabelais (zoinks!).  This novel really doesn't tell the life of Tristram Shandy.  Rather, he starts by talking about before he was born and then shares a few adventures from his adulthood.  At least, I think that is what happened.  I was pretty much bored the entire time.  Rabelais is simply not funny if you have any class (or maybe he is only humorous if you have a penis; I have never met a guy that I could ask "hey, do you think Rabelais is funny?") and anyone trying to imitate him is just going to be worse.


This is my first experience with Laurence Sterne and I have to say, I was not impressed.  There was one good line in the novel: "I reckon it as one of the greatest calamities which ever befell the republic of letters."  Unfortunately, for Sterne, I think this quote describes his own work perfectly.

RATING: *----



Interesting Facts:


Looks like the readers of this blog really enjoy Voltaire.  Thanks for voting, people!:)


Sterne copied a lot of his passages from other people's works but no one seems to care too much because he did it with style.  Um, okay...


Adapted into a graphic novel and an opera.