Saturday, April 14, 2012

38. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Laurence Sterne
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.

1 comment:

  1. Well, here is your chance. I am a guy with a penis and I can say with conviction that Rabelais is NOT funny.
    Neither is Laurence Sterne. He could have been, but he kills his own potential.