- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: University of Michigan Library (April 27, 2009)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002PODFHY
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 208 customer reviews
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The History of Tom Jones: A Foundling V.3
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Tom Jones isn't a bad guy, but boys just want to have fun. Nearly two and a half centuries after its publication, the adventures of the rambunctious and randy Tom Jones still makes for great reading. I'm not in the habit of using words like bawdy or rollicking, but if you look them up in the dictionary, you should see a picture of this book. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up-A full caste dramatization brings to life this romp through 18th century England.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The book itself is one of the greatest novels ever written; this is maybe the third time I've read it. Fielding is a master of irony, by which I mean genuine irony, not the mean sarcasm that often passes for irony these days. Fielding is never mean-spirited. His irony is generous and his humor is benevolent. His characters are three-dimensional, never all good or all bad. Before reading this, I had been re-reading several Dickens novels, and the contrast is enormous. A Dickens villain is a villain to the core, and his heroes (and especially his heroines) are saints. Tom instead is a young man with many faults, but a great heart. Sophia, his beloved, is a genuinely good person, but she's got a certain fiery spirit, and has her moments of doubt and remorse.
I advise you to read every word of this novel. It's divided into books, and the first chapter of each book is an address to the reader, expounding Fielding's theories on literature and on human nature. An impatient reader might be tempted to skip these, but that would mean missing a lot of worthwhile and enjoyable reading.
I have some quibbles with the Kindle edition. There were some mistakes in the passage from print to pixels, but they were not excessive. The biggest problem is that the excellent notes often have a reference to another note, with the page number, e.g., a note might be only "See note on page 85." As the book proceeds, more and more of the notes are references to earlier notes. However, there is never a link to these earlier notes, and when reading a Kindle, finding the note on page 85 is not an easy matter. Other than that, the Kindle edition is a pleasure to read.
The characters are wonderfully flawed, especially Tom. The invention of the snarky narrator was a landmark invention. You not only follow the story of Tom but you make the journey with a narrator who is fun to hang out with. And you need a fun companion because it's a long story.
Fielding certainly influenced how the writers who followed him handled comedy. Charles Dickens and Mark Twain are all descendants of Henry Fielding.
Tom Jones is a classic.