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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – December 13, 2009
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About the Author
Ian Campbell Ross is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies at Trinity College Dublin.
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Observant. Absurdly, obsessively observant.
Sharp characterizations. Ridiculous characters.
Genius. Barking mad.
Narratively incoherent. Stream-of-consciousness associative.
Consistently provincial. Profoundly universal.
Mired in the 18th century. Harbinger of 20th century literary Modernism.
Not for every taste. For my taste.
And while I'm at it, let me give a shout-out for the out-of-print Norton critical edition, which provides many helps, essay avenues of understanding, and a clever chapter summary/table of contents. For so many years - since reading Moby Dick in grad school with the help of a Norton critical - this publication line has been my go-to for great texts: useful annotations, contemporary reviews, later scholarly articles, and more.
And also let me give a shout-out to Anton Lesser, who narrated the complete novel for Naxos. I have never, ever experienced an audiobook as masterfully produced and narrated as Naxos' Tristram Shandy. No, it is simply not a book one can listen to and fully comprehend as heard. But one might read while listening, or listen while reading, with - if you have the riight software - the narration sped up closer to one's own reading speed, and experience the full majesty of Lesser's absolute preparation, with Latin, Greek, French, and German - as well as regional English - beautifully and humorously intoned, character voices carefully differentiated, tone and mood captured, etc. Or, as I do, go for a walk and listen as you walk, and afterward slip into a comfy chair, crack the novel open, and continue from where you left off, or backtrack if necessary to sort out the characters. In any event, and particularly for devotees of audio books, do find Anton Lesser's note-perfect reading, a veritable radio serial, perhaps the last book you'd expect anyone to attempt single-handedly, with My Father, My Uncle Toby, Corporal Trim, Parson Yorick, Doctor Slop, Widow Wadman, and all the rest of the supporting characters beautifully, consistently interpreted. Lesser is, in a galaxy of fine narrators, the greatest I've heard: an absolutely peerless voice actor in a most demanding work.
Thomas Jefferson's favorite book. Very quirky, very funny.
Most recent customer reviews
"what makes all these interruptions and diversions so hysterical is that the narrator actually thinks they're all necessary - he has his reasons for...Read more