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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy - by Laurence Sterne - PDF novel

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy




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eview by Markus 
 The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent. Laurence Sterne (1713 – 1768) Tristram Shandy is the name of the hero of this fictional work which was first published in 1760. Written in the first person, the reader may assume that the author speaks of himself. 


The first half of the book speaks of the process of the birth of our hero. And even about his conception by his parents of him. His mother giving birth, she would seem to have been the main character, but she is not. She is hardly ever mentioned and is there in the background, in labor, upstairs. Downstairs we have Tristram's father and his uncle, Toby Shandy and occasionally other friends and visitors in conversations about all and everything, religion, philosophy, literature, history, and experiences. Digressions are the main subjects of the book. It takes up to about half the book before Tristram is actually born. A lot about uncle Toby’s experience as a soldier and his unfortunate wound inflicted on him in the battle against the French at the siege of Namur in Flanders country.

 And then there is more about uncle Toby and his falling in love with the problem for the future wife of not knowing if Toby is in a position to consume the marriage. Toby’s battle wound being placed in the most delicate place on the body of a man. If there is not much of a continuous story to be found in this work, except the “Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy” there is however the extreme wordy and witty style and vocabulary that make this book outstanding and even exceptional. This work could serve as TOEFL, 

Test of English as a Foreign Language. The reader who can read and understand this language fully and completely must indeed be good at English. In modern times it is common to read works of fiction without any structure or frame; the author is just writing down every thought that crosses his mind. It was certainly unusual in 1760, and this work established its place as a classic and has retained it ever since. 

  the book details :
  • Author: Laurence Sterne
  • Publication date: 1903
  • Company: London G. Richards

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