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

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Synopsis

Ostensibly Tristram's narration of his life story, one of the central jokes of the novel is that the main character cannot explain anything simply without making explanatory diversions to add context and colour to his tale, to the extent that we do not even reach Tristram's own birth until Volume III. Most of the action is concerned with domestic upsets or comic misunderstandings, which find humour in the opposing temperaments. In between such events, Tristram as narrator finds himself discoursing at length on sexual practices, insults, the influence of one's name, noses, as well as explorations of obstetrics, siege warfare and philosophy, as he struggles to marshall his material and finish the story of his life.
 

About Laurence Sterne

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Irish-born Laurence Sterne graduated from Cambridge in 1737 and took holy orders, becoming a prebend in York Cathedral. His masterpiece, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy made him a celebrity but ill-health necessitated recuperative travel and A Sentimental Journey grew out of seven-month trip through France and Italy. He died the year it was published, 1768.
 
Published December 1, 2013 by Start Classics. 607 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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