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The Courage to Teach - Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life

The Life And Opinions Of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

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

The edition I was reading was published in 1935, and the introduction by Christopher Morley discusses Tristram Shandy as a book most often read in college. He clearly indicates that it should be read by young readers. In fact, he gave this advice, "Perhaps Tristram Shandy should be read first at not over 20 years, and again at not less than 40."

I didn't follow the advice, and maybe I should have. I bogged down in reading it and have finally concluded, on page 168 that I'm not going any further. Instead of enjoying my bedtime novel reading, most evenings I found something else to read or do. That simply won't do.

This 18th century, stream of consciousness, absurdist humour novel is simply not for me. And I can't imagine it would have been when I was under twenty. By page 168, I had found no character or story all that engaging, nothing very funny, and most of it rather boring. I'm not sure why it has a great reputation. One of my friends, who has never read it, said, "It is supposed to be brilliant, but a mess." I can concur with the latter description.

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