Monday, 9 April 2012

Tom Jones - Henry Fielding

I was anticipating that this book would take a while to read, it's both long and old. I wasn't expecting it would be so tedious and consequently take me four weeks to read, it steered me off target when i'd been so well on target to that point.

The basic plot line of Tom Jones is very simple and as such I feel the story could have been significantly shorter than it was. While I know that it's length is a result of the way it, and many other books from the period, was published, it didn't fail to irritate me.

The book contained a lot of waffle, with Fielding often repeating himself, or simply rambling aimlessly. The book was comprised of several shorter 'books' each of which started with a chapter devoted to fielding preaching about literary infidels and how he hoped he wouldn't be looked down upon. I've never come across this in any other book and it was a major sticking point for me as every time the story gained momentum i would hit one of these chapters and be stuck trying to force myself onwards. The book was full of purposeless details, such as four chapters describing the earlier life of a character whose only purpose was to let Tom sit in his living room overnight. Tom Jones also seemed somewhat cyclical to me. There was a seemingly enless series of Tom chasing Sophia, being caught in an act of moral failure and losing her only for it to once again resume.

The first 400 pages of this book bored me to the extent that I was using Chores to bribe myself through it. If asked I would say I have no idea how this tedium became a classic and would recommend you find a plot summary rather than read the book, you'd gain as much from it and waste much less time.


Clarissa's Review

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