Laurence Sterne

Steven Pacey has narrated several books in the Penguin Classics series. These are vintage recordings, released from the Penguin archive for digital download. This recording, originally from 1998, is of Laurence Stern’s classic, Tristram Shandy: Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.

Others in the series:
Return of the Native

Laurence Sterne

Photo: Wikipedia

Laurence Sterne (24 November 1713 – 18 March 1768) was an Anglo-Irish novelist and an Anglican clergyman. He is best known for his novels The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, and A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy.

Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, itself is difficult to describe. The story starts with the narration, by Tristram, of his own conception. It proceeds by fits and starts, but mostly by what Sterne calls “progressive digressions” so that we do not reach Tristram’s birth before the third volume. The novel is rich in characters and humor. The novel ends after 9 volumes, published over a decade, but without anything that might be considered a traditional conclusion. Sterne inserts sermons, essays and legal documents into the pages of his novel; and he explores the limits of typography and print design by including marbled pages and, most famously, an entirely black page within the narrative. Italo Calvino referred to Tristram Shandy as the “undoubted progenitor of all avant-garde novels of our century.”

Source: Wikipedia

Tristram Shandy: Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

Title: Tristram Shandy: Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Publisher: Penguin Classics

“I am got, I know not how, into a cold un-metaphorical vein of infamous writing, and cannot take a plumb-lift out of it for my soul; so must be obliged to go on writing like a Dutch commentator to the end of the chapter, unless something be done….”

Laurence Sterne’s great masterpiece of bawdy humour and rich satire defies any attempt to categorize it. Part novel, part digression, its gloriously disordered narrative interweaves the birth and life of the unfortunate “hero” Tristram Shandy, the eccentric philosophy of his father Walter, the amours and military obsessions of Uncle Toby, and a host of other characters, including Dr Slop, Corporal Trim and the parson Yorick.

A joyful celebration of the endless possibilities of the art of fiction, Tristram Shandy is also a wry demonstration of its limitations.

Publisher’s Summary

Tristram Shandy Digital Download 25 October, 2012 5 hours and 24 minutes
Tristram Shandy Audio CD 24 August, 1998 5 hours and 24 minutes

Praise for Steven Pacey’s reading of Tristram Shandy

“The Penguin Classic Audiobook read by Steven Pacey is a superb version of what must be in the top ten of books you’d never want to read out aloud – it makes the story jump out of the page and make sense.”

Audible Customer

Reviews Updated , 27 October, 2012

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