‘Tristram Shandy’

I’m reading ‘Tristram Shandy’ and I was really hoping that I would fall in love with it. I think the problem is that it was published in nine volumes over the best part of a decade, so it is the result of an elongated (almost serial) production process. It’s a novel in time, through time — so, taking on something like this in one go is always likely to be a challenge.

I haven’t read anything quite this old in a while and the wordiness of the language is a bit of a shock, as is the slow pace. Nevertheless, it is a fascinating work of art and it’s mind bogglingly ‘Modernist’ in the way it plays with storytelling convention.

I’ll keep on going and maybe (hopefully) I will eventually warm to it more. At least the chapters help to break up the text, all 363 of them! Maybe this is a novel to read one chapter a day over the course of a year?