The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
While the 1700s aren’t exactly known for their short books I was still shocked by just how much useless information is in this novel. As separate essays I’m sure all of Fielding’s moralising would be entertaining, but as it is it just got in the way of what is actually a really entertaining plot.
Tom Jones is a rather hapless adopted son who finds himself in love with the apparently perfect Sophia, after a rambling journey and many hijinks he finds himself in trouble and naturally secrets are discovered and revealed and it’s a basic plot. I just wish it didn’t contain so much waffle!
I don’t know about other editions but the paragraphing in my Penguin one was very erratic. I’m unsure about the original formatting (but I’m assuming it was terrible!). There were two or three pages of a single paragraph containing two or more speakers with very little to discern their voices (as they all appear to speak in a very similar manner apart from Sophia’s father who has the strangest accent I’ve ever attempted to read). This put my off a lot and will probably put off entirely other readers.
(Can’t believe I finally finished it! Thank goodness!)
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After reading and fully enjoying one of Mills’ other novels, All Quiet on the Orient Express, earlier this year I have to say I was a little disappointed. It wasn’t a bad story, just not as good.
Short and sweet. Funny and endearing, but of the two I’d recommend All Quiet first.