Sunday, September 11, 2011

The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding

The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
Review in few words:
A brilliant (genius!) book. I think what placed this book above a number of others (in my eyes, at least) are not only the poignant essays at the beginning of each book/chapter, but also the keenness and delicacy in the narration that Henry Fielding uses to take me, the reader, into the topsy-turvy life of the most unfortunate (?) Tom Jones.

Other details I enjoyed/noticed about the book:
- Tom Jones is a simple, handsome, seemingly perfect young fellow with one glaring defect: a vague history (in particular- low birth). It saddens me to see how the people around him look at him with such alarm and disgust- all because of something that he himself couldn't have helped! Bravo to Mr. Fielding for showing the reactions of a range of different personalities having known Jones' history.
- Sophia Western is too perfect, I think. (She somehow reminded me of Arabella of The Female Quixote: or The Adventures of Arabella.) I suppose it can't be helped on Fielding's part- I've read somewhere that he adored his wife so, and somehow patterned Sophia after her.
- I enjoyed getting know the king of the gypsies :)
- The people here are very real to me, and the narration was very, very good. I agree with Fielding when he hinted in an essay that he had not written a funny line before laughing about it himself, nor had he not written a sad line before feeling ill at ease himself. I enjoyed the story very much - mostly due to the excellent narration.
- The essays were superb. At first, I was put off by them, and went along reading since, well, why not? After the first few, however, I started to enjoy Fielding's little dialogues, and looked forward to them with gusto. (I liked that he even placed a nice little good-bye to the reader.)
- I also liked the fact that most (if not all) the characters were seen off in the end, given respectable (and some surprising) endings, so you needn't wonder much about how they were after the story.

{Other notes: I didn't realize this book was so long (I'm reading it via audiobook) until I discovered it has around 1k+ pages o_o}

The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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