Read The History of Tom Jones by Henry Fielding Online


A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr. Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neighboring squire—though he sometimes succumbs to the charms of the local girls. When Tom is banished to make his own fortune and Sophia follows him to London to escape an arrangedA foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr. Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neighboring squire—though he sometimes succumbs to the charms of the local girls. When Tom is banished to make his own fortune and Sophia follows him to London to escape an arranged marriage, the adventure begins. A vivid Hogarthian panorama of eighteenth-century life, spiced with danger and intrigue, bawdy exuberance and good-natured authorial interjections, Tom Jones is one of the greatest and most ambitious comic novels in English literature.   • Includes a chronology, suggestions for further reading, notes, glossary, and an appendix of Fielding's revisions   • Introduction discusses narrative tecniques and themes, the context of eighteenth-century fiction and satire, and the historical and political background of the Jacobite revolutionFor more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators....

Title : The History of Tom Jones
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ISBN : 9780140430097
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 911 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The History of Tom Jones Reviews

  • J.G. Keely
    2018-10-17 04:53

    Who reads this and laughs not at all may be forgiven only as a simpleton, and does not comprehend.Who reads this and laughs but a little is too dour and prideful to be of much use, and only laughs when he cannot help it.Who reads this and laughs a score is the wretched false-wit, and only laughs when it suits his crowd.Who reads and laughs but once a chapter has a mirthful soul, if no great love for words.Who reads and laughs at every page shall be my boon companion, and a kiss for each grinning cheek.Who reads and laughs at twice and thrice a page shall be my worthy better, and may they forgive my endless queries.

  • Michael
    2018-10-21 22:18

    Here's another wonderful 18th century novel that blows up the easy breezy Shibboleth of "show, don't tell." Here the narrator tells and tells, and I laughed and laughed, and the plot moved like a fine engine through adventure after misadventure.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2018-10-31 01:57

    975. Tom Jones = The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, Henry FieldingThe History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, often known simply as Tom Jones, is a comic novel by the English playwright and novelist Henry Fielding. The novel is both a Bildungsroman and a picaresque novel. First published on 28 February 1749 in London, Tom Jones is among the earliest English prose works describable as a novel and is the earliest novel mentioned by W. Somerset Maugham in his 1948 book Great Novelists and Their Novels among the ten best novels of the world. Totaling 346,747 words, it is divided into 18 smaller books, each preceded by a discursive chapter, often on topics unrelated to the book itself. It is dedicated to George Lyttleton. The kindly and wealthy Squire Allworthy and his sister Bridget are introduced in their wealthy estate in Somerset. Allworthy returns from London after an extended business trip and finds an abandoned baby sleeping in his bed. He summons his housekeeper, Mrs Deborah Wilkins, to take care of the child. After searching the nearby village, Mrs Wilkins is told about a young woman called Jenny Jones, servant of a schoolmaster and his wife, as the most likely person to have committed the deed. Jenny is brought before them and admits being the baby's mother but refuses to reveal the father's identity. Mr Allworthy mercifully removes Jenny to a place where her reputation will be unknown. Furthermore, he promises his sister to raise the boy, whom he names Thomas, in his household. ...characters: Tom Jones, Squire Allworthy, Sophia Westernسرگذشت تام جونز: کودک سر راهی - هنری فیلدینگ (نیلوفر) ادبیات؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هفتم ماه فوریه سال 1984 میلادیعنوان: س‍رگ‍ذش‍ت‌ ت‍ام‌ ج‍ون‍ز ک‍ودک‌ س‍رراه‍ی؛ اثر: هن‍ری‌ ف‍ی‍ل‍دی‍ن‍گ‌؛ برگردان: اح‍م‍د ک‍ری‍م‍ی‌ح‍ک‍اک‌؛ نشر: ت‍ه‍ران‌، ن‍ی‍ل‍وف‍ر‫،1361، در چ‍ه‍ل‌ و 809 ص؛ شابک چاپ سوم: 9789644480782؛ چاپ دوم: پاییز 1368، چاپ سوم: زمستان 1377، چاپ چهارم: 1388، موضوع: داستان‌های نویسندگان انگلیسی -- قرن 18 متام جونز، که عنوان کامل آن «سرگذشت تام جونز کودک سر راهی» است؛ در ردیف «دون کیشوت»، «تریسترام شندی»، و «ژاک قضا و قدری»، یعنی برجسته ترین کلاسیکهای تاریخ رمان قرار دارد. «تام جونز» نام کودکی سرراهی است، که در خانه «ارباب آلورتی» و تحت نظارت خواهر او، «برژیت» بزرگ شده است. کمی پس از پذیرش «تام»، «برژیت» ازدواج میکند، و صاحب فرزندی به نام «بلایفیل» میشود. پس از کوتاه زمانی، پدر «بلایفیل» میمیرد، و او عملا وارث دارایی «آلورتی» میشود،. «تام» با آنکه تحت تعلیم و تربیتی مشابه «بلایفیل» بزرگ میشود، اما شخصیتی کاملا متفاوت از او را از خود نشان میدهد. «تام» پسری ساده دل، بازیگوش و ماجراجوست و در مقابل «بلایفیل» حسود، کینه توز و محتاط است، و هیچ فرصتی را برای بدنام کردن «تام» از دست نمیدهد. در همسایگی «آلورتی»، مردی زندگی میکند به نام «وسترن»، او دختری زیبا به نام «سوفیا» دارد. «تام» به «سوفیا» دل میبندد، و همزمان، در اثر بدخواهی «بلایفیل»، که او نیز مایل به ازدواج با «سوفیا»ست، از خانه «آلورتی» رانده میشود. «تام» در آغاز فصل دوازدهم از کتاب ششم ـ ناگزیر سفری اودیسه وار را به سوی لندن در پیش میگیرد. داستان «تام جونز» شامل هجده کتاب است، که هر یک عنوانی مخصوص به خود دارد. هر کتاب چند فصل است، که آنها نیز نامی دارند. تعداد فصلهای کتابها، از هفت تا پانزده متغیر است. بعضی از فصللها تنها یک صفحه را شامل میشود. ا. شربیانی

  • Fatima
    2018-11-12 02:16

    بالاخره این 809 صفحه هم تمام شد اما پایانش میارزید به تمام وقتی که سر این کتاب گذاشته ام , داستان به قدری نبض خوب و هیجان انگیزی داشت و به موقع اتفاقات و زندگی شخصیت ها بالا و پایین میرفت که دلم نمیامد به دلیل سنگینی زیاد خود کتاب ! و خستگی دست ها برای نگه داشتن این کتاب قطور ! و چشم ها برای خواندن سطر های طولانی اش , کلا بیخیالش شوم و در عوض تا انتهایش را با ولع زیادی خواندم و از آن واقعا لذت بردم و اینگونه یک ماه و نیم از تابستانم را سرش گذاشتم و پشیمان هم نیستم و جا دارد بگویم که ترجمه ی فوق العلاده خوبی هم داشت که شاید فقط از آقایای احمد کریمی حکاک برمیامد که اینقدر داستان را خودمانی و قابل لمس با توجه به اینکه کتاب در قرن 17 الی 18 نوشته شده است به فارسی ترجمه کند ...

  • Kate
    2018-11-02 04:21

    If a crazed literature professor ever holds a gun to your head and threatens to pull the trigger if you don’t read one of two interminable, gazillion-page satirical British novels (that would be Vanity Fair of the 19th Century or Tom Jones of the 18th Century), I recommend you choose Tom Jones. Tom Jones is more original (some say it’s the first modern novel), ‘way funnier than VF, and even has a few naughty bits to make you giggle—though tame by modern standards. To read Vanity Fair, you need to brush up your Napoleonic Wars. For Tom Jones, you need to brush up just a bit on your Jacobites, and that conflict isn’t quite so central to the story, so, in that way, Tom Jones is a bit less work. Vanity Fair really is about vanity. Tom Jones is about human nature, as Fielding reminds you again and again in his amusing “blowhard author” introductions to each of the books in the novel. If you think, reading these introductions, that they are ridiculous and irrelevant and you don’t want to read them, Fielding gives you a pass, saying in one of the early introductions that they are indeed ridiculous and superfluous to the story and you don’t have to read them if you don’t want to. He also has a passage of a physician opining unintelligibly about a patient that could be coming out of the mouth of a 21st century physician opining unintelligibly about a patient. One of the hallmarks of a classic is timelessness. This book is timeless, and, for the most part, hilarious.

  • peiman-mir5 rezakhani
    2018-11-12 04:11

    ‎دوستانِ گرانقدر، این رمانِ بلند، در اصل از چهار جلد و 18 بخشِ اصلی و طولانی، تشکیل شده است و میتوان گفت که داستانی بسیار خسته کننده است‎شخصیت اصلی این داستان، جوانی به نامِ <تام جونز> است که پدر و مادرِ خویش را در کودکی گُم کرده و آنها را نمیشناسد.. زمانی که تام خردسال بوده است، مردی ثروتمند و مهربان به نامِ <آلوُرتی> سرپرستی وی را قبول کرده است و نسبت به او رفتارِ پدرانه داشته است و خرج زندگی و تحصیلاتش را فراهم نموده است و خواهرِ آلورتی که <برژیت> نام دارد، تام را بزرگ کرده است.... آقای آلورتی، خواهر زاده ای چندش آور به نامِ <بیلی فیل> (یا بلایفیل) دارد که پسرِ برژیت میباشد .. بیلی فیل موجودی پست نهاد است... از آنجایی که او نیز پدرش را از دست داده است، بنابراین او را میتوان تنها وارثِ آقای آلورتی دانست.. او زمانی که پی به محبوبیتِ تام جونز، نزدِ آقای آلورتی میبرد، احساس خطر کرده و برایِ تام جونز پاپوش درست کرده و سبب میشود که تا آقای آلورتی، تام را از خانه اش بیرون کند... تام عاشقِ دختری از طبقهٔ اشراف شده است که این عشق نافرجام است و تمامی این شکستها دست به دستِ هم داده و سبب میشود تا تام جونز از زندگی نامید شده و زندگی برایش جز سرگردانی و سردرگمی چیزی نداشته باشد....در این میان اتفاقی نجات بخش برای او روی میدهد و دختری مهربان به نامِ <سوفی> در زندگی او وارد میشود... سوفی عاشقانه تام جونز را دوست دارد و در همه حال پشتیبان و همراهِ تام جونز است و حتی بخاطرِ تام جونز، خانه و خانوادهٔ خویش را ترک میکند......... عزیزانم، بهتر است خودتان این داستان را خوانده و از سرانجامِ آن آگاه شوید.. آیا تام جونز میتواند بر بیلی فیل، پیروز شده و به حق و حقوقِ از دست رفته اش دست یابد؟؟ آیا تام میتواند سوفی را که جواهری ارزشمند و دختری مهربان است، برایِ خود نگاه دارد؟؟ با خواندنِ این داستان به پاسخِ این پرسش ها دست میابید---------------------------------------------‎امیدوارم این ریویو در جهتِ آشنایی با این کتاب، کافی و مفید بوده باشه‎<پیروز باشید و ایرانی>

  • Roy Lotz
    2018-11-05 06:18

    Fielding being mentioned, Johnson exclaimed, ‘he was a blockhead;’ and upon my expressing astonishment at so strange an assertion, he said ‘What I mean by his being a blockhead is that he was a barren rascal.’ BOSWELL. ‘Will you not allow, Sir, that he draws very natural pictures of human life?’ JOHNSON. ‘Why, Sir, it is of very low life.’James Boswell, Life of Samuel JohnsonI have been Tom Jones (a child’s Tom Jones, a harmless creature) for a week altogether.Charles Dickens, David CopperfieldImagine you are at a dreadful party. (If you’re like me, this will not be a difficult task.) The conversation is stale, the beer is staler, and there isn’t even anyone to flirt with. You go to the bathroom out of boredom, and then wander aimlessly through the house for the same reason. In a back room, far removed from the other party guests, you find a man watching a movie. He’s laughing, laughing so hard he’s in tears, and hardly has the breath to say “hello” when he sees you.“Oh, sorry,” he says when he catches his breath. “Excuse me, please. This movie, I love it. Would you care to join me?”Not having anything else to do, you gratefully accept, despite his rascally and unkempt appearance. Indeed, the moment you get a closer look at him, you see that he’s dressed in a tattered jacket and wears a patchy beard. But he's smiling amiably, and in any case there’s no turning back now. The fellow kindly consents to start the film from the beginning. But not five minutes go by before he pauses it with the remote. “Let me tell you about that man there,” he says confidentially, pointing to the man on the screen. “He is a man most delicate. When he’s on set—” He breaks off to stifle a giggle. “When he’s on set, he moisturizes his hands between every take, it’s true, and refuses to shoot unless they have his very special type of moisturizer."This is amusing enough, so you forgive the interruption. But three minutes later, he does it again with another actor. And again, and again. Gradually it comes out that this man is the director of this very movie. He knows everybody’s secret foibles and peculiarities—the actors, make-up artists, and even the extras—and can’t resist spilling all to a willing ear. At first you are very annoyed at these interruptions, and begin to contrive an excuse to get away. But the man is full of such charm and good nature, he is so devoid of malice and peevishness of any kind, he is so earthy and kindly, so tolerant and worldly-wise, that you are soon won over. After a short while, you don’t mind these interruptions at all; in fact you prefer them to the film (which, you admit to yourself, could be better). The man soon gets carried away, going on wild tangents during which he begins again to cry with laughter, and soon you’re in tears too. This man has really seen everything, done everything. He has met and lived among so many people, and in the process has developed a keen relish for human nature, with all its infelicities and weaknesses, in all its many varieties. Yes, this man is quite literally in love with humanity, passionately in love, and with the smile of a knowing paramour he describes every eccentricity of his fiery, flawed mistress.You fall so completely under this man's spell that you forget everything. You don’t move once from your seat; you don’t check your watch. You laugh yourself silly, drinking up every observation and story and joke. Suddenly, the man gets up. “Well, I’m tired old boy, I think I’d better go.” You check your watch. Eight whole hours have gone by! Everyone else must be asleep by now. The man warmly shakes your hand, and, without more ado, walks straight out of the house. And as you stand there, gathering your thoughts and preparing to leave, you realize he’s not once told you his name. This is the closest I can get to representing the experience of reading Tom Jones. I don’t think I need say anything more. This novel is an open book. It requires no preface, it keeps no secrets. The book demands nothing but time and good humor. Unless you are a studied misanthrope or a certain species of snob (as was Samuel Johnson), I can’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy it every bit as much as I did. Although long, it seldom drags. Although old, it hardly seems dated. To the contrary, I think this book has aged remarkably well. Fielding’s general attitude struck me as so modern and liberal minded, in fact, that parts of the book seemed like they were written by some contemporary wit, impersonating an 18th century English novelist. I would also like to add an encomium to the narrator of my audiobook, Kenneth Danzinger. From what I can tell, this is the only book he has ever narrated. Who is he? I can’t find a thing about him from a Google search.* I am intrigued, because this is easily the best-narrated audiobook I have had the good fortune to listen to. The man is fantastic! I wish I could give him some sort of award; but sadly I can only give him my praise and thanks. So if you, like me, are intimidated by this novel’s length and age, do yourself a favor and listen to Danzinger’s version. Listening to it is as easy as drinking cool water on a summer's day.*It appears that Kenneth's last name is misspelled on the Audible site. There is a voice actor by the name of Kenneth Danziger but none answering to Danzinger. But could nobody have caught that?

  • Perry
    2018-11-02 00:13

    Around the world the trip begins with a kiss"Roam," The B-52's, 1989I enjoyed this 1749 comic novel follows the life and adventures of young Tom Jones in a picaresque panorama of 18th-century Britain. Squire Allworthy found Tom in his bed as a newborn infant. The kind but gullible Allworthy raises Tom, who falls in love with the attractive neighbor Sophia Western. Unfortunately, Sophia's irascible, short-tempered dad has agreed, against Sophia's wishes, to give her hand in marriage to Squire Allworthy's repulsive and hateful nephew Blifil.Blifil's contrivances combined with Tom's boyish excesses cause Allworthy to expel Tom from the Allworthy estate, which throws Tom into a series of adventures over and around a series of obstacles in order to learn the mystery of his birth, gain his fortune and win Sophia's hand. Roam if you want to / without anything but the love we feel

  • Vanessa Wu
    2018-10-23 05:06

    I've seen a lot of people telling writers to build a platform. I disagree. What they should be building is a personality.Writing experts drone on about an author's voice. They're not wrong. But your voice is just a means to express your personality.Misled by writers of genius like T.S. Eliot and Flaubert, some authorities stress revision. They force you to focus on smoothness of style. They want you to rewrite everything until your personality completely disappears.That's okay if you have been writing 1,000 words a day every day for years and want to hone your technique. But first you have to discover what is in you. You have to learn how to be yourself, to cast off artifice and be completely natural.That is very hard.If you're not sure what a personality looks like when it's poured into a novel, you could read Tom Jones. Even if it doesn't make you a better writer, it will make you a better person.Moral education should always be like this: ribald, riotous and fun. It's huge but it's masterly, it hits all the right spots, it teases, stimulates and satisfies. After you've reached the climax you'll want it all over again.In case you hadn't guessed, I love it. Henry Fielding wasn't handsome but he had a big personality. This book is his platform and when you've finished reading it, it makes a good yoga brick.

  • Laura
    2018-10-19 23:09

    This is a wonderful book. It'll make you laugh over and over and it is written like no other book I've read in that the narrator talks to the reader throughout, but not directly. It's a long book but it never gets boring. You'll fall in love with more than one character and it is just a book not to be missed. I can also highly recommend the audiobook on Audible. Can't recall the narrator's name now, but I'll edit it in later. Just wonderful. Thanks to Fiona for being a relentless book pusher, as I'd have never given this a real try without her insistence and to Heather for reading this with me, it was great fun.

  • Evan
    2018-11-06 00:56

    [2016's entry for my "Big-Ass Summer Read" shelf.]Some books stand before us like mountains, daring us to cast the first hooks and lines and pierce its imposing walls with ice ax and spiked boots and ascend. Though the challenge is certainly there on the lower slopes -- there are boulders and loose gravel to stump the overconfident -- things seem genial enough, the cracks and the outcroppings give us enough to work with and there's sufficient flat ground for respite.But Henry Fielding's The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling is no easy climb -- to say the least -- among the 8,000-meter peaks of literature. Not only are there sheer walls of slick ice and sudden avalanches, but there are other seemingly endless obstacles and diversionary paths that make the ascent seem longer than it ought. And to make things more interesting, Fielding seems to have coated the ice with an additional layer of oil.That's what his reader is up against, and what Fielding's protagonist, the bastard foundling Tom Jones, faces in his uphill and seemingly hopeless quest to be united with his lost love, Sophia Western, in a life journey that encompasses for most of its length a picaresque series of raucous episodes on the dusty, dangerous roads from Somersetshire to London and back again. As the story circles back on itself and resolves a slew of prolific and intricate complications, the reader must endure indulgent authorial digressions, endless plot tangents and seemingly insoluble conundrums, all laid out in the most florid clause-laden sentences.This frequent impedance of progress is one of the aspects that makes ...Tom Jones one of the most polarizing of the great classics among readers. It is one of the most digressive books in literature, as well as one of the most convoluted in expression. Very few other books have raised the hackles or caused kanipshins among frustrated contemporary readers as this book has.Yet, for all that, The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling remains one of the masterworks, and one of the great reading experiences of my life -- and also one of the toughest; a bear of a novel, that nonetheless remains one of the wisest and most observant ever penned about the nature of human motivations, how people think and act in the social polity, how motives can so easily become misconstrued, and how morality can be so misattributed and misunderstood, misinterpreted and misapplied. The book pokes fun at just about every institution and social convention in England in the 18th century. Hardly a profession or class from the clergy to lawyers to politicians to artists and writers to doctors to nobles and commoners are left unscathed. The character of Tom Jones, the lusty rake, allows Fielding a template for an epic examination of the true nature of morality. Though Jones is a womanizer and a brawler, his situations and adventures seem more forced upon him by circumstance than not, and at the end of the day his journey in the human parade proves him to be the better man to those society (or they themselves) so righteously or self-righteously have more surely dubbed as good and proper and wholesome and moral. Hypocrisy is one of Fielding's bullseyes, and he hits it with the skill of a cosmic archer....Tom Jones is also a generous book toward the human race, for even as it skewers and lays bare its underlying hypocrisies it also posits that there is good or the potential for it in even the worst of us, and Fielding remained ever the optimist. Even as Fielding allows his protagonist Tom Jones an innate sense of true moral centeredness, it is Squire Allworthy, the adoptive father of the rollicking bastard foundling, who is the moral center of the novel. Allworthy is a charitable man, far more so than his neighbors, and even when he seems to do Jones an injustice, it is one we can understand. Bad intelligence and misinformation often inform misjudgment. Allworthy represents what Christianity should be, and what it frequently is not in the present age of Right-wing politics. Through Allworthy, Fielding examines the nature of balanced judgment, generosity, humility, patience, charity and forgiveness. Although Allworthy is too often let down by his tendency to give the benefit of the doubt, Fielding sees this as clearly better than the snap judgments and petty revels in the misery of fellow humans that Allworthy's associates seem all too eager to exhibit. Fielding clearly understands the vices borne of hubris.After Squire Allworthy's crude neighbor, Squire Western, commits yet another his petty acts, Fielding allows his good squire this lovely moment that beautifully encapsulates both his generosity and sad sense of resignation:"His smiles at folly were indeed such as we may suppose the angels bestow on the absurdities of mankind."One of the book's true surprises is its slight but very palpable sense of proto-feminism, certainly antiquated by today's standards but advanced and enlightened for the 18th century (it was the Age of Enlightenment) and probably just as shocking at the time as the book's social criticisms and frank sexuality.Most of the women in the book, including the servants, seem more intelligent than most of the men, and that is certainly the case for Mrs. Western, easily the intellectual superior of her brother the squire. Although she operates within the confines of social expectation, she also possesses a defensive spirit of sisterhood. Her desire to obtain the best match for Squire Western's daughter and her niece, Sophia, may be in its own way misguided, but is motivated by sensitivity and a true desire for protectiveness. Even within the confines of the stifling social patriarchy and its imperatives, Fielding does recognize a woman's right to keep her own counsel and have her own reasons, and to not have those thwarted or abused by men. After Squire Western has locked up his daughter yet again to prevent her from running away from an arranged match, Mrs. Western says this: "How, brother, have I ever given you the least reason to imagine I should commend you for locking up your daughter? Have I not often told you that women in a free country are not to be treated with such arbitrary power? We are as free as the men, and I heartily wish that I could not say we deserve that freedom better."Fielding laments the situation of women, especially beautiful ones such as the virginal Sophia, who, once they become known to the universe of potential suitors become, as he says, like hares to the hunters. (A not in-apt metaphor, since the squires all seem to fancy fox hunting). Sophia is under siege to a social order with a siege mentality, and Fielding's sensitivity to this condition of women is striking and even poignant.Women, he says, can make up their minds, and it doesn't matter what their reasons are; they are their reasons. Stalking, he posits, is clearly not cool. Thus, the following:"It is certainly a vulgar error, that aversion in a woman may be conquered by perseverance." (p.645, Allworthy to failed suitor Master Blifil)When Lord Fellamar presses Sophie for reasons for his rejection, Sophia informs him that she has the right to her independent preference, and does not owe any explanation to him or any man.Fielding also challenges the notion of the virtuous woman. Even though he extols Sophia as an exemplar of such, he also informs those readers who may be in the dark about the realities of the real passions that exist beneath the veneer of polite society. Lady Bellaston and several other women in the book in their lusty behaviors point to this. Thus:"I remember the character of a young lady of quality, which was condemned on the stage for being unnatural, by the unanimous voice of a very large assembly of clerks and apprentices; though it had previous suffrages of many ladies of the first rank; one of whom, very eminent for her understanding, declared it was the picture of half the young people of her acquaintance." p. 277That women frequently find themselves with child, and often abandoned, is the shame of men more than the women, Fielding avers, though it is almost always the women who bear the brunt of the slut shaming. Likewise, social intolerance for the children of unwed alliances, is attacked by Fielding. No child, he says, can be characterized or judged by the acts of the parents.Along the way, Fielding takes laser-sharp aim at the tragedy of bad marriages, ones often the result of convenient arrangement that have nothing to do with love or the wills of the betrothed.Fielding also examines friendships, those that are real and those with ulterior motives. Even the "real" ones can possess aspects of the latter. Fielding understands it's a complicated world. I especially enjoyed Jones' relationship with his unlikely Sancho Panza-like road-buddy sidekick, Mr. Partridge (a deeper relationship than can be revealed here), partly because of Partridge's alternation of pettiness and honest loyalty. (A Don Quixote comparison is not far-fetched, as Sophia almost represents Tom's unattainable windmill).When I made my first stab at reading this 32 years ago, and abandoned it at page 465 due to the intercession of life (in the intervening years I had a professional career, a marriage, a family, a house, mortgage, two cars, pets, innumerable obligations, divorce, love affairs, and bankruptcy), I had placed dozens of slips of paper between the pages to bookmark that book's many nuggets of wisdom. My inexperienced twenty-something self, it seemed, honed in nicely on some of the best insights. I cannot possibly reproduce them all here, but rather offer a few of my favorites:"A treacherous friend is the most dangerous enemy; and I will say boldly, that both religion and virtue have received more real discredit from hypocrites than the wittiest profligates or infidels could ever cast upon them."p.71"[he] was as honest as men who love money better than any other thing in the universe generally are." p211"... zeal can no more hurry a man to act in direct opposition to itself, than a rapid stream can carry a boat against its own current." p.276"Nature having wisely contrived that some satiety and languor should be annexed to all our real enjoyments, lest we should be so taken up by them as to be stopped from further pursuits." p. 505The book's main conceit, of course, is that love conquers all and is the supreme basis for marriage, and in that pursuit Fielding puts us through the ringer of placing the seemingly unreachable carrot before the horse. He is a cocktease of the first order, a rug-puller of almost cruel proportions. As I've stated before, the book is digressive to the max, with Fielding constantly interceding with long-winded authorial intrusions and an apparent aversion to getting to the point. But this is the way of this book; it is a conversation, or more accurately, an intimate sojourn between a storyteller and a guest. We are the guest(s).Because of the book's leisurely quality and its antiquated mode of expression (as well as its sheer length), I can only recommend ...Tom Jones to advanced and patient adult readers. The idea that this book is still forced on kids in high school or in undergraduate college courses is actually a shame, because it's clearly too much to expect of them at a time when the inculcation of a love of reading should be education's main object. I feel this book is best taken as a no-pressure project, one best suited for adults who've lived a little and can appreciate its overarching life themes.The first 100 pages are the toughest, I'll admit. The main plot moves (however fitfully) after that. This is a book that I committed to, and formed an intimate relationship with. It cannot be rushed, and if it is, you will get pissed.The book possibly suffers from its reputation as a "sexy" book (because that raises certain expectations that are sure to be dashed in the reader), and those who emphasize the rollicking, raunchy episodes seem to me to miss the forest for the trees, since Tom's rolls in the hay and manly brawls are actually quite infrequent. This is mainly a book of conversations in drawing rooms and alehouses and in the course of slow travels along the byways.Fielding is nothing if not a master of the tangential, the side trip, the delayed gratification, the plotter for whom the witty point and the moral exploration are the real nuggets to be found within his unwieldy and self-satisfied effusions. Fielding would rather explore all the trails of the forest in getting from points A to B, picking up the rocks looking for overlooked goodies, even if the trails more or less look all the same and have the same species of trees.Long before Monty Python's Eric Idle, Henry Fielding was Britain's premier nudge-nudge, wink-and-nod bloke -- poking us in our ribs and verbally peppering us with his own self-satisfied japes and insinuations and asides, mercilessly and relentlessly.Unlike Idle's sketch characterization, though, I don't find Fielding annoying. I find him a jolly fellow, a convivial companion for story telling by a stone-hearth fire while mutually sipping at generous goblets of aged sherry. He is in no hurry to get where he's going, and if you're willing to sink yourself deeply into a plush chair and intoxicate yourself on his generously offered brew, you will enjoy the slowly savored fruits and the lengthily pondered sights of the languid journey with him.One can imagine his library containing a well-thumbed copy of Izaak Walton'sThe Compleat Angler and writing his own fish stories in the side margins, for this gent is not an inconsiderable braggart, taking on his critics before they've even spoken, tearing down the fourth wall between him, them and us. He is a rapper in a powered wig -- even to the point of dissing his authorial rivals -- and we're not entirely sure that what's in his snuff box ain't yeyo.The History and Adventures of Tom Jones, A Foundling remains one of the most fun of the dusty classics. At the outset, Fielding compares his confection to a well-spiced meal, warning those readers about to come to his table that the spices therein might affront their timid tastes. This tapas meal is not one to rush through, but to savor. This is not a football and nachos experience. It doesn't pander to your impatience. It is not merely the book's frank discussions of sexual mores that make it potent, though, but its underlying social criticism. He nails the smug hypocrisy of many self-proclaimed Christian moralists and an attendant mob conformist mentality -- the uncharitable and judgmental thoughts and acts that are counter to their professed religion -- while at the same time showing a complicated kind of respect of people who turn the other cheek and help their "lessers," even as he mocks them slightly for their naivete. Even the best people in Fielding have their bugaboos.In the introduction of the final chapter when Fielding writes his literal, direct and simple "fare thee well" to the reader (to me, in essence) -- I was moved almost to tears, because I felt the sense of companionship with someone from 300 years ago, someone who could not have fathomed a stranger in 2016 sharing the moment across time.Tonight when I have an ale, Mr. Fielding, I will raise a glass to you.(KR@KY 2016)-----The official "Big-Ass Summer Read" shelf entry for 2016. (There is a chance that Infinite Jest might join it. Two big-ass summer reads of this magnitude would be unprecedented for me.)

  • Nathan
    2018-11-16 03:04

    Ford Maddox Ford on Tom Jones ; from The March of Literature.“...only paralleled in nauseous prurience and hypocrisy by the introductions to chapters of Fielding’s Tom Jones.” (498)“...has always seemed to the writer to be one of the most immoral books ever written...” (ibid)“...if you are lousy, and I use the word on purpose, you will live like a louse and, if there is a hell, go to hell. And what other word could describe Tom Jones--the miserable parasite who was forever wreathed, whining about his benefactor’ knees, whose one idea of supporting himself was to borrow money simultaneously from his heart’s adored and two mistresses, and who was such a miserable hero of romance that in a dueling age he could not even handle a rapier?” (572)“Some years ago this writer wrote a little history of the English novel in which in the course of a much milder scarification of Fielding than what is above written he had occasion to quote a late librarian of the House of Lords and great official Anglo-Saxon accepted critic as saying that Tom Jones came into the stuffy scene of ordinary life like the pure breath of a May morning! And for this, if you please, this writer was stigmatized as ‘vitriolic’--nothing less!--by (and that is what is extraordinary!) the chief Roman Catholic organ of the United States...” (572-3)“Mr. Austin Dobson in one of his unbuttoned moments commits himself to the dictum that Tom Jones has been the model of all manly British fiction since his day. But it is difficult to think of any writers later than Thackeray who can have been much under the influence of Fielding.” (580)“Tom Jones, on the other hand, makes in its Preface no claim at all to moralizing aims. On the contrary, the author announces that all his skill has been devoted in this book to delighting the reader--as if he had been at a banquet.” (581)“But, to certain minds, writing like that of Tom Jones is teasing and worrying in the extreme.” (583)“In fact, compared with the rather tinny note of heartlessness of Tom Jones, the note of Amelia is one of compassion and concern for poor humanity” (584)“An author ought to be omniscient as far as his tale is concerned or he has no right to write his tale. And it is an untruth too because Fielding must have known in what parish his Mr. Booth was arrested.” (585) [in regard to Amelia, but too rich not to produce here]“In the case of Tom Jones, the story is so negligible and the incidents are invented with such listlessness that we have to regard the tale as a mere string on which are threaded the pearls of Mr. Fielding’s--cousin to the Right Honorable the Earl of Denbigh--Mr. Fielding, the man about town’s, wit. As such, for people who like the sort of thing, Tom Jones may well pass as a masterpiece-=-perhaps only of the second rank, this being an order of criticism of which we have little the habit. It is then less ebullient than Rabelais, less obscenely divergent than Tristram Shandy, less lewd in cruelty than the Sentimental Journey, less humane than Don Quichote, less ferociously realist than the Satyrikon, which in its determination to ‘make you see’ gives you a night in the streets of Rome that once read can never fade from the memory...and it is less profuse in moralizations than Fielding’s own Amelia.” (586)“For no author with a real passion for his coming projection will begin his novel with an exordium calling attention to the artificiality of his convention any more than any author with any passion for what he has projected will end up his novel with snufflingly calling attention to the fact that the tale is only a tale. Consider, in this respect, Thackeray; how, directly imitating Fielding, he ruins whole books of his......” (587)“But the truth is that both Thackeray all his life and Fielding in Tom Jones were intent first of all on impressing on their readers that they were not real novelists... but gentlemen.” (ibid) “It is curious to consider how the mind when thinking on Tom Jones considers it as a wilderness of interpolations. Yet actually it is a matter of a hundred and six closely printed pages before Fielding interrupts his story for the first time. And when he does so he indicates plainly enough that it is only through sheer incapacity to carry on his story as a story...or out of a fear that the moral of that story has not made itself plain.” (ibid)“In the same way he had intended to make of Tom Jones a straight and spirited narration until he found that he could not swing it and, against his will, introduced himself into his own pages.” (588)“And having satisfied himself that his self-introduction would give no offence, from that moment onwards Fielding gave himself carte blanche and pirouetted and winked across his pages whenever--and that was often enough--the mood occurred to him.” (ibid)“And one would be curmudgeonly, indeed, if one grudged as much to the clever and full-blooded. It is merely that--as Mr. Stalin lately remarked of Mr. Trotsky--his practices were not in themselves wrong save in that they were untimely. In any other form but that of the novel this passage would make agreeable reading, but coming as it does at the very crisis of one of the only two at all excitingly rendered passages in the book it is per se simply disastrous.” (ibid)“It must, in short, be apparent to the most unpracticed reader that this adventure of Mr. Jones made a lively scene and that, by cutting it up in the middle, Fielding effectually scotched it.” (589)spoiler :: “Had Mr. Fielding done, as many of his successors had the skill to do--namely, put in a little picture of children and Newfoundland dogs tumbling together on a lawn he would have done much more to assure us that his Sophia really did achieve a measure of wedded bliss.” (590)“Yet the prose of Tom Jones is rather good prose for the eighteenth century.” (592)And knowing that FMF blamed Cervantes for single-handedly bringing to an end the only hope of humanity’s salvation, namely chivalry, you’ll see how wrong FMF is. Just simply wrong. But we can’t blame him. He did not live long enough to learn how to read the kind of novel Tom Jones is, nor those listed above from the same Grand Tradition (Ms Young’s phrase) ; that is, he did not live long enough to learn from John Barth and Raymond Federman about what a novel is and what a novel can do. Fielding is not a proto-postmodern fictionist ; he is an eighteenth century fictionist and postmodernists like Barth revisited his kind of fiction in order to breath life back into the novel, the life which had left it due to the overwhelmingly stultifying effect modernist impressionism of the FMF type had upon the novel’s own-most possibilities. The Novel is dead! Long live the Novel!______________________Compendiusly Nipping Pastiche. Clearseeing.Tom Jones is hands down the dumbest book ever written. Just tedium punctuated with banalities. I have to draw the line somewhere, and I draw it at Henry Fielding's feet. When we were done covering it in high school, one kid threw it out the third story window. Recommends it for: anyone wishing to read it in English and NOT in French, for the translation is too bad and painful. I can't say I have ever been made read a piece of 'literature' that I found more stupid or unnecessary. Don't read if u can help it. Needless to say, I physically couldn't handle finishing this monstrosity of a tome. Bored out of my mind! The way the sarcastic and haughty narrator reify most of the characters of the novel spells the end of great english prose literature... Fielding constantly interrupts the narrative to talk to the reader. I just got annoyed and gave up. One of the worst examples I've had the misfortune to acquaint myself with of Victorians binding their own verbal diarrhea, ugh. Half way through this book I realized the author was trying to be funny. Check out my review (of sorts!!) Lord! Save me from this book! Page 85 and who is the main character already? Enough! The plot is good but the pontificating and entire chapters off the subject are just too much. I really wanted to like it, but I just could not get into it. Maybe another time. HATED every single minute of it. HATED the movie too. I-yai-yai! I remember now why I didn't like Fielding!, dear reader. Added to the list as another classic I didn't like... Teen sex romp with high literature trappings. Only read the first novel, it was horrible! I found this book extremely stupid. Just - meh. BOOO. Terrible!

  • Justin Evans
    2018-10-29 06:15

    So, I give this five stars, but, you know, not every five star book should be read by every person. If you have great patience, and are willing to admit that your tastes have been formed by the nineteenth century novel and then by certain aspects of modern literature; if you're willing to test your (my) assumption that novels are best when they're realistic or modernist; if you don't mind a bit of slap and tickle... then you should read this. If you want to judge a book based on whether its characters are 'round;' if you think the best book doesn't really have a narrator at all, let alone one who keeps talking at you; and, most importantly, if you're the sort of reader/critic Fielding spends about two pages out of every hundred mercilessly slagging off, then you should probably avoid this like the plague. If you're not sure what kind of person you are, read 'Joseph Andrews.' It's much shorter, and nowhere near as good, but a good litmus test. If you're the second kind of person listed here, don't worry, I'm not judging you for being completely bound by your historical moment. Much. But you are missing out on one of the greatest stories in English lit.

  • Katie
    2018-10-19 21:51

    Tom Jones is hands down the dumbest book ever written. Before reading this dreck, I had thought Pamela had that title on lockdown, but I was mistaken. I still think Pamela is horrible (all 500 pages can be summarized in two sentences: Master attempted to sexually assault me in the gazebo, o most wretched PAMELA. Master proposed marriage to unworthy PAMELA, o virtuous Master and most blesséd PAMELA.) but Tom Jones is longer - almost 1300 pages of pain - and stupid. Really, really stupid. Stupid isn't even the proper word for it. Mind numbing? Nauseating? So dumb that it would insult the intelligence of a single cell organism? The plot is awful, the characters are of subhuman intelligence and expression, and the writing sucks, but worse than all this is Fielding's random digressions. He uses the royal we. He uses the royal we! Who exactly are you, Henry Fielding, that a pronoun employed only by royalty is necessary to express yourself? Pages and pages of inane, irrelevant, and mind numbing rambling on all kinds of topics. Tom Jones isn't a book, it's a vehicle for Fielding to fellate himself. And the endless descriptions of his own genius. Dear god. You'll be reading some stupid chapter in which Tom Jones meets some random person and stupid pointless shit occurs, then Fielding will announce that he needs a breather and is going to begin a new chapter. Or a new book. Or whatever. Then the heading, and then he will hit you with a bunch of bullshit about how his genius is so extraordinary that you, the idiot reader, will be incapable of comprehending his amazing writing, his scintillating plot, and his compelling characters, unless he explains his theory of "insert random topic here." Dear Henry Fielding, go fuck yourself. I hate your book, your megalomania offends me (especially since your book is completely without literary merit of any kind, and it's not even entertaining), and I can't believe that not only was this shit not dropped down the latrine where it belongs, but it's on the GRE English literature subject test. That has to be a joke, right?

  • Robert
    2018-11-03 23:53

    Wowzas! What a lot of waffle!The history of the novel is perhaps one of a decline in the use of the Authorial Voice, which was still quite prevalent in the Victorian era.THIS REVIEW HAS BEEN CURTAILED IN PROTEST AT GOODREADS' CENSORSHIP POLICYSee the complete review here:

  • Alex
    2018-11-16 00:15

    900 pages later, I can confirm what my friend Wales told me: this book has nothing to do with the Tom Jones who asked, "What's new, pussycat?"Instead, it's a massive blow-up of a classic Shakespeare comedy that exactly follows the classic structure: our likable heroes are introduced; a series of miscommunications and devious acts by rivals conspire to rend them apart; you know how act V goes in these things, and you'll see it coming here as soon as you realize this book is a comedy, which if it's not at the Table of Contents, you're not reading very carefully.(Romantic comedies, of course, still follow this exact structure today (see Meet the Parents and every Jennifer Lopez movie), and it still leaves me tearing my non-existent hair out at everyone's steadfast refusal to have a simple conversation that would clear all this up.)By "massive blow-up" I mean not a deconstruction but a really, really long version of a Shakespeare comedy, and this book is too long. Despite the pleasantness of the prose, and the not infrequent passages that actually made me laugh, it's a meandering shaggy dog of a story and it'd be better-known and better-loved today had Fielding had an editor.But it is pleasant, and that puts it worlds above Fielding's bitter rival Samuel Richardson, the author of a book I recently detested. This, I just liked.

  • Steven Greenberg
    2018-10-22 00:04

    One of the earliest--and probably still the greatest of English novels, Tom Jones is still a delight to read and savor after 250 years. Richardson's film, which captures the world of 1750 England with extraordinary fidelity, is still a must--and one of the greatest movies of all time, by the way. But the book itself! I read it first in a lit class in my pre-med undergrad days--and I was astounded! Astounded that this fellow Fielding was chatting with me wittily and poignantly through the centuries that came between. When I finished the book--after 700-something pages--I was depressed that there was nothing more of it to read. It was as though a dear friend had departed and I wanted nothing more than to have him back again. I tried--I read Jonathan Wild and Shamela; I read Joseph Andrews--loved them all, but still I missed my rogueish Tom. I read Richardson's epistolary novels, and Smollett, and Sterne. All fun, all interesting. But still nothing even close to Tom. Finally I just went ahead and read Tom Jones again. It was like listening to Mozart a second time--even better than the first. And, just as no composer since 1791 has produced more perfect music than Mozart did, no writer since has equalled the wit and wisdom and downright delight that is Fielding's Tom Jones. Read it and be amazed!

  • Kelly
    2018-11-04 01:06

    I'll give this line to Cecilia from Atonement: "Give me Fielding any day. Much more passionate."This book is hilariously funny, riotous, chaotic, rip-roaring... and all those old fashioned adjectives for a damn good time. You know what, read this /and/ see the movie- its much more joyous if you've read it first, I think, but either way will do. It might take you a little to get into the lingo, but after that, it should be pretty smooth (and fun!) sailing.

  • Virginia M.
    2018-10-20 06:00

    Tecnicamente l'avevo finito l'anno scorso, ma Internet mi aveva abbandonato.Questo libro è uno dei libri più belli che abbia mai letto nella mia vita.Non sono una persona che assegna 5 stelline facilemente, nè viene sorpresa altrettanto facilmente. Henry Fielding ha uno stile ricercato, ma allo stesso tempo chiaro. Sebbene sia un gran tomo, non mi ha mai annoiato; forse grazie alla suddivisione in più libri, che fornivano dei capitoli introduttivi metaletterari (penso).Forse per i personaggi chiaroscurali; infatti, non ci troviamo in presenza del solito protagonista banalmente perfetto nè del ragazzo profondamente tormentato. Tom Jones è una perfetta combinazione di vizio e virtù e questa combinazione non risparmia nessun personaggio (sebbene in misura minore o maggiore.) L'autore riesce a presentare ogni personaggio sotto una certa luce per poi ribaltarli nel capitolo conclusivo, così, giusto per farti cambiare idea ogni due secondi. Si affrontano tutti i temi possibili: si va dalla politica alla critica, dal matrimonio alla storia, si esplorano tutte le classi sociali...senza contare tutte le varie citazioni letterarie e frasi in latino. Il tutto è cosparso da tanta ironia e da tanta gioia. Sebbene possa sembrare un romanzo moralista, non è assolutamente così.

  • John
    2018-11-15 05:51

    A very long romp of a story. Tom Jones, a foundling, is an engaging fellow, particularly with the ladies. He is not however generally accepted in genteel circles where his bastardy and lack of property is a severe social impairment.It is on the whole pretty readable although much too long in my opinion. Its great attraction for me is in what it reveals to me of 18th century English life at all levels, particularly rural society. It contrasted more favourably for me with the rigidity of Victorian society in the succeeding century. Women however had a very raw deal and the arranged marriage in the upper stratas of society was the norm which a girl rejected at her peril.The book abounds in colourful characters, high and low and there are bawdy scenes aplenty. There are also many examples of bad behaviour of the hypocritical kind which Dickens specialised in writing about. Charles Dickens I am sure would gain some inspiration from this novel.It is a pot boiler and a rather good bit of 18th century pulp fiction with bells.

  • Laura
    2018-10-28 01:58

    Free download available at Project Gutenberg.The audio version can be found at LibriVox.Book X - Chapter i:Reader, it is impossible we should know what sort of person thou wilt be; for, perhaps, thou may'st be as learned in human nature as Shakespear himself was, and, perhaps, thou may'st be no wiser than some of his editors. Now, lest this latter should be the case, we think proper, before we go any farther together, to give thee a few wholesome admonitions; that thou may'st not as grossly misunderstand and misrepresent us, as some of the said editors have misunderstood and misrepresented their author.Thou art to know, friend, that there are certain characteristics in which most individuals of every profession and occupation agree. To be able to preserve these characteristics, and at the same time to diversify their operations, is one talent of a good writer. Book X - Chapter ii:It hath been a custom long established in the polite world, and that upon very solid and substantial reasons, that a husband shall never enter his wife's apartment without first knocking at the door. The many excellent uses of this custom need scarce be hinted to a reader who hath any knowledge of the world; for by this means the lady hath time to adjust herself, or to remove any disagreeable object out of the way; for there are some situations in which nice and delicate women would not be discovered by their husbands.Book XVI - Chapter i:To say the truth, I believe many a hearty curse hath been devoted on the head of that author who first instituted the method of prefixing to his play that portion of matter which is called the prologue; and which at first was part of the piece itself, but of latter years hath had usually so little connexion with the drama before which it stands, that the prologue to one play might as well serve for any other. Those indeed of more modern date, seem all to be written on the same three topics, viz., an abuse of the taste of the town, a condemnation of all contemporary authors, and an eulogium on the performance just about to be represented. The sentiments in all these are very little varied, nor is it possible they should; and indeed I have often wondered at the great invention of authors, who have been capable of finding such various phrases to express the same thing.Book XVII - Chapter i:When a comic writer hath made his principal characters as happy as he can, or when a tragic writer hath brought them to the highest pitch of human misery, they both conclude their business to be done, and that their work is come to a period.This kind of criticism reminds me in some way of Voltaire's works.A movie Tom Jones (1963) with Albert Finney, Susannah York, George Devine and a TV series The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1997) were made based on this book.

  • Gill
    2018-11-05 05:55

    I very much enjoy reading this book (as a side read from The Novel: A Biography) It's a long read (more than 900 pages), but I found it quite easy to read it. I didn't get bored at all. It didn't feel as if I was reading a book that was more than 200 years old.The thing I like most about the book is its structure. It's divided into 18 smallish books, each of which is divided into chapters. The first chapter of each book is the narrator talking to the reader. I really enjoyed the feeling that the narrator was taking me into his confidence. I liked the way he was telling me about how he planned to tell me the story, how other people told stories et cetera et cetera et cetera. The first chapter of bk 10 is an extremely good example of this.The only slight quibble I have with the book is that the final section which is tying up all the loose ends seems quite hurried and not so plausible as the rest of the story.

  • Rebecca
    2018-10-31 23:51

    Destestable. Just tedium punctuated with banalities. The hero's a guilded void. And the heroine is praised for never attempting opinions or wit. *aspires* Fielding belittles other writers whilst citing critics as worse than murderers. *shakes fist at hypocrisy*Plus, it's supposed to be socially subversive but the hero is revealed as an heir.My copy only escaped the cleansing flames cos I'd been indoctrinated with carbon footprint consciousness.*refrains from underwear-throwing*

  • Courtney
    2018-11-01 02:52

    This was one of those thousand page books I had three days to read before moving on to the next masterpiece when I was an undergraduate English major. I remembered almost nothing about it, except for scraps from my professor's lecture, when my hunt for copyright-free classics for my e-book reader led me here. It was the first English-language novel, as we define them today, or one of the first, my professor told us. I'm pretty sure I also read a John Irving book once in which a main character taught this book and was frustrated that his students didn't see the humor in it. So I had some idea of what I was getting into, and a little trepidation.I'm glad I overcame my fear. The broad plot outline is simple, despite many twists and turns. Tom Jones, a bastard, is raised by Squire Allworthy, who is very worthy indeed, alongside well-born and baleful Master Blifel. They vie for the attention of wise and beautiful Sophia, who loves Jones and hates Blifel. A convoluted series of obstacles get between Sophia and Tom Jones, including her blundering alcoholic father, the self-serious hilarious tutors Thwackum and Square, Tom's inability to resist a lusty wench, a Latin-loving addled barber named Partridge, a Catholic rebellion, and an endless parade of self-important innkeepers. It's foreordained that this long journey will eventually lead to a happy ending, but it's fascinating to see how the protagonists get there and what becomes of the supporting characters along the way.Every dozen chapters or so, Fielding pauses the action for a short essay explaining what he's doing. "I'm writing a book here," he seems to say. "Someday, this genre will be called a novel. Let me explain what that's all about." He compares and contrasts a novel with a play, rails against critics for tearing down others without creating anything themselves, apologizes for the behavior of his characters by explaining that he's trying to show how human nature really works. These essays are witty, wry and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. Fielding is very good at pretending to take himself seriously while subtly playing buffoon. I found the language in this book easier to follow than some works written a hundred years later. Fielding's writing is clear, self-aware. He's not a poet, not overly beautiful with his words, but he knows how to spin an engaging yarn.

  • Nathan
    2018-10-20 03:16

    Right. So we watched this -- BBC ; 1997 ; five hours. Definitely not the BBC’s finest moment. That tendency toward a literalistic adaptation/translation fails more than it succeeds. They seem to have done well with Brideshead, but you can’t really fail with Jeremy Irons playing your narrative ear. Bleak House really was fantastic. Best thing really in this Tom Jones is quite predictably the thing they did with the pre-chapter essays Fielding wrote ; they threw in a narrator character. How else to preserve that central portion of the novel?Also, the verdict of The Significant is that, Austen did it better. I understand what is meant by that. And it’s true. But the thing is, the thing that Fielding did, Fielding did better than Austen. I mean, the Austen films simply are better than this Tom Jones (there is an earlier Tom Jones from 1963).But the main problem here isn’t the boring thing about “the book is better than the movie” (books usually are because they do what books do better than movies do), but that the characters didn’t mutate well. Thing is, I just can’t bring myself to think of characters in their ontological wordiness being contorted into two dimensional versions of flesh and blood creatures. This is a Gass thing of course :: “A character for me is any linguistic location of a book toward which a great part of the rest of the text stands as a modifier” ; something like that. A longer extract from Gass HERE. So, there’s good reason why your literary characters being found upon a screen is so disorienting and alienating. They no longer are that which they were to have been, words words words.

  • Elizabeth (Alaska)
    2018-11-15 05:09

    I'm throwing in the towel on this one, after 200+ pages and dreading to pick it up once more. What I noticed immediately is his apparent influence on my beloved Anthony Trollope. Mr. Thwackum was introduced with his giving a thrashing to Tommy Jones. Trollope has many minor characters who are named because of their personalities. Fielding uses authorial intrusion, speaking directly to the reader away from his story. Trollope does this in a way I like. And so, you'd think this might have been written just for me. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get myself to read it. I did see the humor, or at least some of it - occasionally, but not frequently enough. The authorial intrusion was too intrusive. Fielding tended to wander, to think too much of himself rather than his story. Perhaps it's too old for me and that the 19th Century that I love so much is as old as I want. No, I'm not yet giving up on the 18th Century, but I will proceed with the utmost caution.

  • Mary
    2018-11-04 00:55

    I just can't do it. Not for the sake of my on-line book club (who have finished it long ago), not for my own paranoia about missing something important, not for my strange compulsion to never leave a book unfinished. I have to draw the line somewhere, and I draw it at Henry Fielding's feet. I've left Tom Jones on my "currently-reading" shelf for months, thinking guilt could inspire me through the remaining 600+ pages, but the very thought of picking it up again drains the joy from my reading time. I'd almost rather go watch TV and that's absurd. It's a matter of self-preservation now. I have to give up Tom Jones before I start watching Survivor or worse, The Bachelor.

  • Arianna
    2018-11-08 04:03

    I only read Books I, III, IV, V, and IX, as they were the only parts required in my syllabus. I very much did not wish to unduly persevere in my acquaintance with this work.I'll begin with saying that this is not a tremendously bad book, but there is nothing much of interest to me, personally, in it.Mr Fielding wrote well enough, but LORD every page is just him smugly praising himself on how much better and superior he was to his peers and other novelists. CUT IT OUT, HENRY. CUT IT OUT. You don't have to make sweeping considerations on Human Nature at every turn. You can just write the novel without embedding your own commentary in it.Also:“Mr Jones, of whose personal accomplishments we have hitherto said very little, was, in reality, one of the handsomest young fellows in the world.”[extensive flashback to the thousand times we have been told and told and told again how incredibly handsome Tom was] okay, sure

  • DC
    2018-11-01 03:53

    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}

  • Yousra
    2018-10-31 04:00

    هل أبدأ مراجعتي بالحديث عن الإبتسامة التي تعلو وجهي منذ أن انتهيت من الرواية؟ أم هل أكتفي بالحديث عن ظرف الرواية وامتاعها لي؟:))من الذي لا يحب توم جونس?الحق يقال أن توم جونس هو شخص لطيف جدا ... يمتلك من الوسامة والشهامة وطيبة القلب ما يجعله محبوبا فعلا، ولا أعلم إن كان يمتلك من المكر والدهاء ما يمكنه من خداع محبوبته أم أن طيبة قلبه هي ما توقعه في مشاكل عاطفية -لو كنت من محبوبته ما كنت سامحته عليها :)- أم أنها بالفعل كانت تصدقهليس هذا فحسب، فبخلاف مشاكله العاطفية فإن توم يقع في مشاكل ومكائد بسبب الغيرة والحقد شأن معظم أبطال الروايات الكلاسيكية... وتوم يمتلك ما يجعل الآخرين يحقدون عليه بسبب ظروف ولادته ونشأته كطفل لقيط خدمه حسن الحظ بأن تواجد في بيت آلورثي الطيب الكريم الذي لا أبناء له وبهذا الشكل يتعهده بالرعاية والحماية والحب ... ولكن للسيد آلورثي ابن شقيقة من عمر توم يذيقه عذابات بسبب الغيرة ويشاركه عدد من المقربين للسيد ممن لا تعجبهم ظروف الطفل تومهذه الرواية نشرت لأول مرة في 1749 ولهذا فهي مناسبة تماما لعصرها، حيث نرى مطاردات تبعث على المرح ومبارزة بالسيوف في أحد مشاهد الرواية، وهناك السيدات اللاتي يحكن المكائد وتدفعهن الغيرة لفعل الأفاعيل، والسادة الذين يقعون في حب البطلة البريئة طيبة القلب التي قرت أن تهب قلبها لمحبوبها فقط وأن وتصدقه دائما وتلتمس له ألف عذر دائما وأبدا،آباء يحاولون دفع أولادهم وبناتهم لزيجات مدبرة قائمة على التوسع في الأملاك، وشباب يندفعون وراء أهوائهم هناك بالطبع عنصر المفاجأة السعيدة في آخر الرواية لتنتهي النهاية المعهودة، وعاشوا في تبات ونبات :))قرأت الرواية مترجمة من مطبوعات مكتبة الأسرة -وهي الحسنة الوحيدة من حسنات عصر مبارك البائد- وكانت الترجمة لطيفة بالفعل، ومن الواضح أن جهودا قد بذلت لترجمة واختصار الرواية بشكل لا يخل ببناء الرواية، فالرواية في نسختها الإنجليزية تصل في بعض دور النشر لـ900 صفحة ولا تقل بحال عن 700 صفحة كانت هذه الرواية من ترشيحات أحد الأصدقاء الأعزاء، وقد سعدت بشدة أن وجدتها في مكتبتي المفضلة واستطعت الحصول عليها للقراءة وهي بالفعل رواية مرحة وممتعة ... أحببتها حقا:)