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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman:
A comic masterpiece -- bawdy, profane, irreverent, brazenly illogical -- and one of the most entertaining and original works in English literature
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy is a brilliant pastiche of character sketches, obscene and hilarious vignettes, parodies of scholarly treatises on theology, art, and science, comments to the reader, blank pages, playful typography and graphics, narrative threads that appear, disappear, and reappear at whim, and incidents and images that relate, at one and the same time, to the characters and to the novel itself. The technical audacity and stylistic virtuosity Sterne brought to this eccentric fiction about fiction-writing redefined the form and scope of the novel forever. Both James Joyce and Thomas Mann acknowledged their debt to The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, and its influence is apparent in the works of Salman Rushdie, Carlos Fuentes, and other contemporary novelists. The text and notes in this edition are taken from the acclaimed (and definitive) Florida Edition of The Works of Laurence Sterne. [via]