The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
By Laurence Sterne
Why this book?
This book is brilliant. I have never finished reading it. Not because I disliked it, but because, by the time I'd reached the halfway mark, I'd fallen so in love with Sterne's plotless, digressive discourse that I had to quit reading and immediately begin writing Zebra Skin Shirt, a novel whose meandering nature owes a great debt to Sterne's 18th-century yarn. What's so special about Shandy? Here's a clue: it's so caught up in its own sub-sub-sub plots that our hero--the awkwardly-named Tristram Shandy--does not exit his mother's birth canal until the third volume.
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