Beginning with the events leading up to his conception, Tristram Shandy intends to grace readers with his remarkable life story. But his words often run wild. And through two expansive arcs—marvels of incident—so does his narrative, chockablock with family, friends, chambermaids, midwives, parsons, guardians, and neighbors. For the defensive Tristram, marshaling his material becomes something of a wonderful struggle with every new digression.
Defiantly original, deliberately playful, and an absurd celebration of writing, Tristram Shandy’s progressive experimental structure divided critics, delighted readers, and exerted an influence on generations of writers. Today, Laurence Sterne’s tour de force is universally lauded as a milestone in metafictional narrative.
Revised edition: Previously published as Tristram Shandy, this edition of Tristram Shandy (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.