Novel Review: A Sentimental Journey by Laurence Sterne

A Sentimental JourneyA Sentimental Journey

by Laurence Sterne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this because it is mentioned in the movie adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Mansfield Park”… and I was really keen on reading the passage “about the caged bird”. That was the very best chapter, in my opinion. (p.69 in my edition, btw)

As a narrative, it doesn’t really “do much”. My consciousness kind of went in and out while I read. (Which I partly attribute to reading at 6am on the train). He doesn’t describe the “traveling” he does so much as random comic anecdotes, digressions and moments of titillation.

There was something relate-able in so many of his anecdotes despite the complication.

That feeling of absolute dread…seconds after being carefree.
That feeling when you’re awkwardly left in a room with a stranger.
That feeling when you try to get out of someone’s way and keep failing.
That feeling of disgust with yourself as you analyse recent awkward conversation with someone.

I don’t know if I would recommend this to anyone, though. I would describe it as “dry”, “complicated”, “experimental”, “disjointed”, “short”, “of its time”, “deluded”… but still, there is something about it that I loved…

And, did anyone else think that that last “sentence” was absolute perfection?!

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