Tristram Shandy

  • by Laurence Sterne
  • Narrated by Peter Barker
  • 21 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman is a novel by Laurence Sterne considered one of the greatest comic novels in English.
It was published in nine volumes, the first two appearing in 1759, and seven others following over the next 10 years.
Laurence Sterne (1713 - 1768) was an Irish-born English novelist and an Anglican clergyman.
Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

My wound in the groin

For years I've known Tristram Shandy by reputation but never got on with it. I've listened to it complete now and I am getting to love it. For a book that makes such a point of being a printed thing (blank pages, chapters in the wrong order, wiggles on the page and so on) it is not the most obvious choice for a talking book, but this way I could let the (probably deliberate) longeurs (the sermon Trim reads and so forth) wash over me, and appreciate the wacky world Sterne creates. Whenever I've driven past Namur in Belgium, I've always murmured "my uncle Toby's wound in the groin". It is all the more vivid now, and I'll never know what the Widow Wadman found out whether Toby could still get it up after the wound.

The smuttiest book ever written by an Anglican vicar.
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- Jackson

Stupendously good

What made the experience of listening to Tristram Shandy the most enjoyable?

You need to listen carefully to it because of the flowery language and wandering thoughts but my goodness does it repay your attention! What a fabulous book. I was absolutely bowled over by it and frequently found it hilariously funny. I have had this audio book for ages and because it was 21 hours long kept putting off starting it but took the plunge and "serialised" it daily during my run to and from work. I soon couldn't wait to get back in the car for the next instalment. Hardly anything happens but you get a minute examination of every thought and circumstance. I found my brain slowing down to accept the level of detail and ruminate on all the minutiae on offer. A wonderful experience and I thank my A level English teacher of 40 years ago for first putting me in touch with this masterpiece.


What did you like best about this story?

The acute observation of the characters and their motivations, and the genuinely hilarious incidents described in minute detail.


Which character – as performed by Peter Barker – was your favourite?

The father of Tristram.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Crikey not really no, I would never have 21 hours to sit still.


Any additional comments?

Peter Barker is a fabulous reader for this book. Not perfect all the way through but an excellent match for the period and style with a gorgeous timbre and first class rendition. I wouldn't change a thing.

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- Isobel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 21-08-2009
  • Publisher: RNIB