Considered by critics to be Barth's most distinguished novel, The Sot-Weed Factor has acquired the status of a modern classic. Set in the late 1600s, it recounts the chaotic odyssey of the hapless, ungainly Ebeneezer Cooke. Cooke is sent to the New World to oversee his father's tobacco business and to record the struggles of the Maryland colony in an epic poem. On his mission, he is captured by pirates and Indians; loses his father's estate to roguish impostors; falls in love with a former prostitute; is nearly robbed of his virginity, which he is (almost) determined to protect; and meets a gallery of treacherous characters who continually switch identities.
The Sot-Weed Factor is a hilarious, bawdy tribute to all the most insidious human vices with lasting relevance for listeners of all times.
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Huge, funny and amazing
Very long book but will listen again almost immediately. The narration is wonderful and the humour is rude and side splitting. Like no other book really
Difficult to compare it to another book. It is written in style of 17th century writers. Reminds you of parts of Treasure Island, Moll Flanders, Oliver Twist. Old fashioned bawdiness, but full of wit and wisdom. Deep philosophy is made really entertaining
The narration was the best I have ever listened to, even better than Dick Hill. The various attitudes of Ebenezer Cooke to all the adventures that befall him are given life and vision by Mr Pariseau. Ebenezer Cooke is a hero for our times. Lost and aimless and gormless, he comes through and grows before our eyes.
A couple of hours at a go is about right since it contains so much detail and intrigue that you begin to get confused. But that is part of the point - human life is confusing and things change. Once you accept the pace then the humour revives you when it appears out of the blue and knocks you for six
Its huge length, scope and education may count against it for some folk, but it is packed with amazing stories, characters, deep thoughts and laughter. John Barth must be some man. Kevin Pariseau deserves commendation