A hundred pages into Tristram Shandy
, finally. The book is disturbingly similar in style and initial content to Rushdie's Midnight's Children
-- a pompous, overwrought, arrogant narrator, given to long and painful digressions, attempting to be funny and often failing, feeling compelled to start his supposed autobiography with the events leading up to his birth. Rushdie must have read Sterne at some point; it's just too close a similarity otherwise. I can only hope the Sterne ends up half so satisfying in the end; somehow, I doubt it. So far, it's at best mildly amusing. But there's three hundred and fifty pages to go -- perhaps it will improve on closer acquaintance.
Sheesh -- read enough of this stuff, and you can't help starting to talk like them...