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0516 | The Adventures of Roderick Random | Tobias Smollett

0516 | The Adventures of Roderick Random | Tobias Smollett post image

Context: Read this while I began training other team members how to build ebooks.

Having read Peregrine Pickle, the novel Smollett wrote after this one, three years ago, I kind of realised that, like with Henderson and Herzog, I’d read these the wrong way around. Smollett made his name with Roderick Random and then went on to perfect his style with Peregrine in much the same way that Bellow did, not that I find Smollett anywhere near as engaging as Bellow.

If you’ve ever read any picaresque novels, you’ve read Roderick Random. Interminable japes lead to misunderstandings, wheezes, a dice with death or two and enough characters that Dickens, 100 years later, had no shortage of inspiration. There’s nothing particularly new here for the modern day reader, and if you want to distract yourself for a few hours, there’s no harm in it.

But, as with Peregrine, it does tend to go on a bit, although Peregrine goes on far, far longer than Roderick does. Plus there are some satirical and historical references that may fox our understanding today. The fact that the novel does travel overseas (or at least the characters literally do) means that there are some interesting diversions on the way.

So, an important book for literature and one with some distracting adventures, but not one I’d urge you to rush out and read.


I was born in the northern part of this united kingdom, in the house of my grandfather, a gentleman of considerable fortune and influence, who had on many occasions signalised himself in behalf of his country; and was remarkable for his abilities in the law, which he exercised with great success in the station of a judge, particularly against beggars, for whom he had a singular aversion.


This might reveal the ending. If you want to see the quote, click show

RATING roderickr
Key: Legacy | Plot / toPic | Characterisation / faCts | Readability | Achievement | Style

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