Joseph Andrews

Is it possible, have I found yet another novel that I dislike as much as The Expedition of Humphry Clinker? Pretty darn near. Okay, it wasn’t as bad, but it was… dull. Now, I mistakenly read this before reading Pamela (which, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Joseph Andrews, it was written as a follow-up sort of mocking piece in which Henry Fielding attacked the weaker morality points he noticed in Samuel Richardson’s Pamela), which could account for a bit of the dislike, but I’m fairly certain I disliked it for itself.

Another weakly written novel of the picaresque* genre (*a satirical story of a lower class hero or heroine navigating through life and coming upon many adventures), I guess I could cut Fielding some slack since he was merely attempting to parody Richardson, but… Ugh. Adventure is certainly not a word I’d use to describe this novel; it contains a bit of tawdry humor, mysterious parentage and totally unrelated effusive speeches.

Joseph, is introduced as the brother of Pamela Andrews (from the novel Pamela) and is immediately put into a similar circumstance of a very forward master (or in his case, mistress) trying to seduce him. The Lady Booby (yes, that’s really the name Fielding chose) unable to seduce handsome young Joseph sends him away, and thus begins a very tedious novel. I shudder to think about any time the irritating Parson Adams started on a self-righteous sermon-like speech. There's not too much for me to say, I didn't like this one. Glad I'm done with it, check it off the list.

Maybe I’m just too picky, I don’t know. I infinitely prefer the Dickensian picaresque novels to this sort of boredom, but one more down, lots more to go.

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