Ostensibly Tristram's narration of his life story, one of the central jokes of the novel is that the main character cannot explain anything simply without making explanatory diversions to add context and colour to his tale, to the extent that we do not even reach Tristram's own birth until Volume III. Most of the action is concerned with domestic upsets or comic misunderstandings, which find humour in the opposing temperaments. In between such events, Tristram as narrator finds himself discoursing at length on sexual practices, insults, the influence of one's name, noses, as well as explorations of obstetrics, siege warfare and philosophy, as he struggles to marshall his material and finish the story of his life.
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by Laurence Sterne
by Mark Twain
by Charles Dickens
by Frederick Douglass
by Alexis de Tocqueville
by Elizabeth Gaskell
by Carlo Collodi
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