The Adventures Of Roderick Random Pdf is an Eighteenth Century Classic Adventure novel By Tobias Smollett.
The Adventures Of Roderick Random Summary
Roderick is combative, often violent, but capable of great affection and generosity. His father had been disinherited and has left Scotland leaving his son penniless. After a brief apprenticeship to a surgeon, the innocent Roderick travels to London where he encounters various rogues.
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About Tobias Smollett Author of The Adventures of Roderick Random Pdf Book
Tobias Smollett Author Of The Adventures of Roderick Random Pdf was born in Dalquhurn, now part of Renton, Scotland, to a prosperous family and educated at the University of Glasgow, where he studied to be a physician. Later he joined the British Royal Navy as a surgeon’s mate. He was present at the disastrous battle against the Spanish at Cartagena in 1741.
He married a British woman Anne Lascelles, in Jamaica, 1747,and settled in England. In London, as a writer, he became successful. The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748), a picaresque novel – like most of his books – made him a well known author. It was followed by The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle in 1751. But the failure of The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom (1753) caused financial difficulties for him. Publishing The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves (1762) didn’t help. Charles Dickens was a great admirer of Tobias Smollett, even visiting his gravesite.
The Adventures of Roderick Random pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information
- Publisher : Penguin Classics (May 1, 1995)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 480 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0140433325
- ISBN-13 : 978-0140433326
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.07 x 1.17 x 7.8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,393,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #18,226 in Contemporary Literature & Fiction
- #32,240 in Classic Literature & Fiction
- #64,193 in Literary Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews: 4.3 out of 5 stars 17 ratings
The Adventures Of Roderick Random Book Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you read one 18th century novel…
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 7, 2015
I never liked Georgian literature. Sir Walter Scott was as early as I was willing to go, and even then you have to squint as you read him, to ignore the stilted prose and maudlin love stories. Tristram Shandy, Tom Jones and Robinson Crusoe — they all seem to get more wooden and unreal the further back you go.
But Roderick Random is proof that the people living 250 years ago were human. Smollett is often compared to Charles Dickens, a hundred years later, and there are similarities: Roderick wanders around the world like Nicholas Nickleby, getting into one mess after another, rich and poor, lucky and unlucky. Dickens was a better writer, and his humor is much more tasteful. (I counted three separate instances in R.R. where somebody gets a chamberpot dumped on his head.) But Dickens has a weirdly intrusive moral sense, with black villains and shining heroes. Nobody could possibly be as evil as Wackford Squeers, or as good as Nicholas. Why would you want to read about paragons?
By contrast, Roderick is just an ordinary guy, at least by 1740’s standards. He’s not much better than his antagonists, and there’s no particular reason he should triumph over them. Sometimes he does, and sometimes he doesn’t, but it’s not important. There’s romance and violence and drinking and gambling, but they’re all incidental. Roderick may get beaten up or robbed, but in the next chapter life goes on. In that way, Roderick Random is less like Dickens or Thackeray, and more like a modern sitcom. What hijinks will Roderick get up to next week? Tune in to find out.
The most appealing element of Roderick Random is the 18th century itself, and what the simple fact of having a sympathetic, comprehensible hero can tell us about it. Roderick joins the navy and the army, he works as an apothecary and a slave trader, he’s a fortune hunter and a professional gambler, he talks to prostitutes and failed playwrights. If Smollett’s description of this stuff is varnished, it’s impossible to tell.
The chapters with Roderick as a naval surgeon are particularly good — that was Smollett’s own profession for a while. This was one of the first novels ever set aboard ship, and Smollett realizes that most people don’t know much about the life of a sailor. And since he can’t assume his readers know anything, he takes care to describe all the loathsome details of naval life during the War of Jenkins’ Ear, in a way that seems extremely fresh, even now.
Of course it all comes to an end. The back cover of the novel tells us that Roderick “recovers his long-lost father, marries his beloved Narcissa, and dispatches his enemies.” The mere fact that Penguin so carelessly spoils the ending suggests how adventitious it is. These are just things that happen, and except inasmuch as they constitute an “ending”, they don’t matter much more than anything else that befalls Roderick in the 18th century. Every sitcom gets cancelled sooner or later.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good edition of an enjoyable 18th-century novel
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 21, 2020
The blurb on this paperback puts it well: “Narrative by an unheroic, apparently rudderless hero named Random, Smollett’s wildly energetic and entertaining novel is held together not least by the narrator’s outrage and dismay. . . [the novel] profoundly satirizes the moral chaos of its times.” The story is a series of distinct adventures as Random bounces around the world like the tennis ball his mother dreams she is delivered of in the opening chapter. The devil whacks that ball far off, but it returns in the end and turns into a flourishing, flowering tree. Random is expelled into a harsh world ruled indeed by the devil, but in the midst of selfish, vindictive, vicious men, he finds a woman who both symbolizes and embodies the ideal–his “angel.” In the end, his father and uncle return to rescue him from misery and destitution and bring him home to the family’s estate in Scotland, where he settles with the woman he loves. On the way, we peek into every corner of London and even the British Empire, as Random takes part in the disastrous siege of Cartagena in Colombia. His experiences as a surgeon’s mate on a naval vessel parallel Smollett’s own and reveals the grimness of that life. But there is so much buoyant energy in Smollett’s writing as he strings together one concisely and brilliantly narrated story after another, that a reader is drawn irresistibly forward through the novel. Penguin Classics set a high standard for classic novels. This edition has an excellent introduction by the editor David Blewett, though it also contains an alarming number of typographical errors. Strongly recommended to anybody who enjoys older English novels or just a good romp.
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