February 20, 2007

Review: Moll Flanders

Moll Flanders
by Daniel Defoe

A masterful gold digger, conniver, and survivor, Moll exploits her formidable
talents to evade poverty.

That is the concise summary from 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. It is written in the style of an autobiography that Moll pens as a penitent reflecting back on her life of mischief and crime. While she appears sorry for her life she also seems to enjoy the telling of it just a touch.

A master of plain prose, powerful narrative, and realistic detail, Daniel Defoe
is regarded by many as the first true novelist.

To you or I the writing may seem normal or ordinary but in it's own time this plain text was very new. It was unusual to write as one speaks. This is exactly the feel of the book. You can imagine Ms. Flanders sitting in your living room, sipping tea, telling you about her life.

I did feel the detail was sometimes a bit too much. And by the end of the book I was getting pretty bored. It took me three nights to finish the last 50 pages because I kept falling asleep. By today's standards it was mild. The details led you to know what was going on without giving any explicit information. Overall, not a bad read but not a candidate for a reread. I shall have to read Robinson Crusoe sometime soon.

P.S. This was #3 from my list for the Winter Classics Challenge.

1 comment:

booklogged said...

Thanks for your review - Moll Flanders is not calling to me.