Roderick Random

Front Cover
Penguin Books, 1995 - Fiction - 476 pages
10 Reviews
Roderick Random was published in 1748 to immediate acclaim, and established Smollett among the most popular of eighteenth-century novelists.
Narrated 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. Although Roderick Random was first published anonymously, the secret of Smollett's authorship was soon discovered, with the result that many readers thought they recognized similarities between the life of the hero and that of his creator. Certainly Roderick Random's early years - disinherited and without wealth and influence - and his university career, apprenticeship and service as a naval surgeon, vividly reflect the experiences of the author.
How Random learns to survive the fickle hand of fortune, recovers his long-lost father, marries his beloved Narcissa, and dispatches his enemies is the stuff, not of autobiography but of a novel which profoundly satirizes the moral chaos of its times. Dickens and Thackeray, among other great Victorians, applauded Smollett for his wit and invention, and in Roderick Random we enjoy the novel of a pioneer opening up the frontiers of fiction.

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Review: The Adventures of Roderick Random

User Review  - Leah Turner - Goodreads

It had its high points and I liked the ending, but would not have chosen this for myself were it not assigned reading for a class. Read full review

Review: The Adventures of Roderick Random

User Review  - Robert Stewart - Goodreads

There are humorous moments in this, but it's nothing like The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, or even other picaresque novels I've read. For me, reading 18th century writing requires some extra effort and I need a constant stream of gratification to make it worthwhile. Read full review

About the author (1995)

Tobias Smollett (1721-1771) was a Scottish author, best known for his picaresque novels

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