The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the famous Moll Flanders, etc. who was Born in Newgate, and during a Life of continu'd Variety for Three-score Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own Brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv'd Honest, and died a Penitent
...which sums up the story line of the novel, leaving out the best parts.
I first read this book when I was 16, in the throes of Jaded Virgin Syndrome (inexperienced but very curious, with an annoying sense of superiority) and thought it would be "dirty" like Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure.....I was wrong about the "dirty" part, and this is the better book.
With the passing years I have come to realize that financial security is of the utmost importance to women, either in relationships or not. Life can take any number of nasty turns that can leave a woman penniless and alone, so a nest egg, personal bank account, stash-in-a-stocking is a necessity. Our Moll realized that in seventeenth century England and always kept he eye on the bottom line...of a ledger book, no matter how lusty or criminal her behavior. The gal knew how to have a good time but she knew good times had a price tag, either for services rendered, or in the form of Presents, for her jolly nature and a good tumble. Moll was never hard-hearted, she just kept her heart in its place and not on her sleeve.
For this reason her character might seem a bit thin and one-dimensional, to which I'll agree, up to a point. Given that her world view, and her view of "love" and "relationships" is one of trade & commodities, it would be absurd and unseemly to have her going all emotional when life threw her a curve, which it did many times over. Moll is nothing if not resilient, and I appreciated this type of realism and its necessity to move the story along....Very little whinging.
As for Moll's ultimate state of grace and penitence, I believe she regretted her past transgressions. Not sure if she really rued them, except on her deathbed...a scene to which we readers are not privy.
I liked this book, the second time around, for its honesty, humor, and controlled pathos. I love Moll, whatever her "real name" and consider her one of my favorite literary characters. Go forth and seek out this book...and the DVDs with Alex Kingston, which are glorious for her presence
****First off..forget Formatting...this one is Free Form, all the way***
5 Stars: This book held my interest for over a month (I'm a slow reader, okay!)....like Gravity's Rainbow it's about Everything..and No One Thing, and it's never boring...Then there's the Wordplay..the lovely English language the most versatile of toys. Mr Robbins spins that top for all it's worth..in his hands it's worth a lot. Zany, crazy, surreal..the gang's all here, with pathos and sincerity in tow.
Art, and its carry-on baggage: I came to this book after reading The Goldfinch and didn't expect to find another book that dealt with Art. While Ms Tartt's book dealt with ART (writ large, and full of meaning, however misguided) Mr Robbins' book dealt with Art as a process (thanks to Ellen Cherry Charles!) full of foibles and failures. I don't know which book I prefer.
The whole megillah in the Middle East: Oy..from suicide bombers to Palestinian massacres....nothing has changed since this book was published (1990) and I don't want to get into the political side of things...Israelis and Palestinians have been killing each other since Isaac and Ishmael..and nothing will change any time soon..This book takes it all the way back to Jezebel (no "hussy")....and Salome's Dance of the Seven Veils (of Self-Deception)..which I never figured out the specifics...guess you'll have to read the book!
Five inanimate objects on a road trip across the USA (sans Chevrolet)...bound for Armageddon, er, Jerusalem. The "Third Temple" is coming, soon....don't be square...be there...
**in spite of this travesty of a review...I did love this book, and Tom Robbins, the author...don't shy away from the "weird" aspect..that's what fuels his novels**
5 Stars...all the way
It's taking me forever to read Tom Robbins' SKINNY LEGS AND ALL, because there is so much more going on, than just a surreal story....the focus on the strife in the Middle East is just as relevant, and present,as it was "back in the day"....Hence, the Ofra Haza..
Now that I have finished the book, i feel the same. This was a grand story, full of different locales and eccentric characters...but the main character was a virtual cypher in his own story....hell, in his own life. Bouncing off the walls after his mother's death, which was understandable.....bouncing even further, and higher. In Las Vegas after being reclaimed by his errant father, young Theo never seemed to touch ground. His character never connected, with me...hell, Boris was more alive even in caricature.
All in all, I still admire Donna Tartt for her "luminous prose" and look forward to her next offering, if i'm still around in ten years. I just wish her characters had done her craft better service.
I love Donna Tartt's writing...her first two novels are Favorites, of mine This last....THE GOLDFINCH..has thrown me six ways to Sunday I love the prose.....luminous, as always....I love the Story line....I wish people would not have slapped the "Dickensian" adjective, on this book. Of course it has in intricate plot, and lots of "quirky" characters...but, somehow, i find a huge hole, in the story. I can't connect with the characters, and the emotion that is an integral part of Theo's "story". Unlike some reviewers..i don't feel "maternal" where Theo is concerned.....he was bounced around the world, from the age of 13.....his criminal activity was no surprise.....i'm surprised he never saw through Boris....and his "angles" I haven't finished the book, yet......lord help me, when i do
This book is slow to start, as are all of Ms Tartt's books. Somewhere i read that she "paints wall murals with the tiniest brushes" (that's a paraphrase)...and it is a truth....i'm just now seeing the puzzle pieces, that will fit ..to make this book whole.