The Way of All Flesh (Modern Library Series)

The Way of All Flesh (Modern Library Series)

Paperback(MODERN LIB)

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The Way of All Flesh (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading) 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don¿t agree with the ranking of this book as the 12th best English-language novel of the 20th century, but it¿s certainly worth a look. It¿s Samuel Butler¿s only novel, it¿s semi-autobiographical, and it was published posthumously. Narrated by the protagonist¿s godfather, the book follows the Dickensian life of Ernest Pontifex, from his upbringing by clueless, hypocritical parents, through his schooldays as a lackluster student, to a young adulthood of poor decisions and misplaced loyalties. One cannot help but wonder how such a man went on to translate Homer for today¿s readers. (If you have a copy of The Iliad or The Odyssey, Samuel Butler probably translated it.) The title implies the author¿s belief that everyone goes through such growing pains, and, of course, he¿s right, with the possible exception of the exceedingly good fortune that awaits him. Though not a page-turner, this book is easy to read and full of timeless, insightful observations on life.
exlibrarian More than 1 year ago
this copy includes many drop out sections and replacement of letters and words with garbled sections
Anonymous 12 months ago
The Way of All Flesh is a book you hear about and understand is considered a great novel. While the book spends a great deal of time getting to the main plot, it is ultimately worth it. I wish Butler had produced much more as a novelist, but what he gave us is great
soylentgreen23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've always been fond of erudite books where the author isn't afraid to digress in order to tell you something insightful or just simply interesing, and Butler's most famous novel is a great example. His story follows the life of a young man, an everyman who carries in him Butler's beliefs, and reflects the society he lived in.
markfinl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Way of All Flesh tells the story of the Pontifax family over four generations, focusing on the last two generations, the loathsome Theobald and his son George. I loved the book. It is a sarcastic, scathing indictment of nearly every aspect of society. It is one of the funniest books I have ever read.
fiverivers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My second pass of this much-acclaimed early 20th century novel, and now I remember why I didn't remember -- verbose, pompous writing, author-intrusive and a window into Butler's navel.
humdog on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this book is a magnificent satire right up there with jonathan swift. it is a 19th century mommy dearest.
hansel714 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The 19th century novel tells a story of six generations of the Pontifexes through a disinterested narrator, Mr. Overton. The narration is both brilliant and flawed as Overton has access to even the inner thoughts of the characters. Brilliant because it is as if Mr. Overton is Ernest Pontifex, the protagonist, like how when you ask for advice, you would say, "My friend has this problem," and that "friend" is you. But if this is a veiled autobiography, then we must know that Overton is prejudiced and inaccurate about his evaluation of the characters.The dark-humored, Daniel-Defoesque novel starts off very slowly but the third volume of the book picks up and is in fact quite exciting. There are two great flaws which prevent the novel from being canonical: it has too many references to politicans, theologians, scientists and poets in 19th century so contemporary readers will fail to understand the book; and as an invective against against society and religion, this book uses the rhetoric of religion (didactic cant), which fails.
donnareads911 More than 1 year ago
Classic novel and so well-written, however with its dated language and all, it took me forever to read through. I had to read chapters to get myself back in the swing of this "family" tale. This is a primer on how "not" to be a family!
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book unreadable and extremely bad customer service dealing with issue
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