Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Adventures of David Simple - Sarah Fielding

the adventures of david simple
sarah fielding
c. 1744
282 pages (102 read)
stopped reading 4/26/2010

read for: before i die challenge, penguin classics

*may contain spoilers*

Mr. David Simple was the eldest son of Mr. Daniel Simple, who kept a Mercer's Shop on Ludgate Hill.

After the discovery of a major betrayal at the hands of his previously beloved brother, David Simple takes to the streets of London to try to find someone who could be completely worthy of the title "friend." Written as a commentary on social groupings of the day, David flits from group to group experiencing the myriad social trappings and failings.

Seeing as I didn't finish this book, I don't know if David ever found somebody worthy enough to be called a friend. To be totally honest, I hope he didn't. As he continued to judge and find fault with one person after another, all I could think was maybe David should have tried to bestow that title on himself. Not once in the 100 pages I read did he look in on himself and recognize his own similar shortcomings and vices. Maybe if he did he would be more likely to look past the foibles of others and appreciate what they had to offer. True friends accept you unconditionally. Though again, I didn't finish so maybe he did by the end. I doubt it, but you never know.

It's difficult for me to read early novels like these. I think there were still a lot of things that were being figured out about what the novel was supposed to be, so plot and character development were often a little thin. In their place was some major social commentary and satire. And for me, while that can be enjoyable and interesting, I can only deal with so much before something in the plot has to move forward. As nothing ever did, I decided to quit. Though that does make me feel like a failure.


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