Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Monday, July 13, 2009

Moll Flanders

Moll Flanders
by Daniel Defoe
audio book: 12.5 hours
originally published in 1722

The complete title is actually as follows:
The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, Etc. Who Was Born In Newgate, and During a Life of Continu'd Variety For Threescore 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. Written from her own Memorandums.
Before we even get to the book itself, you’ve got to love that title! It’s sort of a summary of the book and a title all in one, AND it is very catchy too.

About the Book

I usually give a summary of the plot here but the extended title already did that for me. Makes my job much easier, I must say.

I listened to this book after seeing the review posted by Books ‘N Border Collies. After I started it, I realized it will also count for the 1% Well Read Challenge – bonus!

My Thoughts

This book is fascinating. Although it did drag in a few parts, most of the time I was enthralled with the story. Moll’s telling of her life’s adventures is interspersed with remonstrances to the reader/listener to learn from her mistakes. These side notes were just as enjoyable as the story itself.

The book really is a morality lesson, showing by example what NOT to do in any given situation. This is expounded upon in the author’s note at the end as well, but it is apparent throughout Moll’s tale that her goal is to instruct.

One thing that did bother me though … if you’ve read the book, please chime in on this one. What the heck happened to all her children?! I know that at least one was given away to be cared for by someone else, but did the story ever explain what happened to the rest of them?! Lezlie did tackle this question on her blog, but I'm still not satisfied because I don't know what HAPPENED to the children.

A quick note on the audio version: The narrator, Virginia Leishman, did a wonderful job. I’d definitely pick up other books that she’s narrated.

Your Thoughts?

This is definitely a classic novel. Have you read it? Do you want to? If you’ve reviewed it, give me your link and I’ll post it here.


Lezlie said...

I'm glad you liked it! And, yes, the question of her children is vexing one! I'll be waiting to see what your readers have to say on the subject. And thanks for the links! I'll link your review to mine also.


Justin Narin said...

Thanx for the your frank review of the book... yes the title does tells a lot about what the book is about but you have made it much more simpler :)

Freedom Debt Relief

Anna said...

This is another one of those classics I've always wanted to read but haven't yet. I remember the discussion on Lezlie's blog and now I'm curious about all those children!

Diary of an Eccentric

Rebecca Reid said...

I haven't read this yet -- I did read Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, which I enjoyed so after your positive review,I'm all the more excited to read this now!

Heather J. said...

Lezlie - Other than that one issue, the book was great. I wonder if it has anything to do with it being written by a man?

Justin - Thanks.

Anna - It was very enjoyable! I hope you'll try it out sometime.

Rebecca - Crusoe is still on my TBR list ... I'm hoping to get to it someday soon, but that's doubtful.

Lit and Life said...

I'm always looking for well read audio books, so many are ruined by the reading. I'll have to pick this one up.

Heather J. said...

Lit and Life - Yes, that is something I've written about before! I'm very particular in my narrators, so I'm always sure to tell my readers which ones are good and which ones are not.

Darla D said...

I read this for a lit class in college, and while my memories of it are vague, I do recall enjoying it very much. That may be because of how it compared with other assigned reading (of course it would blow Moby Dick out of the water - sorry about the pun!). But I remember thinking it was pretty funny and suprisingly modern for when it was written.

Heather J. said...

Darla - I have to agree, both about Moby Dick (ugh!) and it being relatively modern. I really enjoyed it!

Sheila DeChantal said...

Absolutely love the title! How fun is that! When my book club read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, I loved just staying that title (after taking a deep breath of course!)

Heather J. said...

Sheila - I know, right?! Titles like that, the ones that are a real mouthful, always make me laugh. The book I'm reading now is the same kind of thing: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. :)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin