There are only three characters in this book that you can actually care about. The aunt, the author and Earnest. It is dryly funny in most places, but there are a few places that weren't. It does give you a good look back into the age of the 1800's.
Samuel Butler's novel about the happy, united Victorian home, and how to survive it. Its themes are superficially dated, but conflict between parents and children will always be current until, as Butler hoped, we should all be born, wrapped in money, out of eggs, our parents having died a short time before. Butler worked on this book on and off for 20 years, and the friend who was helping him edit it passed away half way through. If she hadn't, perhaps the story would be more cohesive and Butler less apt to go off on tangential essays. Even so, The Way of All Flesh should be read by anyone who wants to be surprised, excited and challenged by a Victorian novel.
A great book! The beginning is not indicitive of the body of the story so press through the first few chapters to get to the good stuff!
The author pokes fun at Victorian life by examining generations of the Pontifex family.
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