Friday, November 9, 2007

The Way of All Flesh

Yesterday I finished The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler. An ominous title. The book itself, while long and often dry, had its moments of scalding criticism of Victorian values. I first became aware of it while reading Christopher Morely's Parnassus on Wheels and The Haunted Bookshop. The bookseller Roger Mifflin idolizes Butler and even creates a dish called "Eggs a la Samuel Butler." Morley's two books are so delightful that I had high expectations for Butler. Unfortunately it turned out to be a long haul. There were times when things had a decidedly Dickensian lilt to them, but it wasn't enough to keep me reading at a rapid pace.

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