The whole time I was reading this I kept thinking, "this was written in the mid 1700's, really?!" Tristram Shandy is a testament to the fact that body humor was alive and well a couple hundred years ago. But even without the body humor, it's a bizarre book. I can't tell if Sterne was a genius or an imbecile who wrote in one continuous stream, never editing or reading what he'd already written, or both.There are chapters with no content. Chapters with almost no content. Chapters with songs and scribbles and lots of dots and not much else. There are so many tangents and musings and minute details about the movement of an arm or leg or the position of the speaker that if it were't for these frequent deviations the book would probably only be about 10 pages long. It's an autobiography where the subject of the book isn't born for about 200 pages and once he is, is rarely the main character. I laughed out loud throughout the book, but I have to admit that almost as often I found my thoughts wandering for pages. It goes from incredibly funny to inane and rambling to almost serious and back again over and over. Sometimes it was an test of patience to slog through it, more often I could hardly put it down.