Tristran Shandy

The Smoking Batteries": Trim, Toby's corporal, invents a device for firing multiple miniature cannons at once, based on a hookah. Unfortunately, he and Toby find the puffing on the hookah pipe so enjoyable that they keep setting the cannons off. Illustration by George Cruikshank. (Public Domain)

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Original Air Date: 
March 12, 2006

Laurence Sterne's 18th Century novel "Tristram Shandy" is a staple of college English Literature courses everywhere. The 600-odd page book-within-a-book-within-a-book is filled to the brim with digressions, stunts and frazzled chronology. For many it's unreadable. For sure it's unfilmable. This time on To The Best Of Our Knowledge, Tristram Shandy the film. We'll review it, we'll compare the film to the book. We'll even sing about it.

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August 12, 2007
Last modified: 
March 29, 2023