The Way of All Flesh

By Samuel Butler
Read by Frederick Davidson

15.38 Hours 02/01/2001 unabridged
Format:
  • Regular Price: $27.95

    Special Price $22.36

    or 1 Credit

    ISBN: 9781455177424

    $12.99 With Membership: Learn More
  • $7.95

    ISBN: 9781482106497

  • $34.95

    ISBN: 9781470889951

  • $24.95

    ISBN: 9780786190744

This brilliant satirical novel traces the life and loves of Ernest Pontifex, a young man who survives the baleful influence of a hateful, hypocritical father, a doting mother, and a debauched wife to emerge as a decent, happy human being. A fascinating character study, it is also a stinging satire of the Victorian gentry’s pomposity, sentimentality, pseudo-respectability, and refined cruelty—one still capable of delivering deathblows to the same traits in our present world. Since its original publication in 1903, The Way of All Flesh has enjoyed continuous popularity. Every new generation finds in this novel a reaffirmation of youth’s admirable will for freedom of personal expression and its rightful struggle against the tyranny of harsh parents.

Learn More
Membership Details
  • Only $12.99/month gets you 1 Credit/month
  • Cancel anytime
  • Hate a book? Then we do too, and we'll exchange it.
See how it works in 15 seconds

Summary

Summary

One of Modern Library's 100 Best English-Language Novels of the Twentieth Century

This brilliant satirical novel traces the life and loves of Ernest Pontifex, a young man who survives the baleful influence of a hateful, hypocritical father, a doting mother, and a debauched wife to emerge as a decent, happy human being. A fascinating character study, it is also a stinging satire of the Victorian gentry’s pomposity, sentimentality, pseudo-respectability, and refined cruelty—one still capable of delivering deathblows to the same traits in our present world. Since its original publication in 1903, The Way of All Flesh has enjoyed continuous popularity. Every new generation finds in this novel a reaffirmation of youth’s admirable will for freedom of personal expression and its rightful struggle against the tyranny of harsh parents.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“One of the summits of human achievement.” George Bernard Shaw
“If the house caught on fire, the Victorian novel I would rescue from the flames would be not Vanity Fair or Bleak House but Samuel Butler’s The Way of All Flesh. It is read, I believe, mostly by the young, bent on making out a case against their elders, but Butler was fifty when he stopped working on it, and no reader much under that age is likely to appreciate the full beauty of its horrors, which are not the horrors of the Gothic novel but of family life.”  New Yorker
“One thinks of it lying in Samuel Butler's desk for thirty years, waiting to blow up the Victorian family and with it the whole great pillared and balustraded edifice of the Victorian novel.” V.S. Pritchett 
“[Butler] uses ordinary conversational English idiom, managing to seem perfectly at ease in it, and continually showing how rich in expressive turns and formulations and apt and vivid words it really is…This is the perfection of what one loosely thinks of as the ‘plain’ style and which of course is not ‘plain’ at all, but fashioned with hard labor and the most sensitive and resourceful skill. In writing Butler attained that ‘grace after the flesh’ for which Ernest pined in vain.” P. N. Furbank 

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Samuel Butler

Samuel Butler (1835–1902) was born at Langar rectory, near Bingham, Nottinghamshire, and was educated at Shrewsbury and St. John’s College, Cambridge. Forever quarreling with his clergyman father, he gave up the idea of taking orders and became instead a sheep farmer in New Zealand. He returned to Britain in 1864 and thereafter lived in London until his death. For a time he studied painting, and his painting of Mr. Heatherley’s Holiday is in the Tate Gallery. He loved music, especially Handel’s, and composed two oratorios, gavottes, minuets, fugues, and a cantata. In his later years he turned to Shakespearean scholarship and published translations of Iliad and Odyssey. He is best known, however, for his autobiographical novel The Way of All Flesh, published posthumously in 1903.

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 15.38
Audience: Adult
Language: English