This book has been identified as of the "gothic" mold. I would agree. I am not a fan of such a genre, however this focus of the tale is the Catholic chuch in Spain around the time of The Inquisition. Raised a Catholic, I confess to an interest, you might say delight, in stories that paint unflattering portraits, real or fiction, of the human failings of organized religions. Just to name a few that come immediately to mind: "Assassini" by Thomas Gifford, "The Vicar of Christ" by Walter Murphy, and "The DaVinci Code" by Daniel Brown. So on this point the book captured my attention. It sustained that attention by excellent prose and wonderful character developement, Add a few plot twists, not entirely unexpected, provided a bit more satisfaction to the development arc of the characters. Some negative criticisms have focused on the writing style. Yes, occasionally plotline moves a bit slowly and the writing style is sometimes a tad complicated and overly dramatic. But this novel was published in the 1790s. I believe that by default you have to put these criticisms aside when you first pick up the book. In the introduction, written by Christopher MacLachian, one issue was mentioned that I found reassuring in that he states that Matthew Lewis crafted much shorter sentences than was usual for the time. This was quite true and very encouraging when you find yourself, as I often do, reading quickly through each sentence twice in order to fully understand what the author is trying to transmit and how that information contributes to the progression of the story.
I enjoyed "The Monk" and have no reservations recommending it to anyone who enjoys literature as well as the power and subtleties of the English language.
- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; 1 edition (1 December 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140436030
- ISBN-13: 978-0140436037
- Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 13 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 318 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)