[These notes were made in 1983:]. Although this novel had its delightful moments, I found it rather tedious to get through, the more so since I was under compulsion. The humour is on the whole rather coarse (yes, I know I sound terribly Victorian!) and the general outlook on life a bit grim, for all that poetic justice eventually descends and RR ends up with a pregnant wife. It is the book's attitude towards money which I find most disconcerting - it seems to just keep appearing and disappearing, and no-one seems to have any control over it! I'm perfectly willing to believe that it's a narrowness in my own temperament which makes this book distasteful to me (although I disliked it less than this paragraph seems to indicate), but I don't recall being nearly so put off by Humphry Clinker (which I must re-read). Perhaps Smollett mellowed with age. This early one has something of the "corpses and snakes" mentality of Raiders of the Lost Ark!