Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thoughts: The Monk by Matthew Lewis

First off, The Monk is one of those books that the more you don’t know about it, the more you’re going to enjoy it. Really. So, if you want to stop reading right now, I won’t hold it against you.

However, since you’ve continued reading, The Monk is about, well, a monk named Ambrosio who is corrupted by another monk (novice?) who turns out to be a woman who later turns out to be… something else entirely. But, wait, there’s more. The-monk-who-turns-out-to-be-a-woman convinces Ambrosio to forget his conscience and freely indulge in pleasure. Haunted castles, Bleeding nuns, catacombs, evil nuns, and a bunch of other Gothic elements are encountered along the way.

I think I sold The Monk short in the summary, but I highly recommend it. GO READ THE MONK. RIGHT NOW. It’s a very thick book, but the pages just flew by. I didn’t even notice I was almost done, because I was enjoying it so much. And the plot? What plot? It was obvious Matthew Lewis didn’t have an outline, because the book just got crazier and crazieeeeeer. Around these parts, crazieeeeeeer = PURE FUN.

Don’t get me wrong, though. This book isn’t perfect. Sometimes, it borders on the level where it’s so bad it’s good, and sometimes it’s just plain bad. There were tons of occurrences where Matthew Lewis didn’t bother to come up with a logical explanation. For example, character A was spirited away for no apparent reason so character B can carry out his nefarious plans. *Insert maniacal laugh here.*

The Monk really surprised me. I was expecting the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but got Zombieland instead. And I really, really liked Zombieland.

Rating: 4/5

Note: This is the first book I read for the R.I.P. VI challenge.

13 comments:

Trisha said...

I signed up to read this one for the October Classics Circuit, so I totally stopped reading after your first paragraph. :)

simplerpastimes said...

Well, since everybody (you included!) is telling me I should read this, I stopped after the first paragraph! I can't promise I'll read it this fall, but it is definitely on the short list.

Biblibio said...

I have never heard of this book, but... sounds crazy enough to work. Or work on the level of "so bad it's good" (as you say), at the very least!

Richard said...

Pure (cheesy) fun for sure, Darlyn, with one of the most over the top endings of all time to boot. You're making me want to reread Lewis' trashterpiece!

Zibilee said...

Oh heck yes, I think I will love this book, and am going to have to go about procuring a copy of my very own. It sounds like it's just full of mischief, and I love books like that. Your enthusiasm was so contagious that I am leaving your site to go find my own copy! Great review!

Shelley said...

I stopped right where you told me too, but I'll be back. I'm hoping to read this in the next month or so.

Jillian said...

I didn't read this post in full, because I want the surpise. But I read enough to be excited! I own this and cannot WAIT to read it. :-)

Charlie (The Worm Hole) said...

I haven't read the post in full either as I've seen the book mentioned and am interested. To be honest you saying it's better when you have no idea makes me want to pick it up sooner than I would have.

celawerdblog said...

Sounds like a great read!

Erin said...

I'm extremely anti-spoiler, so thanks for the warning! After your first paragraph, I skimmed, but I'd totally prefer Zombieland to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, so maybe I'll give it a shot someday :)

Alice said...

Dude, I picked this up early this year and immediately got through 20% of it (ah, Kindle users. we make ourselves apparent), but then kind of stalled when one of the characters was talking about how he and the girl-who-becomes-a-nun were going to escape from a castle.

But I FREAKED OUT about the beginning parts. And I'm sure it gets amazing again. Bandits! Cutthroats! Nuns! Demons! Demon nuns! Intrigue! Everything ever!

Someone should make Monk buttons.

Kailana said...

I read this recently, too. I really must review it soon! I enjoyed it, though. I was really not sure what to expect when I read it and it was really quite good!

Rebecca Reid said...

I didn't love this one -- but love that crazy cover pic!

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