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When I need a work to blame for my obsession of literature, my mind tends to jump immediately to Tom Jones and Henry Fielding--even before Jane Austen does. It was the first book published pre-1900 that captivated me from beginning to end, and I never cease to smile when I reflect upon that first experience. Tom's trials and tribulations throughout the story will almost certainly make you laugh, cry, cringe, and hold you in suspense. Fielding's ability to continually enthrall his audience amazes me. The chapter headings alone aught to give you an idea of exactly what you're getting yourself into when you pick up (or download) this book. Although it is a "rags to riches to rags to riches" story, I dare you not to be captivated by the humorous and tragic characters. Give it a try; if you still aren't impressed by the third chapter it may not be for you. But because of Fielding's dialog and ambitious (in all meanings of the word) characters, I highly doubt that will happen if you are a fan of works along the line of Austen.