Two stars (and 592 pages long!)
It took me seven months, but I did it. I survived Pamela. Published in 1735, this book really set the stage for the modern novel. And what a stage it was.
Allow me to save your precious time:
Pamela, The Short-ish Version:
Pamela: I am a virtuous maiden!
Pamela’s parents: PAMELA. GUARD YOUR VIRTUE.
Servants: PAMELA. GUARD YOUR VIRTUE.
Pamela: I must guard my virtue!
Me: Whoah, chillax, dudes. She’s like 15. Stop making a big deal out of her virtue. What’s the worry?
Young Lord: I will take Pamela’s virtue!
Me: Ah, that’s the worry.
Young Lord: * repeatedly makes attempts at Pamela’s virtue *
Pamela: I must stay strong!
Young Lord: You’re pretty. You must be a slut.
Young Lord: * dresses like a servant girl and sneaks into Pamela’s bed *
Young Lord: I will have you!
Pamela: * repeatedly barely escapes with her virtue *
Servants: Oh no! GUARD YOUR VIRTUE.
Pamela: SOME HELP WOULD BE NICE. Woe is me!
Servants: He’s our master. What would you have us do? GUARD YOUR VIRTUE.
Pamela’s parents: If you lose your virtue, we, like, aren’t ever going to talk to you again.
Young Lord: * makes more attempts at Pamela’s virtue *
Young Lord: The servants like you. Somehow you have fooled them all into thinking you are not a slut!
Young Lord: * kidnaps Pamela and locks her away in another house *
Pamela: Alas! Poor me! For I can do nothing! But above all I must preserve my virtue.
Pamela’s parents: If you lose your virtue, we still won’t ever talk to you again.
Young Lord: * makes more attempts on Pamela’s virtue *
* this goes on for about 300 pages *
Young Lord: Well, Pamela! You’ve resisted me. You must be virtuous. I will marry you.
Young Lord: * under his breath * Haha! Yeah right, slut. I’m going to pretend to marry you but not really.
Pamela: I heard that. Woe is me!
Young Lord: No you didn’t.
Pamela: Yeah I did. I think maybe I will kill myself instead of giving up my virtue. Woe is me!
Young Lord: Wow, you must really be virtuous.
Pamela: Ya think? Woe is me!
Young Lord: Okay, you can go home now.
Young Lord: JK, I want to marry you for real now. I’m sick and can’t leave my bed for love of you.
Pamela: What a coincidence! I love you too! But I am so beneath you!
Me: How is there still 30% of this book to go?????
Young Lord: Beneath me in rank and wealth but not in virtue!
Me: Duh, you freaking kidnapped her!! Pretty sure you have no virtue. The cow has more virtue than you.
Pamela: If you marry me, I will spend the rest of my life devoted to you for showing such kindness.
Me: HE KIDNAPPED YOU.
Young Lord: Let’s get married tomorrow.
Pamela: Oh! But as a virtuous maiden, the thought of getting married fills me with shyness! Let’s push it off.
Young Lord: Must we?
Pamela: Just for two weeks.
Young Lord: Two weeks is sooooooooo long.
Pamela: But I’m so shy!
* This goes on for some time *
Pamela’s Dad: I am here! If Pamela is still virtuous, she can come home with me. If not, I never want to speak to her again.
Pamela: I’m getting married!
Pamela’s Dad: Cool beans! In that case, have fun, kiddo. Bye. Oh, by the way future son-in-law, thanks for the money!
* Pamela and Young Lord finally freakin’ get married *
Me: Why is there still 20% of this book to go???
Young Lord: Now, Pamela, I shall tell you all the ways you must act and behave to make me a good wife.
Pamela: I love my master so! I will do all you say.
Young Lord: Always be happy and dress nice and never contradict me or point out my faults or ever talk about my faults to anyone and always tell everyone what a great guy I am.
Pamela: But these are all exactly what I most wish to do!
Young Lord: You make a great wife.
Pamela: Oh! I do not deserve your compliments! You are too good! Too kind!
Me: Have we just all agreed to forget about the kidnapping? Attempted rape? etc. etc.?
* insert long and boring plot point about Young Lord’s older sister who hates Pamela but then comes to love her when Pamela takes her side in an argument *
Young Lord: PAMELA. How DARE you take my sister’s side over mine! You shall leave this house without me.
Pamela: Oh! Don’t make me! I will never not take your side in an argument again.
Young Lord: Oh, okay. You’re forgiven. I guess I can be a bit temperamental. We all have our faults, right?
Pamela: Oh! But you have none! You are so kind, generous, good, loving, noble!
Pamela: By the way, you wanted to see all my letters to my parents and friends. Can I mail this one?
Young Lord: How come you only sign it with your first name?
Pamela: It seemed too presumptuous to assume you would let me take your last name!
Young Lord: By golly, I like this humility in you. Go ahead and use it.
Pamela: You are so kind, generous, good, loving, noble!
Me: WHY IS THERE STILL 10% OF THIS BOOK TO GO??????
Young Lord: Oh, btw, remember that one time when I tried to take your virtue?
Pamela: Oh yeah, why?
Young Lord: Well, once I did the same thing to another girl, but she gave up her virtue and gave me a daughter. And…surprise! Here is the daughter.
Pamela: Oh! I love her above all things! Let me keep her!
Young Lord: Uh…maybe. Or we could just leave her at the boarding school…
Young Lord: We could have our own kids…
Pamela: Oh! Don’t speak so vulgarly!
Pamela: Um, dare I ask what happened to your cast off lover?
Young Lord: Well, I tried to make her my lover again but she fled to Jamaica. Aren’t you thrilled? You don’t need to worry about competition.
Pamela: I feel kind of bad for her. Had she not succumbed to temptation, she would still have her virtue, like me!
Young Lord: You behave so nobly! How I love you!
Pamela: And I love you!
Author: I shall now endeavor to tell you what each character means.
Author: * goes into exhaustive description about what moral lesson each character represents *
Me: * gags repeatedly *