If you read and enjoyed Don Quixote, with its endless digressions and ridiculous situations, you are likely to enjoy reading Tristram Shandy. Even if you hated reading Pamela, you may still enjoy Tristram Shandy. "Learned nonsense" describes it very well. The demands it makes on the reader, however, are comparable to those made by works such as Ulysses, Gravitys Rainbow and J.R.. The Penguin edition contains over 120 pages of notes as well as a useful "Glossary of Terms of Fortification" to help the reader along. (You just never know when you might need to know what a "circumvallation" is.) All the same, I first read T.S. in the old Signet Classic edition, ($.95) which contained virtually no annotations, and I still enjoyed it. And then there are the strange neologisms (such as "hobby-horsical"), and the even sillier names. It gets better with repeated readings and it will make you laugh. After T.S., you may want to tackle Anatomy of Melancholy. My only disappointment with T.S.: there was no mechanical duck!