Monkalong, Part 2

Y’all, I was mad at this section of the readalong, but can I confess something real quick? The person I was really mad at . . . was me.

When I wrote my post for Monkalong Part 1, I didn’t say anything about Lorenzo’s sister Agnes, who got pregnant WHILE A NUN. In my defense, so many goddamn things happened in the first two chapters that it was really hard to figure out where to focus my attention, and THE MONK was just more interesting than poor old Agnes, as well as being, you know, the eponymous character. Obviously Matthew Gregory Lewis caught wind of this omission on my part, because the next two chapters were the Incredibly Lengthy Saga of How Agnes Got Pregnant While a Nun.

What follows are nesting-doll stories in which Agnes’s lover, Alphonso (also, coincidentally, the relative whom sweet dumb Antonia hopes to convince to give her money) tries to prove to Lorenzo that he is legit, and part of that story includes another lady telling Alphonso a story to prove that she is legit, and her story includes the first instance in this book of rape. And hopefully also the last because that is not my jam. You  better watch out, Matthew Gregory Lewis. You are on the thinnest of ice with this.

the other Matthew Lewis, I'm referring to
Not you, honey. You’re fine.

The story Alphonso tells Lorenzo occupies two chapters. To put that into perspective, there are twelve chapters in this book total. That means that more than fifteen percent of this book is just Alphonso explaining to Lorenzo how and why he knocked up Lorenzo’s sister. At the end of this UNBELIEVABLY LONG GODDAMN STORY, Lorenzo tells Alphonso that ordinarily he’d have to kill Alphonso to defend his sister’s honor, but in this case he’s not going to do it because, and God knows I quote, “The temptation was too great to be resisted.” What the shit, Matthew Gregory Lewis.

No, no, baby. The other Matthew Lewis. The one I hate.

Then Alphonso goes home and there’s a poem. You can fuck right off, sir, if you think that I’m going to read a damn poem after you just wasted thirty-two thousand words (I counted) on a story that you could have told in two sentences, to wit: “I snuck into the monastery. We had sex.”

Lorenzo gets Alphonso to agree to financially support Antonia and her mother, and in a shocking twist, when he tells this to Antonia’s mother, Elvira does not immediately offer Antonia to him in marriage out of gratitude.


Instead she says that Lorenzo can marry Antonia if his whole family agrees to it in writing or something. That Lorenzo doesn’t get all entitled and furious about this and make assignations with Antonia in secret kind of makes me think better of him. I mean, that, and the time he had to sit through an hours-long story about How His Sister Got Pregnant While a Nun.

Finally, Lorenzo goes to the convent with a papal dispensation calling for Agnes’s release so she can marry Alphonso and live in wedded bliss, the Mean Nun in charge of the convent tells him that Agnes is DEAD.


I revise my earlier statement. I am mad at me for not talking about Agnes in my last post, but I am much madder at Matthew Gregory Goddamn Lewis for making me sit through thirty-two thousand words just to explain how one lady got knocked up.

Thanks as ever to Alice for hosting this gloriously insane readalong! Head over to her place for (possibly) more measured remarks on this section, which despite the title of the book contains absolutely no MONK whatsoever.

12 thoughts on “Monkalong, Part 2”

  1. Yeah, Raymond must like to hear himself talk. Get to the point, dude.

    It’s really hard to know what is important in this book. Like that ghost stuff seemed like it was going somewhere and then it just ended.

    Elvira and Don Christbel are the only two people with any common sense. They should get together.

    1. I think Agnes is going to come back as Bleeding Nun the Second. She was planning to do the exact same thing!

  2. I did not mind so many words to tell me “Raymond knocked Agnes up” because OMG THAT STORY WAS INSANE and also Ambrosio super sucks and I don’t care about him. And I think all can be forgiven for not discussing Agnes in the first part because Lewis barely mentions her, other than to show Ambrosio being an inflexible jerk when it comes to other people’s failings. (Well done w/ the Neville gifs, bt-dubs)


    Also the last time I tried to read this book, I almost for sure gave up in the middle of the Interminable I Banged Your Sister Here’s Why story. So glad we’re past it. MORE MONK.

  4. The best part of the whole long story was when Raymond got back to his house and was all “oh yeah, I TOTES knew that I was going to take HOURS to tell that tale.”

  5. Dude. Right?! I didn’t even know what was going on between Lorenzo and Antonia’s mum because I’d lost the will to live after Don Raymond’s story, to be honest. And by ‘lost the will to live’, I obviously mean ‘wasn’t paying attention anymore’. Are we done with this book yet?

  6. Bwahahahaha. I love these write-ups. Better yet, I love the fact that I decided not to read it. I would MUCH rather enjoy the story through everyone else’s reactions.

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