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Jude the Obscure

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3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  45,988 Ratings  ·  2,062 Reviews
In 1895 Hardy's final novel, the great tale of Jude The Obscure, sent shockwaves of indignation rolling across Victorian England. Hardy had dared to write frankly about sexuality and to indict the institutions of marriage, education, and religion. But he had, in fact, created a deeply moral work. The stonemason Jude Fawley is a dreamer; his is a tragedy of unfulfilled aims ...more
Paperback, 452 pages
Published August 14th 2001 by Modern Library (first published 1895)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
Jul 10, 2015 karen rated it it was amazing


i have just discovered betterbooktitles.com, so i am including this, but it is a total spoiler, so be warned.

(view spoiler)

jude the obscure is one of my favorite books of all time. and reading the biography of him now is making me very antsy to reread this. it used to be part of my "summer reruns" ritual; to reread all my favorites each and every summer. then i got old and realized that kind of thing was a luxury i would have to give up, or risk missing out on all kinds of books
...more
Eric
Jan 22, 2011 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who feel better when they compare their life to Jude's.
Shelves: literature
If you like sunshine, unicorns, and lollipops, then you probably won't like this book. If it's raining and you're vaguely manic depressive or if you just want to sit around for a few hours and feel sorry for someone other than yourself - well, Jude's your man.

I can't fault Hardy's talents at controlling the mood. Even before it became horrendously horrendous, there was a pall of doom that hung over everything that poor Jude touched.
Dolors
Feb 28, 2014 Dolors rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Birds of sorrow
“God had created woman for the sole purpose of tempting and testing man. One must not approach her without defensive precautions and fear of possible snares. She was, indeed, just like a snare, with her lips open and her arms stretched out to man.” Guy de Maupassant, Clair de Lune.

I wonder who the real tragic protagonist in Hardy’s tale of doomed love and transcendental disillusion is. What seems evident according to the incriminating behavior of the female characters in the story is that wome
...more
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
A few days ago I finished Thomas Hardy's last novel, Jude the Obscure. I was completely overwhelmed and truly needed a few days to reflect upon the experience and collect my thoughts before attempting a review. Bear in mind too, that this is the first time that I have read Jude, and I sincerely believe that this novel may require a lifetime of reading and study in order to fully tease out and understand the import of Hardy's message.

First, a little background about the novel. This novel took Har
...more
Jessica
Apr 03, 2008 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YOU, if you've finished all the chicken soup for the soul books already
Recommended to Jessica by: the guy at the crisis hotline
If I remember correctly, this book is a real laff riot, with a touchingly sweet and uplifting message. I think I read somewhere that Hardy was feted in the streets of his hometown Christminster and given the Feelgood Author of 1895 Award for this baby, and rightly so! What a heartwarming gift for someone who's feeling down, such as a student who's just lost his financial aid, or someone you know who's trying to make an unconventional relationship work despite social strictures. Okay, full disclo ...more
Apatt
Feb 28, 2016 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Hey Jude, don't be afraid
You were made to go out and get her
The minute you let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better”


I would caution anyone against taking romantic advice from Sir Paul McCartney, splendid music legend that he is. This is especially true for a Thomas Hardy protagonist. Certainly Jude Fawley did let a certain lady under his skin and proceeds to make things much worse (spoiler? Hardly, Thomas Hardy’s protagonists are not in the habit of making things better). If you
...more
Jr Bacdayan
Oct 31, 2014 Jr Bacdayan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a review shrouded in misery and gloom, a meditation on life’s sadness and bleakness. Let those who read this derive their little satisfaction from the beauty that we sometimes discern springing from the melancholy, otherwise one should not partake this endeavor at all. Happy Halloween?

Sometimes in the morning, I wake up and ask myself “why carry on?” Sometimes you’re filled with this immense pressure and wish to just stay lying in bed forever. Sometimes people tell themselves that they’
...more
Nate
Nov 26, 2008 Nate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read this if you're looking for that final push towards suicide.
Kim
Sep 13, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, re-read

This is one of the three novels by Thomas Hardy which I read when I was at school and university. While it's not the one that made me decide I didn't like Hardy - that honour goes to Tess of the D'Urbervilles - I was not motivated to read it again. However, thirty five years later I've developed a new appreciation for Hardy, thanks to a wonderful audiobook of The Return of the Native narrated by Alan Rickman. I'm now slowly working my way through his novels, including the ones I've read before.
...more
Aubrey
2.5/5
I am not a man who wants to save himself at the expense of the weaker among us!
A word of advice to wannabe novelists: don't build a sob story character on the backs of far more desperate plot lines. In the effort of making a single complex portrait that seeks to inspire empathetic commiseration, you run the risk of using tropes as buffering without giving them their due. Now, one can write a work of some quality without deity level insight à la Evans/Eliot and such, but that requires stre
...more
Martine
Jul 21, 2008 Martine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people in need of some good old-fashioned tragedy
If it weren't for the fact that it's somewhat whiny and depressing (and that's putting it mildly), Jude the Obscure would be an ideal book for secondary school pupils struggling with their book reports. See, the way Hardy wrote the novel, the reader is not required to think for himself about what the characters are like and why they suffer the misfortunes they do. Hardy spells it all out for him, mostly by having the characters analysing themselves and each other ad nauseam. Thus the reader is t ...more
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستانِ گرانقدر، این کتاب از 600 صفحه تشکیل شده و داستانِ جوانی ساده و روستایی به نامِ «جود» است که با تصمیم هایِ اشتباه زندگیش به نابودی و زوال کشیده میشود... او با دختری کثیف و هوس باز به نامِ « آرابلا» ازدواج میکند که از او خیانت می بیند، سپس عاشقِ « سو» میشود که زنِ « فیلوتسون» معلمِ سابقِ روستا هستش... با « سو» فرار کرده و زندگی تشکیل میدهند و سپس مسیرِ زندگی از آنچه آرزویش را داشت به سمتِ تباهی و در نهایت مرگ در تنهایی با سرفه و لبِ تشنه، تغییر میکند
از میانه هایِ داستان دلم می خواست « آراب
...more
Yamini
I’m still wavering a bit on how to rate this but for now, I’m at peace with 3.5 stars.

I love Jude. I feel protective towards him. And I feel like hell about all that happens to him. But other then just a lot of sympathy on my part towards him, I didn’t find myself as emotionally engaged with this novel as I was expecting to. And I just can’t not compare it with some of Hardy’s other novels which have given me more compelling experiences. Perhaps if I’d read this before Tess, I would’ve felt diff
...more
Lauren
Dec 31, 2007 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
Just about killed me. An incredible, crushing novel. Hardy writes what I feel. If I didn't know any better about Hardy, I'd think this novel was the 19th-century "Requiem for a Dream," the equivalent of an anti-emotional, anti-adultery PSA. That's how harsh it is. I know a lot of people were made to read it in high school, but then again, I had the weird childhood. The epitome of a tragic figure, Jude Fawley is shut down at every turn... or built up slightly, only to lose everything. The best ba ...more
Esteban del Mal
I read this out of curiosity during my freshman year in college. When I approached my English 1A professor about doing a paper on it, she -- and I'm not joking here -- said, "Why would you want to write about a dead white male?" Taken aback, I dutifully bowed my pimpled head and submitted a paper on Ernest Gaines's A Gathering of Old Men.

Not to take anything away from Gaines, who I ended up admiring in his way, but Ms. F? You can suck it.
Orsolya
Jan 01, 2016 Orsolya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, classics, favorites
Jude the Obscure is one of my favorite novels of all time. It doesn't matter which time era the story is presented, it makes sense. Remarkably, it was written during a time with far more sexual restraint than we know today and definitely resulted in Hardy going "out with a bang".

There is more to a man than the outright sexual pleasures and need to plant his seed, and Jude clearly show the ties between the primal urges and that of loneliness and desire for love and acceptance. He makes some imma
...more
Drew
Jul 23, 2007 Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: men
Shelves: lit
Jude is every man. He is obscure, in that his choices make no sense, and yet complete sense. He manages to impregnate a local woman he has no aspirations to marry, and yet does. He abandons hope for a rewarding and successful career. Then he carries on with his cousin, mainly because she is a way out of his dull life. All along, we are reminded of what could have been, if only this man could settle for one woman. He meets the best end for a character I've ever read, and one that is more than app ...more
Alex
Oct 24, 2015 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A few years ago I was about to start Jude the Obscure, and I was also about to get divorced, and everyone was like nooooo, do not read this book while you're depressed anyway; it is the bummer of all bummers. So I didn't. I read it just now instead.

And I'm not sure that advice was crucial. One of the messages of the book is that one shouldn't stay in a marriage that's not the right marriage; in a way, this might have been reassuring, right?

One of the other messages is "But society will beat you
...more
Karen
Feb 03, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
HOLY COW that was depressing. Well done, but depressing. A Shakespeare tragedy... only lacking the passion and the violence.

3.5 STARS



“I may do some good before I am dead--be a sort of success as a frightful example of what not to do; and so illustrate a moral story.”

What can I say about this one…. It was sad. No… it was depressing Uhhhh, yes but more than that is was frustrating and down right tragic.

It is a classic. It is well written… of course it is, it is Hardy after all. But my rating o
...more
Crystal
May 30, 2011 Crystal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only those who have read other Hardy novels
Shelves: fiction
So if you are a literary person and have read Thomas Hardy before, then go ahead and read this one. If you haven’t read any other Thomas Hardy works, PLEASE don’t start with this one. I took a class on Thomas Hardy literature because it was taught by one of my favorite professors. I visited “Thomas Hardy” country in the southern westerly region of England because it was an opportunity to travel abroad. I’ve read several of Hardy’s novels – but none were quite as depressing and dark as this one. ...more
نرگس
Jul 13, 2015 نرگس rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
به نظرم تامس هاردی حقشه بیشتر از اینها بهش پرداخته بشه. روانشناس خوبیه و تراژدی رو خوب میشناسه. هرچند شخصیتهای اصلی کتابهاش (قهرمانها، آدم خوبهها) معمولا بلاهت عجیبی دارند و در مواقع بحرانی تصمیمات خیلی اشتباهی میگیرند. ولی خوب وقتی قراره یه فاجعه به بار بیاد چاره چیه؟
...more
Jasmine
Dec 18, 2011 Jasmine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british
so... right... um...

this book is basically what you would get if madame bovary gave birth to werther and then he went out on a walk with thomas mann, that is if none of them had a sense of humor... basically then we have what would be left of madame bovary if you took out the funny. unless I just somehow missed everything funny in the book, but that seems basically impossible.

Reading this book is kind of like picking up a stick and poking a corpse with it to try to get the corpse to wake up. I
...more
Richard G
Nov 25, 2011 Richard G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Sinking into the abyss.
Ahmad Sharabiani
799. Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy
جود گمنام - تامس هاردی (گل مریم / شقایق، فرهنگ نشر نو) ادبیات
دو مترجم کتاب را از انگلیسی به فارسی برگردانیده اند، هر دو بسیار محترم، نخست روانشاد ابراهیم یونسی(سیروان آزاد)، نشر نو در 400 ص، چاپ نخست سال 1362، و سپس فریدون زاهدی، نشر شقایق در 600 ص، چاپ نخست سال 1372

از کتاب ص 7، برگردان: ابراهیم یونسی
رویه ی گندمگون مزرعه، دورتادور، به سوی آسمان تن میکشید و در تماس با آن، کم کم، در میان مهی که حاشیه را محو میکرد و بر تنهایی و خلوت محل می افزود، گم میشد. تنها چیز
...more
Dorothy
May 27, 2008 Dorothy rated it did not like it
This one killed my Hardy reading streak. Jude is the male version of Tess of the D'Urbervilles: witless, gullible, and uber-dramatic. He wallows in self pity while stumbling through his highly improbable, moronic existence, which reads like a twisted version of "A Series of Unfortunate Events." Suicide? It's a given. Adultery? You bet. Incest, polygamy and infectious disease? Yes indeedy. I was so hardened by the grisly events of previous chapters that I found myself rejoicing as the characters ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
This is a powerful novel, and not an easy read for at least a couple of reasons. The beginning - as much as the first third - is slow going. Perhaps it was just me, but I didn't seem to adapt to Hardy's style in this as quickly as I might have and the pace is slow. I remarked to myself "well, of course; the people walk everywhere; they never take a carriage." It does pick up and by the last 100 pages I was fully engaged and they read more quickly.

The other reason it isn't an easy read is the st
...more
Chrissie
Maybe Thomas Hardy can write, but I didn't like this book. To say otherwise is just not true.

Just as the book description clarifies, through this book Hardy criticizes the three institutions - marriage, religion and education - during Victorian times. Although I agree with his criticism, he exaggerates; he finds example that go beyond a fair analysis. Some of the characters are good and some evil, as in all novels, but Hardy goes beyond this and throws in characters that are mentally instable.
...more
Fabian
May 10, 2016 Fabian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read it! Finally!

This one was so often interrupted and left for dead... and I guess it was better to keep straining the eyes and pausing after glorious upon glorious sentence for better understanding. Yeah- he's one of those authors often times associated with Greatness, and with good reason.

"The Return of the Native" is another interrupted and altogether discarded novel which had incredible prospects. This one rollercoasters from Dickensian beginnings (Jude the pauper and dreamer) to omnipresen
...more
Chris Burd
To say that the book is bleak is to say that the sun is warm. Bleak is the entire point of Jude the Obscure. In fact, most of Thomas Hardy's works can be summed up with that same word.

Characters in Hardy's books make bad decisions. As a reader, you "watch" them make bad decisions, and you know that there will be consequences. But Hardy never lets you believe that all of the misery in your life is self-inflicted - because even when his characters try to make the right decision, they will inevitab
...more
C.
Dec 10, 2008 C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 3.5.

I felt misled about this book. It wasn't nearly as dark and depressing as it claimed to be, and as such was disappointing to me. Also it seemed to be less about Jude's struggles to get into a university (indeed he seemed to give up rather easily to my mind) as promised by the blurb, than about his romantic trials and tribulations, particularly those involving Sue Bridehead, whose character, incidentally, drove me up the wall. A more pathetic, snivelling, 'quivering', despicable cre
...more
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Thomas Hardy, OM, was an English author of the naturalist movement, although in several poems he displays elements of the previous romantic and enlightenment periods of literature, such as his facination with the supernatural. He regarded himself primarily as a poet and composed novels mainly for financial gain. The bulk of his work, set mainly in the semi-fictional land of Wessex, delineates char ...more
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“People go on marrying because they can't resist natural forces, although many of them may know perfectly well that they are possibly buying a month's pleasure with a life's discomfort.” 311 likes
“But no one came. Because no one ever does.” 255 likes
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