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Far from the Madding Crowd

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3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  94,610 Ratings  ·  4,069 Reviews
Librarian note: an alternate cover for this edition can be found here.

Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in cont
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Paperback, Penguin Classics, 433 pages
Published February 27th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published 1874)
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Willow It's very subtle, but the difference is perception. The word 'madding' describes the crowd. The word maddening describes how the narrator feels about…moreIt's very subtle, but the difference is perception. The word 'madding' describes the crowd. The word maddening describes how the narrator feels about the crowd. You could observe a madding crowd at a distance and not find them maddening at all.
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Jendela Tryst I absolutely loved it. I usually avoid Hardy because his books are often terribly dark, but this was written early in his career, I believe when he…moreI absolutely loved it. I usually avoid Hardy because his books are often terribly dark, but this was written early in his career, I believe when he still had some hope left. It is extremely ahead of its time with a spirited and intelligent female protagonist.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Moonlight Reader
Mar 24, 2015 Moonlight Reader rated it really liked it
Two people have complained that there are spoilers in this review. Read at your own peril.

Hi! I'm Bathsheba Everdene!



And I'm Poor Decision-Making Bathsheba Everdene.



I sent a random Valentine to a guy on a neighboring farm asking him to marry me, even though I don't even like him! This turned him into an annoying semi-stalker who spent the next several years begging me to marry him for reals!

And then, in a further display of my terrible judgment, I married a philandering asshole who only wante
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Anne
This was just so good.

"Sheep are such unfortunate animals! - there's always something happening to them! I never knew a flock pass a year without getting into some scrape or other."

Sheep!



Sheeeeeep!!



More sheep!!!




I love sheep :) They are so cute! But sheep are actually not the reason why I love this book so much. That would be silly. But I do love the fact that Gabriel Oak was a shepherd, and not say, a pig farmer. Anyways! Even though this story takes place in rural Wessex and is filled with she
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Apatt
Apr 09, 2013 Apatt rated it it was amazing
"The heart wants what the heart wants"

No, that is not from this book. I just thought it would have been a good tagline for the 2015 movie adaptation of this classic (they went with "Based on the classic love story by Thomas Hardy" instead).

"Serve you right you silly cow"

That is also not from the book, but it's a sentence that popped into my mind while reading some later parts of the book.

"Fuck off Boldwood!"

Still not from the book but I wish it was.

"It is difficult for a woman to define her feel
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Henry Avila
Jul 26, 2011 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bathsheba Everdene, a gorgeous, mesmerizing young woman, 22, ( the formerly poor, now rich girl ) she inherited a prosperous, large farm, from her late uncle, set in rural Wessex , ( Dorset ) southwest England, in the 1860's, has three, very different suitors, common Gabriel Oak, eight years older, a shepherd , and fine flute player, who will soon lose his sheep, the first time he sees her, Miss Everdene is admiring herself in a hand mirror, and smiling, William Boldwood, a wealthy, good looking ...more
Shovelmonkey1
Nov 03, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like a nice bit of sword play
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: the school curriculum from my own personal days of yore
Shelves: 1001-books
Ah Far from the Madding Crowd, even saying the book title aloud summons images of an overcrowded class room, sweaty adolescents and a fraught English teacher. I was forced to read this book when I was about thirteen. Other books I was forced to read, learn and regurgitate in vast, ungainly and probably largely misunderstood swathes include Macbeth, Hamlet, Rosencratz and Guildenstern are Dead, Pride and Prejudice, A Winters Tale, The Colour Purple and Wuthering Heights.

A diverse selection you m
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Jr Bacdayan
Oct 20, 2013 Jr Bacdayan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The poetry of motion is a phrase much in use, and to enjoy the epic form of that gratification it is necessary to stand on a hill at a small hour of the mass of civilized mankind, who are dreamwrapt and disregardful of all such proceedings at this time, long and quietly watch your stately progress through the stars."

While I was in the midst of reading this novel, I was struck by general wonderment with regards to the title of this book. Why "Far From the Madding Crowd"? It had always seemed tha
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Philip
4.75ish stars.

With a name like Bathsheba how much could we honestly expect from her? Imagine playing with her as a child, "Come here little Bathy-Bathy!" She was doomed from the start. And she was obviously one of those children who was told entirely too often how special she was and how pretty and how she could do anything she set her mind too. Poor girl.

Not that it should need to be said for a novel that's almost 150 years old, but in case you still haven't read this and plan on doing so: Sp
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helen the bookowl
What a story! I was going to give it 4 stars, but the ending was so intense and wrapped everything up so beautifully that I had to rate it 5 stars.
What I love the most about this book is that it deals with an unorthodox woman. Bathsheba (I know, what a name?) is admired by a lot of men; still, she keeps on rejecting them one after another. She doesn't want to be like every other woman at that time who marries the first man to propose and has children. Bathsheba is stubborn and she's insecure, a
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Jean-Paul Werner Walshaw-Sauter

description


It may have been observed that there is no regular path for getting out of love as there is for getting in.


Gabriel Oak has been a shepherd for most of his young life; now in his late twenties he achieves his goal: he scrapes together his meagre savings, takes out a loan, buys a flock of ewes and leases a farm. He is now his own master and commonly referred to as Farmer Oak. He first meets the heroine of this novel as she arrives on a horse-driven wagon piled up with her belongings. She does not
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Diane
Feb 01, 2017 Diane rated it it was amazing
I loved escaping into this 19th-century English novel. I dove into it and found both comfort and sustenance.

One of my reading goals for 2017 is to make time for classics I haven't read yet, and Far From the Madding Crowd was perfect because this was my first Thomas Hardy book. The fact that I enjoy novels set in the English countryside was just a lucky bonus.

I had seen two different movie versions of the book, so I was familiar with the basic story: Strong Woman Refuses Wonderful Man; then Stron
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Graham Herrli
Apr 02, 2011 Graham Herrli rated it did not like it
The only emotions that this book evoked for me were boredom and annoyance. The boredom stemmed largely from its predictable plotline and its verbose narrative style (and its utter failure to engage me intellectually, which may have made this verbosity pardonable). The annoyance stemmed from Hardy's method of creating the protagonist, Bathsheba. He repeatedly describes Bathsheba as being self-willed, confident, independent, and poised; but he only tells us this about her, while her actions demons ...more
Luffy
Nov 13, 2016 Luffy rated it really liked it
For my O Level year, I had to make a choice. Either take English literature as my option, or take Hindi. I took the latter. Had I taken the former, I would have read Far From The Madding Crowd in my teens.

Now I'm in my late thirties. The mistake of passing over English Lit has been rectified, if only partly. I remember noticing my friends taking a hefty paperback tome to read their book assigned to them. How would I know that one day I'll be reading the book on a device that's so light, regardle
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Samra Yousuf
Sep 13, 2016 Samra Yousuf rated it really liked it
“It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.”
So I'm reading Classics these days
and what a "classy-classic" it all is!
Hardy always gives me hard-time around while reading any of his work and I find myself in utter bewilderment what to make of it.....
Is he a pessimistic-shitty gruesome that leads his way-ward stories more wayward just to annoy you??
Or he is a true gifted writer that has a honed skill to roam you in vast-rural land
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Melki
I almost didn't read this book, the February selection for my real-life book club. It seemed rather dull and there's a huge stack of yummier-looking books calling my name, saying "Read ME next!" BUT, since I'm the one who's always bitching to the group about how we need to read more classics, it seemed in poor taste for me to give this one a miss.

And, I'm glad I read it.

Even though Hardy's writing style took some getting used to. It's sort of wordy. Okay, it's really wordy. Near the beginning,
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Kim
Aug 24, 2015 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

Far from the Madding Crowd is one of the three Thomas Hardy novels I’d read by the time I turned twenty. The others were Tess of the Durbervilles and Jude the Obscure. My twenty-year-old self was irritated by Tess’ passivity and found Jude’s life too depressing to contemplate. However, this novel had a few laughs and a conventionally happy ending, so even though it also has its fair share of madness, depression, despair and death, I was content to say that I liked it. I didn’t like it enough to
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Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
Update--10/14/2012: I just completed a re-read of this novel. The more I read it, the more I realize that it is simply exquisitely plotted and written. Hardy-the-poet shines through on just about every page as he describes the pastoral Wessex landscape and the country rustics that occupy it. This is truly a gem of a novel, and one of my favorites by Hardy.

***

I just completed re-reading Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd, and just fell in love with it all over again! The first time I read the nov
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Becca
Jun 26, 2014 Becca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Far From the Madding Crowd is without a doubt the strangest romance novel I have ever read.

Before starting the review proper, I do have a slight confession to make. When I saw this novel in the bookshop a month ago, the only reason I recognised the title was because Harry Kennedy – played by my favourite actor, Richard Armitage – quoted a line from the story in The Vicar of Dibley:

Harry Kennedy: "As Gabriel Oak said to Bathsheba in Far From the Madding Crowd; ‘Whenever I look up, there shall be
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Amy | shoutame
Feb 20, 2014 Amy | shoutame rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Definitely one of my favourite classics of the year so far!

This novel centres around a female character name Bathsheba Everdene and the events that befall her as she tries to make her way in the world. When she takes ownership of a family farm she is quickly picked out by many men in the village and soon has a fair few marriage proposals. She must make up her mind as to who she is and what she plans on doing. Once she has made her choice she must make her bed and lie in it!

I found this to be su
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Perry
Sep 11, 2016 Perry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libri-classici
A Snake, a Fruitcake and a Beefcake with Heartache
Sgt. Troy, Billy Boldwood and Gabriel Oak

Bathsheba Everdeen has inherited a sheep farm from her late uncle in the idyllic Victorian farming community, the village of Weatherbury, Wessex County, England. The novel was published in 1874 and reportedly was Hardy's first commercial success (his 4th novel).

Bathsheba is haughty and creates her own set of madding problems by sending a Valentine to the shy, very strange William Boldwood, after turning d
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Sr3yas
Feb 26, 2017 Sr3yas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love is a possible strength in an actual weakness.

This is the tale of Bathsheba Everdene, a proud, independent and disarmingly beautiful woman who inherited her uncle's vast farm. Fearlessly, she enters men's world of farming and becomes mistress of the farm. She attracts different suitors between this transformation: Gabriel Oak, a hardworking and faithful shepherd, William Boldwood, a middle-aged bachelor with dignity and Sergeant Frank Troy, a flirtatious soldier.

For me, the story was an
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Celeste
Nov 16, 2016 Celeste rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love is messy. And Thomas Hardy had an incredible grasp of that messiness. Far from the Madding Crowd is only the second book I’ve read by him, Tess of the D'Urbervilles being the first, and both were about love’s ability to wreck lives. Hardy’s writing didn’t grip me as hard in this novel as it did throughout Tess, but the writing was still lovely, and the story still compelling, with a (thankfully) happier ending than Tess provided.

Bathsheba Everdene is a beautiful, headstrong, independent wom
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El
Nov 23, 2010 El rated it really liked it
Having just finished reading Infinite Jest I was looking for something that had absolutely nothing to do with tennis, drugs, or terrorists in wheelchairs. I thought Hardy would be a safe bet. Instead, what I got was sheep. A lot of sheep. By the end I was almost hoping that the sheep would get up to play tennis, while on drugs, riding around in wheelchairs.



There were a lot of sheep in this book.


Believe it or not, though, this is not a story about sheep. This 1874 novel is about Bathsheba Everden
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Aditi
“Love is a possible strength in an actual weakness.”
---- Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd

Thomas Hardy, an English author, spun a spectacular and classic tale of love, Far from the Madding Crowd whose movie adaption is going to release in the month of May, starring Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge and Michael Sheen.

Synopsis:
The first of Thomas Hardy’s great novels, Far From the Madding Crowd established the author as one of Britain’s foremost writers. It also intr
...more
Alex
Jun 22, 2015 Alex rated it it was amazing
Thomas Hardy writes often about women, with a sympathy that looks a little like contempt. In Far From the Madding Crowd he lays out the options available to Bathsheba Everdene (yes, Katniss is named after her): Frank Troy is the dashing adventurer, charming and dissipated. He ensnares her in a ferny grove, showing off his swordplay. ("It will not take five minutes," he says, and we picture Hardy snickering.) Boldwood is the older, stolid man, a rural Casaubon, representing security and the abdic ...more
Jan-Maat
Originally I wrote that this was a love triangle novel, which strikes me as untrue on reflection. A triangle has three corners, three points on interconnection, here two men love the same woman, they do not love each other - if they had the story could have resolved happily. I felt that if one could write a true love triangle, even that could be unambitious - what about the love pyramid? Or the complex polyhedron? That would keep the novelist busy and exhaust even the inventiveness of Dickens. S ...more
Parthiban Sekar
Jun 18, 2015 Parthiban Sekar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, classics
Get lost in the English countryside
Bleat effervescently with the sheep
Get blinded by the inexplicable love
Trot gently down the hills
Get confronted by the reality
Weep silently among the menfolk


Let the love set you free…


Hardy’s writing is amazing. Period!


P.S. I don’t write poems but I don’t know how else I can describe it :P
Hana
Such a women as you a hundred men always covet - your eyes will bewitch scores on scores into an unavailing fancy for you - you can only marry one of that many...The rest may try to get over their passion with more or less success. But all of these men will be saddened. And not only those ninety-nine men, but the ninety-nine women they might have married are saddened with them. There's my tale. That's why I say that a woman so charming as yourself, Miss Everdene, is hardly a blessing to her race
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Kelly
May 28, 2015 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Oh my... This is my genre of book. I loved it! I am in awe of the completeness of this book. By that, I mean that it is so well formed in different ways.

The prose is just lovely. The use of language in this book is gorgeous. When I read a classic like this one, I am always astonished that someone can spit words out and that they are able to come together and form something so extraordinary. It is such a quotable book.

"From the chaotic skyful of crowding flakes the mead and moor momentarily recei
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Victoria
Sep 17, 2016 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Qu'est-ce que c'était bien: des personnages hauts en couleur, plein de rebondissements, une plume magnifique, un ton drôle/cynique qui me faisait régulièrement sourire, une ambiance pastorale très apaisante, et une fin comme je l'avais rêvée. Sans conteste l'une de mes meilleures lectures de l'année !
Glire
Hereda la finca de su tío; se quema la cosecha.

Envía una tarjeta de San Valentin como una broma; el que la recibe es un stalker psicópata.

Se casa con un militar joven y hermoso; resulta ser un estafador que estaba enamorado de otra.

Menosprecia a Gabriel Oak; resulta ser el único que la ama incondicionalmente.

Esa es la vida de 'Bad Luck Batsheba'.

description

PROS:
-La escritura es hermosa.
-Gabriel Oak es perfecto.

CONTRAS:
-Las largas descripciones de paisajes que duran paginas y paginas.
-El tiempo que Batsheba
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Novel Review 1 3 Mar 13, 2017 02:01AM  
Who else hates BATHSHEBA? (Spoilers inside) 9 33 Jan 09, 2017 12:26PM  
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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 fascination 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 cha ...more
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“They spoke very little of their mutual feeling; pretty phrases and warm expressions being probably unnecessary between such tried friends.” 1245 likes
“It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.” 399 likes
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