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Far From the Madding Crowd

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  86,929 Ratings  ·  3,746 Reviews
Gabriel Oak is only one of three suitors for the hand of the beautiful and spirited Bathsheba Everdene. He must compete with the dashing young soldier Sergeant Troy and the respectable, middle-aged Farmer Boldwood. And while their fates depend upon the choice Bathsheba makes, she discovers the terrible consequences of an inconstant heart.
Far from the Madding Crowd was th
Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 496 pages
Published November 14th 2002 by Oxford University Press (first published 1874)
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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)
George Hardy took the title from an old poem (by Thomas Grey) to describe the setting, near a small town where the pace of life is quiet- "madding" in this…moreHardy took the title from an old poem (by Thomas Grey) to describe the setting, near a small town where the pace of life is quiet- "madding" in this sense meant the hustle/bustle of cities.(less)
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Moonlight Reader
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
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."



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
Sep 24, 2016 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
Henry Avila
Mar 18, 2016 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
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
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
Jr Bacdayan
Oct 24, 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
Saoirse Sterling
Read as part of the #InfiniteVariety2016 Reading Challenge based on the BBC's Big Read poll.

Deep in the heart of fictional rural Wessex romance blossoms, decays and remains a deep void several times as farmers tend to their flocks and try to stop the rain destroying their harvests. I am no romance fan and I would usually shirk away from any novel that is purely about romance, but I enjoy reading Classics no matter their genre and I am also reading from a list, culminating in my having read the e
Graham Herrli
Apr 02, 2011 Graham Herrli rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
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
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,
Anne Collini
Oct 13, 2016 Anne Collini rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey.
~ Lord Byron

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of a good spirit must be in want of a husband…

No wait, that’s wrong … or is it?

In 19th century England, Bathsheba Everdene is an independent, beautiful young woman who inherits a farm and proceeds to manage it on her own.

Three men want her. Pick a man, Bathsheba, any man.
The choice is yours.

Gabriel Oak


Shepherd Oak is handsome, strong, loyal, reli
Sep 25, 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
Oct 14, 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
Amy (shoutame)
Apr 04, 2016 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
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
Apr 24, 2015 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
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
“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.

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
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
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
Jun 10, 2015 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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 !
Parthiban Sekar
Nov 26, 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
Andrei Tamaş
Jul 15, 2016 Andrei Tamaş rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Romanul lui Thomas Hardy este un tablou static al vieţii rudimentare. Niciun personaj al romanului nu se face remarcat sub vreun aspect anume: sunt cu toţii construiţi realist, ca nişte fiinţe dintr-un colţ îndepărtat al istoriei, care îşi duc liniştiţi viaţa fără a se aştepta la bucurii sau tristeţi mari. Echilibrul societăţii rurale engleze din veacul al XIX-lea este însă uşor tulbrurat de apariţia în scenă a personajului Bathsheba, care "fură" roulul de personaj principal, în pofida caracteru ...more
MJ Nicholls
Aug 10, 2012 MJ Nicholls marked it as dropped
Oy vey, oy vey, Hardy. I see plenty of five-star ratings from GR friends here, possibly a default classic rating (think of the reproach rating Hamlet less than five stars! they’d hunt you down!). But this one is plodding and banal. What were you people thinking? This is Hardy’s first lengthy novel following Under the Greenwood Tree, transitioning between pastoral vignettes and the proper-plot-and-everything of The Mayor of Casterbridge. Both of those books work as the former takes the vignette a ...more
Gary  the Bookworm
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Who knew Thomas Hardy was such a romantic? After feeling bludgeoned reading about the fates of Casterbridge's misguided mayor, poor pretty Tess, and Jude the obtuse, I approached this with trepidation. Could the stars align favorably for anyone in Hardy's pool of hapless souls? Gabriel Oak and Bathsheba Everdene meet, separate and are ultimately reunited in a love story which seems too good to be true in the harsh world of Thomas Hardy. But happiness doesn't come easily to them or anyone else,
Apr 05, 2015 Mayra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: excellent
I will start by stating that I really, truly liked this book. It definitely pushed me to want to read more of his work. Hardy’s narrative is unique and entirely his own; and even though sometimes I could do without the extensive descriptions, his writing and this novel are truly special.

Having said that, I can’t say the overly sexist tones didn’t bother me. Especially when everything else in the book compelled me so much to love it.
There were some heavy, exceedingly misogynistic and patriarc
Jul 02, 2010 Ben rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People that love poorly written soap operas.
Recommended to Ben by: People that love poorly written soap operas.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was an unexpected surprise. I expected sadness and bleakness throughout but found a wonderfully written story that simply pushed all my buttons. I came to this classic love story now because of Danish director Thomas Vinterberg’s film adaptation of it (starring Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba Everdene), which is opening in Danish cinemas this week.

I’ve stubbornly (stupidly) avoided Thomas Hardy’s novels since seeing the film adaptation of Jude the Obscure years ago, after which I wept inconsol
Nov 25, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, english-lit
This is my favorite Hardy novel, and the one with which he gained national acclaim. Although the characters suffer from the usual cruel twists of fate, our hero, the wonderfully name Gabriel Oak, is hardworking, careful, and responsible. Perhaps that’s why I like it so much — we see the effects of folly and carelessness, but everyone isn’t completely flattened by bad luck falling out of the clear blue. The lives and loves and losses of the characters are interwoven with a striking portrait of ru ...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 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.” 1236 likes
“It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.” 342 likes
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