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The Return of the Native

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  25,099 Ratings  ·  977 Reviews
This fine novel sets in opposition two of Thomas Hardy's most unforgettable creations: his heroine, the sensuous, free-spirited Eustacia Vye, and the solemn, majestic stretch of upland in Dorsetshire he called Egdon Heath. The famous opening reveals the haunting power of that dark, forbidding moon where proud Eustacia fervently awaits a clandestine meeting with her lover, ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published July 27th 1978 by Penguin Classics (first published 1878)
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Sep 08, 2007 Sundry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good medicine. I hated this book when I had to read it in high school. Maybe because I’d assumed from the title that it was going to be about American Indians. (In my defense, I’d been forced to read The Last of the Mohicans the previous year, and may have thought high school literature was all about the aboriginals.) Maybe because the entire first chapter is a description of Egdon Heath; one that still elicited a groan from me when I started listening to the audiobook a few weeks ago.

This is th
Jen Padgett Bohle
"Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world. She took the midnight train goin' anywhere..."
Yep, Journey and Thomas Hardy DO have something in common: They both understand a woman's intense yearnings for something beyond small town life.

The best advice I can give to any would-be readers of Return of the Native is to stay with this tale; it gets better and better. In all honesty, one could probably skip the first 3 chapters (roughly 40 pages) and not miss much . I love Hardy's imagery and d
Jun 23, 2008 J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There used to be a lot more words in the world. Now we're all about short, blunt sentences. So obvious. So boring.
Paul Bryant
Sep 02, 2009 Paul Bryant marked it as assorted-rants-about-stuff  ·  review of another edition
From one of Monty Python's albums:

Commentator: Hello, and welcome to Dorchester, where a very good crowd has turned out to watch local boy Thomas Hardy write his new novel "The Return Of The Native", on this very pleasant July morning. This will be his eleventh novel and the fifth of the very popular Wessex novels, and here he comes! Here comes Hardy, walking out towards his desk. He looks confident, he looks relaxed, very much the man in form, as he acknowledges this very good natured bank holi
Jun 21, 2008 El rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to El by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (191/1001)
Thomas Hardy knew the stuff which made good soap operas by modern standards: lots of intrigue, plenty of folks who just can't manage to keep it in their pants, a bundle of miscommunications and a setting as familiar as its own character on which all of the above to occur.

The native here is Clym Yeobright who falls in love with Eustacia Vye and abandons his aspirations much to his mother's (and, eventually, Eustacia's) chagrin. On the other side of the table there is Clym's sweet - if not just a
Jul 04, 2008 Frank rated it it was amazing
I kept falling asleep at the beginning of this book. Finally I gave up. I mentioned to my friend Rich that I'd stalled out, and he quoted his high school English teacher, whose words predicted Rich's own experience of the novel: "For the first fifty pages, we would think Return of the N the worst book we had ever read and after that it would seem the best book we had ever read." So I pressed on, and sure enough, around page fifty the book grabbed me and didn't let go till I finished.

One of the
Erik Graff
Aug 27, 2014 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardy fans
Recommended to Erik by: Mr. Silkowski
Shelves: literature
Return of the Native was assigned reading in a high school English class. It was not a particularly good choice. I found it rather tedious and, so, being required to write a paper about it, decided to spice things up a bit.

Throughout the novel there is much description of the environs. Part of the atmospheric background, mentioned frequently, are heathcropping horses. In order to get through the book I recorded every mention of such heathcroppers and wrote a revisionist analysis of its text.

My t
I have enjoyed reading and rereading this novel since I was in my teens. In thinking about this I can only suggest that from the first reading I was impressed with Hardy's ability to create a complete believable setting where the characters interacted not just with one another but with the world in which they lived. That world was a rural Victorian one, but it resonated with my own somewhat rural experience even though it occurred more than one hundred years earlier.
What Thomas Hardy created wa
Jan 20, 2009 julieta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brits
I have to confess that I started reading Thomas Hardy because I found one of his books (Jude the Obscure) in a used bookstore in Mexico city, sold very cheaply. I am not one to let a cheap book pass, especially if it has a nice old look to it, so I went for it. I am happy I did. Since then I have always enjoyed his tragedies. Because, they are, tragedies.
But for some reason I find that if he can make such tragedies out of so few elements, and put them together in such a gripping way, well, he’s
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
Every once in a great while you read a novel that just knocks you back onto your keister. Well, for me, this was just one of those novels. I finished reading Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native several days ago, and it made such an impression upon me that I turned to page one, and began it all over again! The first impression? Wow! Upon finishing it for the second time? I concur with the first impression.

This is the fourth in Hardy's series of eight 'Wessex' novels, all being set in his nati
Page 86:
Such views of life were to some extent the natural begettings of her situation upon her nature. To dwell on a heath without studying its meanings was like wedding a foreigner without learning his tongue. The subtle beauties of the heath were lost to Eustacia; she only caught its vapours. An environment which would have made a contented woman a poet, a suffering woman a devotee, a pious woman a psalmist, even a giddy woman thoughtful, made a rebellious woman saturnine.

To have lost the god
Ahmad Sharabiani
839. Return of the Native, Thomas Hardy
بازگشت بومی - تامس هاردی (نشر نو)ادبیات
یوستاشیا شخصیت اصلی رمان، زنی که در آرزوی عشقی پر شروشور روزگار میگذراند، معتقد است که رهاییاش از سرزمین افسرده سیمای «اگدن هیث»، تنها و تنها در گرو ازدواج با «کلایم یوبرایت»است، که از طرفی «کلایم» به علت ناخرسندی از کارش در پاریس، به خانه و کاشانهاش در «اگدن هیث» باز آمده است. همین خواهش یوستاشیا ست، که وی را با همسرش به مخالفت برمیانگیزد. «بازگشت بومی» نمونهء کلاسیک یک تراژدی تمام عیار است که زندگی و عشق نافرجام «کلا
Sara Steger
Dec 12, 2015 Sara Steger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Classics
Hardy at his best. First tier in storytelling, character development, and use of language and description. It is like being served a feast to listen to Hardy entone over the features of the heath. The wet young beeches were undergoing amputations, bruises, cripplings, and harsh lacertations, from which the wasting sap would bleed for many a day to come, and which would leave scars visible till the day of their burning. Each stem was wrenched at the root, where it moved like a bone in its socket, ...more
Oct 07, 2011 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I have spent the last thirty five years convinced that I do not like Thomas Hardy. I know how it happened. Reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles when I was in high school and again at university made a lasting - and a negative - impression on me. Admittedly, I went on to read Jude the Obscure and Far from the Madding Crowd, also while I was at university, and quite liked both novels. Notwithstanding this, my dislike of Tess overshadowed whatever appreciation for Hardy's work I might otherwise have d
Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 07, 2013 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”I read a lot of classical books like The Return of the Native and all, and I like them,” says Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye. “I like that Eustacia Vye.”

Catherine Zeta Jones as Eustacia Vye

Eustacia Vye is a young maid filled with longing for the city of Paris, for new experiences,fresh sights, sounds that have never rang her ears before, and a lover to fill her heart with dewy-eyed passion. She lives on the moors of Wessex in the midst of a small collection of dwellings called Egdo
Gary  the Bookworm
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The hypnotic power of The Return of the Native can't be overstated. Everyone seems under some sort of spell. But the passions of the characters are secondary to the magnitude and majesty of the rugged heath they inhabit. Those who embrace their surroundings and give in to their circumstances may find some level of peace, but woe be to those who resist. The native in the title is Clym Yeobright, who returns to his mother's home, ominously named Blooms-End, after an extended absence. He wants to
Dec 02, 2015 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brit-lit
4.5 stars

This is a story about misunderstanding, not getting the facts straight and the dangers of presumptuousness. Here romance rings hollow and family is a source of strife rather than security.

Although the plot borders on Lifetime channel fare and the dialogue can sometimes be overwrought, it’s Hardy’s descriptive powers that also make this a great read. He describes the heath, the wind, fire light dancing on people’s faces, a storm, an eclipse, all revealing the power and beauty of the Engl
David Sarkies
Nov 28, 2015 David Sarkies rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody really
Recommended to David by: It wasn't recommended, it was forced onto me
Shelves: romance
A young man returns to his home
27 Aug 2014

This was the last book on the English I curriculum and while I am undecided as to whether I actually read it (namely because when you get to that end of the year the last books on the reading list tend to be the ones that get dumped in favour of study for the pending exams) I did have a tutor that would throw students out of the class if they had not read the novel, and he seemed to have a sixth sense in knowing whether they had read it or not (and whil
Oct 14, 2015 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Hurt so good
Come on baby, make it hurt so good”

- John Mellencamp

WUT? Well, reading Thomas Hardy novels always poses this kind of challenge. They hurt, and yet I keep coming back to him because they are indeed good and this kind of hurt is like a good exercise for your EQ. In term of language, I don’t think Hardy’s writing is particularly difficult to access. The more challenging aspects of his books are the initial meticulous scene setting and characters introduction chapters and, of course, t
Oct 20, 2015 Pink rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hardy, hardy, hardy. Oh I'm not sure what to make of you. Sometimes you waffle on and on and after half a page I find myself thinking, what on earth are you going on about. Then you start talking about love, or heartbreak and I find myself moving in to listen closer, waiting with baited breath to find out what's coming next. I know there won't be rainbows and butterflies, but I like the bleakness. It's expected and yet gut wrenching when it hits. I'm looking forward to your next devastating stor ...more
" are still queen of me, Eustacia, though I may no longer be king of you"

Hardy has forever captured me with his romantic ideologies and poetic lines, I once fancied I had become immune to his tragedies. But oh, this novel has royally proven me wrong; out doing Tess of the D'Urbervilles in both romance, heartbreak and tears- this novel has left me utterly speechless. The setting, the plot, the suspense, it was amazing.
But the characters, oh the characters! They
Elliot Jackson
Jan 14, 2016 Elliot Jackson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In honor of Alan Rickman's passing, I have to go on record as saying that this is one of my all-time favorite of his performances. He is the absolutely perfect narrator for the story of poor, passionate Eustacia Vye, all on fire for love and life beyond the reaches of Egdon Heath. The long, long description of the Heath that starts the story, that might easily prove deadly to a modern reader - c'mon, where are the explosions? - becomes utterly mesmerizing as we start with a bird's eye view over ...more
Feb 07, 2016 BrokenTune rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"What depressed you?"

This sums up every Thomas Hardy novel I have ever read.

However, and this may shock and surprise you, ... I really liked this one. In contrast to Tess of the D'Urbervilles or Far from the Madding Crowd, I did not get exasperated with the characters, did not want to slap them or root for the sheep to turn into man-eating overlords - even though I still think that this would have made a better plot than what Far from the Madding Crowd had to offer.

The Return of the Nati
Mar 10, 2016 Yamini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-print, classics
4.5 stars

I need more Hardy.

Sure, the man has the ability to rip out my heart and shove it into my palm. But damn. He does it with such elegance, it’s hard to mind.

The Return of the Native is a tale of various individuals struggling to deal with their decisions, and ultimately their fates. We have Thomasin, who we deceptively begin with as the main protagonist; Wildeve, her fiancé and the literal ‘bad boy’ of the story; Clym, the “native,”; and Eustacia, the dark-haired heroine who is barred of a
Katie Lumsden
May 01, 2016 Katie Lumsden rated it it was amazing
Another Hardy beauty. I love the dark atmosphere and the harsh relationships between the characters in this. Diggory Venn is perhaps my new favourite Hardy character!
May 08, 2016 GoldGato rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Hardy, Mr. Hardy
My heart's upon the heath.

You keep me reading all the while
Your bonfires you bequeath.

I really like your characters
Like the dude who teaches school.

The females are oh-so tragic
But where they live is cruel.

Still, there's Diggory Venn
And Clym Yeobright, too.

But I can only take so much, Mr. Hardy,
So it's time to say adieu.

(with all respect to Thomas Hardy..this book really is a masterpiece)

Book Season = Autumn (tragedy)
Ben Babcock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
3.5 stars.

If you'd asked me yesterday, I would have been like "Uuuuuuuugh, this book is so slooooow why is nothing happening why is it taking me so long to reeeeeeeeeead???". And then today, I somehow sped through like 250 pages without even noticing. Whut.

I think that's a complicated way of saying that it took me a LONG ASS TIME to get into this book, but the second half was ridiculously compelling and I basically couldn't put it down.

It's a story that's very much driven by the interactions
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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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“Why is it that a woman can see from a distance what a man cannot see close?” 244 likes
“Backlock, a poet blind from his birth, could describe visual objects with accuracy; Professor Sanderson, who was also blind, gave excellent lectures on color, and taught others the theory of ideas which they had and he had not. In the social sphere these gifted ones are mostly women; they can watch a world which they never saw, and estimate forces of which they have only heard. We call it intuition.” 69 likes
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