Tania's Reviews > The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
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's review
Aug 19, 2011

it was amazing

I read this novel in English class, like most people probably did. It was one of the best assigned to us.

Hardy is a gifted author. He writes in a clear style with vivid descriptions that really bring the setting alive, without making the reader (at least this reader) feel inundated with boring, unnecessary detail.

The thing that I look for most in a novel, however, is quality characterizeations, and this book had them in spades. Dialogue was used effectively to flesh out characters. These are not stock characters, either. These people have flaws and shades of grey. They seem as though they could be real. I found that I could relate to the characters, and I did empathize with them, even when I didn't agree with their choices. Everyone had clear motivations. The characterization of Henchard shows that Hardy clearly understood the notion of the tragic flaw and the tragic hero/anti hero.

Students who have to read this book as part of their English class may find it a bit on the long side. I would urge you to stick with it; once you get through the initial chapters the book will pick up (a commonality that all British classics seem to share). The book is easy to follow and understand. It is a key novel that marks the shift from Romantic Age to the Victorian Age, so it's an important read for anyone who has a serious interest in English Literature.

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