Lisa's Reviews > Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
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's review
Mar 29, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: 1800s, classics, did-not-finish
Read from February 08 to 20, 2015

The one thing that is guaranteed to kill a book for me is apathy. If a book makes me angry – well, sometimes I keep reading just to enjoy the sense of outrage. But when I open up a book, read a chapter and think "I don't care", then I wonder what the hell I'm doing sticking with the book.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles induced that feeling in me. It wasn't a "bad book", it didn't offend my sensibilities as a reader. The chapters were short and concise. But I'd pick up the book, not really bothered about the characters or plot, read a chapter and just... not care. I would look at the book and see that I'd pick up that book to read a chapter or two a day, just to get a little further along and feel slightly terrified at the amount of time that it'd take me to work through the book just because I didn't give a toss about it.

And look, I know a little about the impact of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. I know it's a significant book, not just for being a classic but for the way it tries to illuminate the double standards of its time, that it tries to address and show some of the injustices done to women. I know all that – I appreciate and applaud it. But it didn't make Tess into a book that I have to finish reading and have to enjoy as Serious and Important Literature. It didn't make Tess into something that I cared about.

And thus I put down this book, put it into the pile of books I have to donate and pick up a new read that will hopefully engage me a bit more – make me care.

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Reading Progress

02/08/2015 marked as: currently-reading
02/13/2015 page 58
12.0% "I dislike the whole "Tess is smarter than her mother! Her mother is dumb! Tess is the only one with brains in her family!" vibe thus far :/"
02/19/2015 page 135
29.0% "Tempted to quit - my reactions to each chapter I've read lately has been 'I don't care', which is a sure sign of boredom..."
02/20/2015 marked as: read
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