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Adam Bede

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  21,464 ratings  ·  763 reviews
Adam Bede, the first novel written by George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Ann Evans), was published in 1859. It was published pseudonymously, even though Evans was a well-published and highly respected scholar of her time.
The story's plot follows four characters' rural lives in the fictional community of Hayslope—a rural, pastoral and close-knit community in 1799. The nove
Paperback, Modern Library Classics Paperback Edition, 624 pages
Published April 9th 2002 by Modern Library (first published 1859)
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Marie Currently listening to an audio and the reader is TERRIBLE! The reader can definitely make or break a book and this one is killing it. I've listened…moreCurrently listening to an audio and the reader is TERRIBLE! The reader can definitely make or break a book and this one is killing it. I've listened to Eliot's books before and loved them, but like I said, the reader is massacring this one for me. (less)

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Reader, I ask you, what can be better than a long book full of good sentences?

That was a rhetorical question, of course - I think there is nothing better than good sentences following one on another, and this book is full of them.
But Adam Bede also offers that extra ingredient readers generally can't resist: intrigue.

The intrigue is centered on the curious nature of the rules of attraction, which is no surprise of course as variations on the classic love triangle often feature in George Eliot'
So. This is an old story and terribly familiar(view spoiler), I'm not sure if it is wise to say anything about the plot, perhaps the plot is incidental, it certainly can't be separated from its setting.

This was the first time I have read this novel, it was almost a year ago that I readThe Mill on the Floss and it was so long ago that I read Middlemarch that perhaps it is almost as though I had never read it. However in comm
Barry Pierce
The fact that George Eliot called this novel Adam Bede and not Hetty Sorrel proves that there is no justice in this world.

The novel itself, Eliot’s first, is a fairly quaint pastoral romance. Everyone’s in love with the wrong person. You get the picture. The plot doesn’t really wear the novel’s weight well. It just about breaches 600 pages and there is absolutely no need - no need.

It’s a pity that Adam Bede is such a meh tale, considering that for the novel Eliot invented a character as complex
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1800-1900, reviewed
Adam Bede (1859) was George Eliot’s first novel, preceded only by her short fiction collection, Scenes of Clerical Life. The novel was recognized as a masterpiece from the start. The Times review stated that “the author takes rank among the masters of the craft” and describes “him” as possessing “genius of the highest order.” Elizabeth Gaskell, with North and South already behind her, mournfully noted in a letter that “I have a feeling that it is not worth while trying to write when there are su ...more
Oct 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I believe this may be the most beautiful book I have ever read. I felt both uplifted and emotionally drained when I finished. The tragedy and the great beauty of George Eliot's writing! I didn't read this edition, mine was much older, but the introduction of my edition quoted Charles Dickens as saying that reading Adam Bede was an epoch in his life, and Alexandre Dumas called it the masterpiece of the century. I'm happy to agree with them. Most people say that Middlemarch is George Eliot's maste ...more
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because I was rereading David Copperfield during some of the time I was reading this, I couldn’t help but compare the characters (and situations) of one book to the other: for example, the extremes between the adorable Dora/Hetty and the angelic Agnes/Dinah. And though I know Eliot had reservations about Dickens’ works, I see how she extends -- into realism -- a character like David Copperfield’s Emily.

Also interesting to me is that an arguably sensational theme of Adam Bede is an important the
Skylar Burris
Dec 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Adam Bede is a story about love, self-deception, religious feeling, innocence, and experience. It would not be an unfit introduction to Eliot, though Middlemarch is by far her superior novel. I am awed by Eliot's psychological insight into human personality. Her characters are some of the most vivid in all of literary history, and her ability to penetrate to the very heart of human motivation is unrivaled. She presents her story with wit and subtle sarcasm. (Take, for instance, this tongue-in-ch ...more
Nov 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
George Eliot’s masterpiece is Middlemarch, but Adam Bede has always been my favorite Eliot novel. I’m not sure why this is. It might be because Bede was the first Eliot book I read. I doubt this, however, because the first Austen book I read was Pride and Prejudice, but my favorite Austen book is Persuasion. I understand why Middlemarch is a masterpiece, yet I find myself agreeing with Dumas pere in considering Bede to be the “masterpiece of the century”.

I first read Bede after watching the firs
Katie Lumsden
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Possibly 3.5.
I found the premise and some aspects of the book fascinating, and the second half very gripping - but as I often find with George Eliot, I found it more interesting than enjoyable, and the pacing, especially at the ending, wasn't quite right for me. Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to reading more George Eliot in future.
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1800s
It would be a poor result of all our anguish and our wrestling if we won nothing but our old selves at the end of it—if we could return to the same blind loves, the same self-confident blame, the same light thoughts of human suffering, the same frivolous gossip over blighted human lives, the same feeble sense of that Unknown towards which we have sent forth irrepressible cries in our loneliness.
Adam Bede, George Eliot's first novel and second published work, is just as brilliant a novel as the
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading this reminded me of the long running radio soap, The Archers. That started around 70 years ago I think, whereas this novel is set at the end of the 18th century/ beginning of the 19th.

The title character is a handsome hunk of a man who ticks all the right boxes for George Eliot and the rest of us – womankind and mankind. As well as being a looker he’s intelligent, honourable and interesting. But, like the best of us, he demonstrates the old adage that love is blind.

This is a book to lose
Simona Bartolotta
I think I have read somewhere Dinah Morris is also known as That Irksome Character...
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Adam Bede is a polished and delicately painted debut novel . George Eliot published Silas Marner and the Mill on the Floss in each of the next two years. How amazing! Adam Bede predates Hardy's Tess of D' Ubervilles by over 30 years and honestly, I found Eliot's novel more suspenseful and brutal. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The setting, 1798, bucolic England peopled with dozens of individuals from every walk of life. At first this town is like the Garden of Eden with meaningful employment for everyone. Adam, of course, is
Feb 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I took my time with this book. First, it was to enjoy Eliot's near-cinematic writing style in the beginning of the novel as she laid out the world and characters of "Adam Bede". Then, I read slowly to slow down the arrival of the inevitable fall from paradise. But Eliot handled it beautifully complete with cliffhangers that saw me, at one dramatic chapter, drop the book, throw my arm over my eyes and gasp for breath. You'll know where when you read it. Please do, Adam Bede's world seems bucolic ...more
Adam Bede is similar to Tess of the D'Uberville's in it's basic premise; an innocent and unspecting maiden falls prey to the desires of a wealthy aristocrat thwarting the love and good intentions of a proud and honorble hero. Of course Adam Bede was written 32 years prior to Tess. Adam Bede is one of my favorite's of the great classic novels.
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm a lifelong George Eliot fan, so it's strange that I just never got to Adam Bede before now. I suppose I was afraid it would fall short of Eliot's masterpieces, Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda, or even Mill on the Floss and Silas Marner. Adam Bede is in fact an "early" book; one senses Eliot working toward her greatest powers. The pacing can be a bit slow at times; Eliot juggles fewer narrative threads than she does later in her career; and there is a slight sensationalism in the focus on the ...more
Nov 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Myla by: Mel Bennett aka Daddy-O
I loved this book! It was just a mellow fun story to read nothing riviting me to my seat and then all of a sudden I was dying! I have never in my life been completely torn; I couldn't stop reading because I had to know what would happen at the same time I had to stop reading because I was afraid to see what would happen. Never in my life have I seriously considered flipping to the back of the book to see how it ends, and I am not a spoiler of plots. Not to be cliche but I laughed and cried and.. ...more
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
100% engaging. This is one of those books that you feel more human for having read.

What the plot may lack in scope, the writing makes up for tenfold with tender and true insights into pain, hope, vanity and prosaic life. It's a true, true, true book, that beats with an honest heart. You get to love the narrator in the very fact that the narrator is open about her love for the characters. this book is a treasure, in all its homely ruggedness and sometimes shocking, but inevitable events. It's not
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 16, 2012 rated it liked it
It may be heresy (why is it always heresy to dislike a "classic" when a book's status as a classic mainly stems from its age?), but I'm not particularly fond of George Eliot. Granted, I read her books when I was rather younger, but I found her tone too moralistic and prescriptive, and the political overtones too strident. Adam Bede is perhaps one of my least favourite of the books of hers that I have read. We have our overly prim, proper, and holier-than-thou protagonists, Adam Bede and Dinah Mo ...more
Dov Zeller
May 08, 2016 rated it liked it
I wrote a pretty long review comparing Eliot's Bede to Summer by Wharton, so if you want to see that, check out my Summer review. The books have a lot of similarities but also they are very different. Summer is much shorter, and focused on the female protagonist. Bede is long and Adam Bede is the central character, though we do get some chapters with the narration focused on Hetty Sorrel.

One thing I loved in Bede is the relationships between parents and guardians and their children...Bede has an
Mattia Ravasi
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Though not especially fast nor overly thrilling, Adam Bede is a beautiful insight into a crucial moment in British history - and into the human condition in general - all inserted in the frame of a beautiful, surprisingly entertaining story.
A three star read for this reader. Set in the rural community of Hayslope the novel follows the fortunes of the Bede family and their acquaintances.

Found it difficult to invest in the principal character Adam Bede, some of his actions and interactions seemed hypocritical, but perhaps I'm being too harsh in my assessment. He didn't always put into practice what he preached. It was the young, vain, self centred Hetty Sorrel who held my interest and sympathy. On the other hand Dinah Morris, well he
Karl H.
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Reading George Eliot’s Adam Bede, I found myself reminded of Norman Rockwell paintings, with their impeccable technique and saccharine kitschy everyday subjects of the not so distant past. Like a Norman Rockwell of the 19th century, Eliot smiles at most of her subjects and makes us long to return to the good old days, even if she pokes a bit of sly fun at their expense from time to time. But nostalgia is not a lens through which we see clearly, and this Norman Rockwell portrait of a community mi ...more
Michelle Bacon

At some points this story drug on and I found myself losing interest. Then an interesting thing happened with a not so likable character and the story kinda took off. Hetty, I am not a fan. I think a lot of this story could have been left out because I didn't see the point, but it was overall enjoyable.
Jul 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely loved this novel. I am certain I will read this again and again throughout my lifetime.

The first three hundred pages (pre-Hetty's travails) were perfect; I was disappointed when the wonderfully center-less scope narrowed its focus on the events of Hetty's escape.

This novel really raised the bar for me w/r/t character development: even the most minor (and superficially unlikeable) of characters has an interior world as expansive and dynamic as any galaxy, full of prejudices, doubts, pr
This is the story of Adam Bede, a carpenter who lives in the countryside and falls in love with Hetty Sorrel, a maid who lives with the Poysers, uncle and aunt of Adam.

In reality, the plot involves the love story among the four main characters: Adam, Hetty Sorrel, Arthur Donnithorne, a young squire who seduces Hetty, and Dinah Morris, Hetty's cousin and an itinerant Methodist preacher.

After have been seduced by Arthur, Hetty's life become a turmoil of tragic events.

The first movie based on this
Sara Jesus
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Foi um livro que se prolongou em demasia. A leveniadade de Heytte, o seu crime e a sua punição não me cativou.

Mas Dianh é uma personagem. Devota a Deus mas ao mesmo tempo livre. Que só no fim premite render-se ao amot. Já Adam apenas conquistou-me no fim. É um homem demasiado sério
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5* for the book; 4* for the Wanda McCadden narration of the audiobook edition

I liked the historical setting (~1799-1800) and felt that the characters were believable & not too preachy (even Dinah, the Methodist preacher, wasn't overly preachy).
Aug 29, 2017 added it
Shelves: half-read
Third try to read this and my best record is page 17. I haven't read enough to judge. But I' m done with it anyway :/
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Mary Ann Evans, known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She was born in 1819 at a farmstead in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, where her father was estate manager. Mary Ann, the youngest child and a favorite of her father's, received a good education for a young woman of her day. Influenced by a ...more
“What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life--to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?” 503 likes
“Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.” 182 likes
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