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Adam Bede

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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  20,111 Ratings  ·  692 Reviews
Hailed for its sympathetic and accurate rendering of nineteenth-century English pastoral life, Adam Bede was George Eliot's first full-length novel and a bestseller from the moment of publication. Eliot herself called it "a country story - full of the breath of cows and scent of hay." In the early days of the Napoleonic Wars, Adam Bede is hardworking carpenter with enormou ...more
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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Jan-Maat
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
...more
Beccie
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
Teresa
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 rounded up to 4

Because I was reading 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
...more
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
Issicratea
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 1800-1900
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
Chris
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
...more
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.
Holly
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wbw
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
...more
Suzanne
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
...more
Mary
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
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2015 Reading Chal...: Adam Bede by George Eliot 3 30 Apr 22, 2015 06:20AM  
Is this a sad book? 2 20 Mar 06, 2014 06:28AM  
Who is responsible for Hetty's tragedy ? 4 39 Mar 06, 2014 06:14AM  
Is this a sad book? 3 20 Feb 24, 2014 08:02PM  
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In 1819, novelist George Eliot (nee Mary Ann Evans), was born 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 favorite governess, she became a religious evangelical as an adolescent. Her first published work was a religious poe ...more
More about George Eliot...
“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?” 468 likes
“Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.” 180 likes
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