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Far From the Madding Crowd

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  137,896 ratings  ·  6,573 reviews
Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tr ...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 433 pages
Published February 27th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published 1874)
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Keith Burnette Hardy took the title from Thomas Gray's poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751).

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife
Their sober wishe…more
Hardy took the title from Thomas Gray's poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751).

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

"Madding" means "frenzied" here.

Lucasta Miller points out that the title is an ironic literary joke as Gray is idealising the noiselessness and sequestered calm whereas Hardy "disrupts the idyll, and not just by introducing the sound and fury of an extreme plot ... he is out to subvert his readers' complacency".(less)
Jendela Tryst I absolutely loved it. I usually avoid Hardy because his books are often terribly dark, but this was written early in his career, I believe when he st…moreI absolutely loved it. I usually avoid Hardy because his books are often terribly dark, but this was written early in his career, I believe when he still had some hope left. It is extremely ahead of its time with a spirited and intelligent female protagonist.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  137,896 ratings  ·  6,573 reviews


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Christine PNW
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Two people have complained that there are spoilers in this review. Read at your own peril.

Hi! I'm Bathsheba Everdene!



And I'm Poor Decision-Making Bathsheba Everdene.



I sent a random Valentine to a guy on a neighboring farm asking him to marry me, even though I don't even like him! This turned him into an annoying semi-stalker who spent the next several years begging me to marry him for reals!

And then, in a further display of my terrible judgment, I married a philandering asshole who on
...more
Anne
This was just so good.

"Sheep are such unfortunate animals! - there's always something happening to them! I never knew a flock pass a year without getting into some scrape or other."

Sheep!



Sheeeeeep!!



More sheep!!!




I love sheep :) They are so cute! But sheep are actually not the reason why I love this book so much. That would be silly. But I do love the fact that Gabriel Oak was a shepherd, and not say, a pig farmer. Anyways! Even though this story takes place in rural Wessex and is filled with she
...more
Apatt
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"The heart wants what the heart wants"

No, that is not from this book. I just thought it would have been a good tagline for the 2015 movie adaptation of this classic (they went with "Based on the classic love story by Thomas Hardy" instead).

"Serve you right you silly cow"

That is also not from the book, but it's a sentence that popped into my mind while reading some later parts of the book.

"Fuck off Boldwood!"

Still not from the book but I wish it was.

"It is difficult for a woman to define her feel
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
(Book 846 from 1001 books) - Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy

Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy, C1874

Characters: Gabriel Oak, Bathsheba Everdene, William Boldwood, Francis Troy, Fanny Robin.

Abstract: Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabrie
...more
Henry Avila
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bathsheba Everdene a gorgeous, mesmerizing young woman, 22, ( the formerly poor, now rich girl ) she inherited a prosperous, large farm from her late uncle, set in rural Wessex , ( Dorset ) southwest England, in the 1860's, has three, very different suitors, common Gabriel Oak, eight years older a shepherd and fine flute player, who will soon lose his sheep, the first time he sees her, Miss Everdene is admiring herself in a hand mirror and smiling, William Boldwood, a wealthy, good looking farme ...more
Helene Jeppesen
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a story! I was going to give it 4 stars, but the ending was so intense and wrapped everything up so beautifully that I had to rate it 5 stars.
What I love the most about this book is that it deals with an unorthodox woman. Bathsheba (I know, what a name?) is admired by a lot of men; still, she keeps on rejecting them one after another. She doesn't want to be like every other woman at that time who marries the first man to propose and has children. Bathsheba is stubborn and she's insecure, a
...more
Alok Mishra
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"I shall do one thing in this life -- one thing certain -- that is, love you, and long for you, and KEEP WANTING YOU till I die."

Tell me one guy who hacks the story and stands close to your heart - Oak!
I don't yet understand why Hary is put in the box of pessimists when he has always been a 'lover' who never wishes to lose the 'love'. Far from the Madding Crowd was prescribed in our syllabus for graduation and I enjoyed the book, no doubt. Hardy is a little detailed author, of course, but there
...more
Susan's Reviews
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
They say all good tropes have a literary ancestry. I recall reading this quintessential "innocent country girl falls for philandering bad boy" story/trope years ago.



Bathsheba Everdene was a (nowadays "badass") country girl who inherited her late uncle's farm and made it thrive, with the help of Gabriel Oak. Gabriel has always loved Bathsheba, but the strong-willed Bathsheba rejects his marriage proposal. Indeed, she rejects all potential suitors - until she is bedazzled by the handsome (but sec
...more
Lea
Oct 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, ebook, fiction
I have to say I was well annoyed with this book at times, specifically with the main character, Bathsheba Everdene, a young woman of great beauty, a coquette of a sort. Throughout the storyline, we follow her and her distinctive multiple suitors engaging in the love quadrangle and what at times seemed as neverending drama. Bathsheba is immature, has some qualities of femme fatale (looking at the consequences of the actions she is femme fatale), and has some other features of histrionic personali ...more
Matthew
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matthew by: Tiffany
This book can be summed up in one sentence: Bathsheba Everdene's milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.



Okay - now that I am more awake - I am ready for more of a review!

I was leaning 5 stars, but something about the end brought it down to 4.

Click the spoiler for my thoughts on the ending: (view spoiler)
...more
Chavelli Sulikowska
‘Love is a possible strength in an actual weakness…’ What an exquisite and profound line.

It had been years since I read Tess, which is a favourite, but I think this goes one better. Here, it is all about the characters. Hardy’s characterisation is perfect. I related to Bathsheba, her confusions and follies as a young maturing woman, I sympathised with the long suffering Gabriel Oak who while consistently loving her, never lets her walk over the top of him, I pitied the lonely farmer Boldwood an
...more
Kimber Silver
"You're begging me to go
Then making me stay
Why do you hurt me so bad?
It would help me to know
Do I stand in your way,
Or am I the best thing you've had?"

—Pat Benatar 'Love is a Battlefield'

I would have loved to reduce my reading speed, so that I could savour the lyrical prose, but I was unable to stop flipping pages as if my life depended on it. This book left me emotionally wrung out and wanting for nothing. I’ve seldom experienced such a feeling of complete exhaustion, coupled with a glowing sa
...more
Philip
4.75ish stars.

With a name like Bathsheba how much could we honestly expect from her? Imagine playing with her as a child, "Come here little Bathy-Bathy!" She was doomed from the start. And she was obviously one of those children who was told entirely too often how special she was and how pretty and how she could do anything she set her mind to. Poor Bathsheba.

Not that it should need to be said for a novel that's almost 150 years old, but in case you still haven't read this and plan on doing so
...more
Graham Herrli
Apr 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
The only emotions that this book evoked for me were boredom and annoyance. The boredom stemmed largely from its predictable plotline and its verbose narrative style (and its utter failure to engage me intellectually, which may have made this verbosity pardonable). The annoyance stemmed from Hardy's method of creating the protagonist, Bathsheba. He repeatedly describes Bathsheba as being self-willed, confident, independent, and poised; but he only tells us this about her, while her actions demons ...more
Emily May
By far my least favourite of the Hardy books I've read. It's hard to believe the Guardian named this one of the twenty greatest love stories (though I suppose with Wuthering Heights in first place for romance I should have known something was up.)

I've come to "get" Hardy, or so I felt before reading this; I thought I understood when picking up one of his books that I would be getting a depressing, but nevertheless compelling, story about people getting beaten down by this cruel, cruel world. The
...more
Diane
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved escaping into this 19th-century English novel. I dove into it and found both comfort and sustenance.

One of my reading goals for 2017 is to make time for classics I haven't read yet, and Far From the Madding Crowd was perfect because this was my first Thomas Hardy book. The fact that I enjoy novels set in the English countryside was just a lucky bonus.

I had seen two different movie versions of the book, so I was familiar with the basic story: Strong Woman Refuses Wonderful Man; then Stron
...more
Jr Bacdayan
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The poetry of motion is a phrase much in use, and to enjoy the epic form of that gratification it is necessary to stand on a hill at a small hour of the mass of civilized mankind, who are dreamwrapt and disregardful of all such proceedings at this time, long and quietly watch your stately progress through the stars."

While I was in the midst of reading this novel, I was struck by general wonderment with regards to the title of this book. Why "Far From the Madding Crowd"? It had always seemed tha
...more
Anne (On semi-hiatus)
I am surprised by how much I loved reading this novel. I haven’t read Hardy since college so reading him now is like reading him for the first time and probably appreciating him more than I could have when I was much younger. I loved this book for the beauty of Hardy's writing, full of exquisitely detailed and beautiful descriptions. No matter what happened in the story, good or bad, I had a smile on my face admiring the glorious way Hardy strung words together. And what a surprise to discover t ...more
Shovelmonkey1
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like a nice bit of sword play
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: the school curriculum from my own personal days of yore
Shelves: 1001-books
Ah Far from the Madding Crowd, even saying the book title aloud summons images of an overcrowded class room, sweaty adolescents and a fraught English teacher. I was forced to read this book when I was about thirteen. Other books I was forced to read, learn and regurgitate in vast, ungainly and probably largely misunderstood swathes include Macbeth, Hamlet, Rosencratz and Guildenstern are Dead, Pride and Prejudice, A Winters Tale, The Colour Purple and Wuthering Heights.

A diverse selection you m
...more
Piyangie
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first read of Thomas Hardy and it was a rewarding read. I'm absolutely in love with his style of writing: the poetic and metaphoric language and his sense in detail to description. What a power of observation Hardy had possessed? His eye for accuracy in detail throughout the book was simply amazing whether it is human emotions, human psychology, the rural setup, the structures, fixtures, weather, or any other thing. This is what captured me more than the story or the characters. The s ...more
Luffy
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
For my O Level year, I had to make a choice. Either take English literature as my option, or take Hindi. I took the latter. Had I taken the former, I would have read Far From The Madding Crowd in my teens.

Now I'm in my late thirties. The mistake of passing over English Lit has been rectified, if only partly. I remember noticing my friends taking a hefty paperback tome to read their book assigned to them. How would I know that one day I'll be reading the book on a device that's so light, regardle
...more
Melki
I almost didn't read this book, the February selection for my real-life book club. It seemed rather dull and there's a huge stack of yummier-looking books calling my name, saying "Read ME next!" BUT, since I'm the one who's always bitching to the group about how we need to read more classics, it seemed in poor taste for me to give this one a miss.

And, I'm glad I read it.

Even though Hardy's writing style took some getting used to. It's sort of wordy. Okay, it's really wordy. Near the beginning,
...more
Maria Espadinha
Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Espelho, Espelho Meu...


Ah!... O Amor... Aquela parteira do que Somos mas ainda não sabemos Ser!
Uma lanterna capaz de nos iluminar os recantos mais escuros da Alma.
Um espelho que reflecte o espectro do Ser, desde as cores mais suaves às mais negras, sem desdenhar as intermédias...

A Bathsheba Everdene, uma mulher linda, rebelde e rica, não faltaram espelhos à escolha!
Será que de todos escolheu o certo?
Ou será que sofreu na pele as amarguras da escolha errada quando a certa estava tão perto?
Ou te
...more
Amalia Gkavea
“Silence has sometimes a remarkable power of showing itself as the disembodied soul of feeling wandering without its carcase, and it is then more impressive than speech. In the same way to say a little is often to tell more than to say.”

“When a strong woman recklessly throws away her strength she is worse than a weak woman who has never had any strength to throw away.”
emma
Mar 03, 2021 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, non-ya
mostly adding this to my tbr because i want to watch the movie (for carey mulligan reasons) and i'm a self respecting bookworm who will read the book first ...more
Roel ✿
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars, ouch
To think I almost didn't buy this book when I found it at a second-hand bookshop... Needless to say, I'm glad I took it with me in the end.

In Far from the Madding Crowd, the lives of Gabriel Oak and Bathsheba Everdene become intertwined when Gabriel falls asleep in an overheated farmer's hut; Bathsheba turning up there just in time to save his life. Shortly after, Bathsheba inherits her uncle's farm and moves away. When disaster befalls Farmer Oak's sheep, he leaves Norcombe Hill in search of a
...more
Victorian Spirit
La novela más amable de Hardy no queda del todo exenta de la brutalidad y el pesimismo del que hace gala el realista inglés en cada una de sus obras.

Bathsheba Everdeen hereda de sus tíos una granja que decide, en contra de los dictados de la época, administrar sin ayuda de un hombre. Pronto, a esta mujer excepcional le surgirán tres pretendientes de lo más distintos entre sí y que le ofrecerán tres formas de vivir el amor. De su decisión, dependerá el destino de los cuatro.

Una de las novelas qu
...more
Sawsan
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
"we are only as blind as we want to be"
sometimes the right way is clearly in front of us and however we chose to walk at wrong ways
19th Century novel at rural England of a young independent woman with three men in her life
a story of love, impulsive mistakes, and the courage to start over
...more
Alex
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Thomas Hardy writes often about women, with a sympathy that looks a little like contempt. In Far From the Madding Crowd he lays out the options available to Bathsheba Everdene (yes, Katniss is named after her): Frank Troy is the dashing adventurer, charming and dissipated. He ensnares her in a ferny grove, showing off his swordplay. ("It will not take five minutes," he says, and we picture Hardy snickering.) Boldwood (that's what she said, lol) is the older, stolid man, a rural Casaubon, represe ...more
Rachel
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2018, victorian
With how long this has been sitting on my currently reading shelf (a little over 4 months, I do believe) I'm sure you all were expecting me to come back with a scathing review. But it's quite the contrary - I'm happy to report that this was wonderful. It's just that I was in the mood to read this and then I wasn't and then I was again, and that's that mystery solved. This was my first Thomas Hardy, and I chose it because I'd already seen the Carey Mulligan film and fell very much in love with th ...more
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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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