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Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy, Fiction, Classics

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  50,268 Ratings  ·  2,303 Reviews
There's a tale that goes around even now regarding Thomas Hardy -- that is, that the reaction of readers to one of his novels was so intense -- and so disturbing! -- that he swore off novels and spent the rest of his life committing poetry. Well, the story is true, the way it happens and this is the book responsible: Jude the Obscure.
Paperback, 348 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Aegypan (first published 1895)
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Nov 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

i have just discovered, so i am including this, but it is a total spoiler, so be warned.

(view spoiler)

jude the obscure is one of my favorite books of all time. and reading the biography of him now is making me very antsy to reread this. it used to be part of my "summer reruns" ritual; to reread all my favorites each and every summer. then i got old and realized that kind of thing was a luxury i would have to give up, or risk missing out on all kinds of books
Sep 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who feel better when they compare their life to Jude's.
Shelves: literature
If you like sunshine, unicorns, and lollipops, then you probably won't like this book. If it's raining and you're vaguely manic depressive or if you just want to sit around for a few hours and feel sorry for someone other than yourself - well, Jude's your man.

I can't fault Hardy's talents at controlling the mood. Even before it became horrendously horrendous, there was a pall of doom that hung over everything that poor Jude touched.
“But his dreams were as gigantic as his surroundings were small.”
I realize wistfully that I cannot revisit all books I read and loved a long time ago. Oh, how I regret not having an endless existence to go back and revisit my most precious memories. However, I have so many new celebrated novels yet to explore.

I read Jude the Obscure when I was in college, I was so young but used to read whenever I did not have class or did not have to study. If I remember correctly, I discovered it in an Engl
Henry Avila
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thomas Hardy ended his brilliant career writing novels, with this book, Jude the Obscure , because of the adverse reaction in Victorian England , this was thought unseemly, immoral, not a decent product , you didn't parade such filth to the public, but he did, almost fifty years too early, yet liking poetry more , it was not a hard decision for him to stop, back to his first love, making exquisite poems.... In the tail end of the 19th century two intelligent , but undisciplined, rather immature ...more
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Birds of sorrow
“God had created woman for the sole purpose of tempting and testing man. One must not approach her without defensive precautions and fear of possible snares. She was, indeed, just like a snare, with her lips open and her arms stretched out to man.” Guy de Maupassant, Clair de Lune.

I wonder who the real tragic protagonist in Hardy’s tale of doomed love and transcendental disillusion is. What seems evident according to the incriminating behavior of the female characters in the story is that wome
Steven  Godin

To read of Tess or Jude? I was completely undecided, so took the action of a coin toss to decide for me.
Problem, had not a penny in my pocket, so whisked out a visa card and launched it across the room.

Frontside up - Tess
Backside up - Jude

Jude it was then...
(Don't worry Tess, you will have your day!)

He might have won my card toss but there is no winning in Hardy's final novel. A novel of such bleak and devastating intensity it's little wonder he finally called it a day.
Stirring up a feeli
Nov 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally read it!

This one was so often interrupted and left for dead... & I guess it was better to keep straining the eyes and pausing after glorious upon glorious sentence for better understanding. Yeah- he's one of those authors often times associated with Greatness, & with good reason.

"The Return of the Native" is another interrupted and altogether discarded novel which had incredible prospects. This one rollercoasters from Dickensian beginnings (Jude the pauper and dreamer) to omnipre
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
A few days ago I finished Thomas Hardy's last novel, Jude the Obscure. I was completely overwhelmed and truly needed a few days to reflect upon the experience and collect my thoughts before attempting a review. Bear in mind too, that this is the first time that I have read Jude, and I sincerely believe that this novel may require a lifetime of reading and study in order to fully tease out and understand the import of Hardy's message.

First, a little background about the novel. This novel took Har
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erin by: Jenn
Shelves: classics
He began to see that the town was a book of humanity infinitely more palpitating, varied, and compendious than the gown life. These struggling men and women before him were the reality of Christminister, though they knew little about Christ or Minister. That was one of the humours of things. The floating population of students and teachers, who did know both in a way,were not Christminister in a local sense at all.

The above quote really reminds me of my university town for my B .Ed program. T
Nov 14, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YOU, if you've finished all the chicken soup for the soul books already
Recommended to Jessica by: the guy at the crisis hotline
If I remember correctly, this book is a real laff riot, with a touchingly sweet and uplifting message. I think I read somewhere that Hardy was feted in the streets of his hometown Christminster and given the Feelgood Author of 1895 Award for this baby, and rightly so! What a heartwarming gift for someone who's feeling down, such as a student who's just lost his financial aid, or someone you know who's trying to make an unconventional relationship work despite social strictures. Okay, full disclo ...more
Jr Bacdayan
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a review shrouded in misery and gloom, a meditation on life’s sadness and bleakness. Let those who read this derive their little satisfaction from the beauty that we sometimes discern springing from the melancholy, otherwise one should not partake this endeavor at all. Happy Halloween?

Sometimes in the morning, I wake up and ask myself “why carry on?” Sometimes you’re filled with this immense pressure and wish to just stay lying in bed forever. Sometimes people tell themselves that they’
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Hey Jude, don't be afraid
You were made to go out and get her
The minute you let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better”

I would caution anyone against taking romantic advice from Sir Paul McCartney, splendid music legend that he is. This is especially true for a Thomas Hardy protagonist. Certainly Jude Fawley did let a certain lady under his skin and proceeds to make things much worse (spoiler? Hardly, Thomas Hardy’s protagonists are not in the habit of making things better). If you
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read this if you're looking for that final push towards suicide.
César Lasso
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brit-lit
De un pesimismo atroz, Hardy ataca en esta novela la convención social del matrimonio (enfrentado al “matrimonio natural” de las parejas de hecho), la hipocresía de la religión y otros temas como la dificultad, en época del autor, de que un hombre sin recursos hiciera una carrera universitaria. La novela fue un escándalo en su tiempo, tachada de inmoral, y el revuelo que produjo motivó que Hardy, escarmentado, dejara de escribir novelas en los 33 años que todavía vivió tras su publicación.

La his
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, re-read

This is one of the three novels by Thomas Hardy which I read when I was at school and university. While it's not the one that made me decide I didn't like Hardy - that honour goes to Tess of the D'Urbervilles - I was not motivated to read it again. However, thirty five years later I've developed a new appreciation for Hardy, thanks to a wonderful audiobook of The Return of the Native narrated by Alan Rickman. I'm now slowly working my way through his novels, including the ones I've read before.
I am not a man who wants to save himself at the expense of the weaker among us!
A word of advice to wannabe novelists: don't build a sob story character on the backs of far more desperate plot lines. In the effort of making a single complex portrait that seeks to inspire empathetic commiseration, you run the risk of using tropes as buffering without giving them their due. Now, one can write a work of some quality without deity level insight à la Evans/Eliot and such, but that requires stre
Jul 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people in need of some good old-fashioned tragedy
If it weren't for the fact that it's somewhat whiny and depressing (and that's putting it mildly), Jude the Obscure would be an ideal book for secondary school pupils struggling with their book reports. See, the way Hardy wrote the novel, the reader is not required to think for himself about what the characters are like and why they suffer the misfortunes they do. Hardy spells it all out for him, mostly by having the characters analysing themselves and each other ad nauseam. Thus the reader is t ...more
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستانِ گرانقدر، این کتاب از 600 صفحه تشکیل شده و داستانِ جوانی ساده و روستایی به نامِ «جود» است که با تصمیم هایِ اشتباه زندگیش به نابودی و زوال کشیده میشود... او با دختری کثیف و هوس باز به نامِ « آرابلا» ازدواج میکند که از او خیانت می بیند، سپس عاشقِ « سو» میشود که زنِ « فیلوتسون» معلمِ سابقِ روستا هستش... با « سو» فرار کرده و زندگی تشکیل میدهند و سپس مسیرِ زندگی از آنچه آرزویش را داشت به سمتِ تباهی و در نهایت مرگ در تنهایی با سرفه و لبِ تشنه، تغییر میکند
از میانه هایِ داستان دلم می خواست « آراب
Maybe Thomas Hardy can write, but I didn't like this book. To say otherwise is just not true.

Just as the book description clarifies, through this book Hardy criticizes the three institutions - marriage, religion and education - during Victorian times. Although I agree with his criticism, he exaggerates; he finds example that go beyond a fair analysis. Some of the characters are good and some evil, as in all novels, but Hardy goes beyond this and throws in characters that are mentally instable.
Dec 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
Just about killed me. An incredible, crushing novel. Hardy writes what I feel. If I didn't know any better about Hardy, I'd think this novel was the 19th-century "Requiem for a Dream," the equivalent of an anti-emotional, anti-adultery PSA. That's how harsh it is. I know a lot of people were made to read it in high school, but then again, I had the weird childhood. The epitome of a tragic figure, Jude Fawley is shut down at every turn... or built up slightly, only to lose everything. The best ba ...more
Esteban del Mal
I read this out of curiosity during my freshman year in college. When I approached my English 1A professor about doing a paper on it, she -- and I'm not joking here -- said, "Why would you want to write about a dead white male?" Taken aback, I dutifully bowed my pimpled head and submitted a paper on Ernest Gaines's A Gathering of Old Men.

Not to take anything away from Gaines, who I ended up admiring in his way, but Ms. F? You can suck it.
I’m still wavering a bit on how to rate this but for now, I’m at peace with 3.5 stars.

I love Jude. I feel protective towards him. And I feel like hell about all that happens to him. But other then just a lot of sympathy on my part towards him, I didn’t find myself as emotionally engaged with this novel as I was expecting to. And I just can’t not compare it with some of Hardy’s other novels which have given me more compelling experiences. Perhaps if I’d read this before Tess, I would’ve felt diff
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A few years ago I was about to start Jude the Obscure, and I was also about to get divorced, and everyone was like nooooo, do not read this book while you're depressed anyway; it is the bummer of all bummers. So I didn't. I read it just now instead.

And I'm not sure that advice was crucial. One of the messages of the book is that one shouldn't stay in a marriage that's not the right marriage; in a way, this might have been reassuring, right?

One of the other messages is "But society will beat you
Jun 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, classics, favorites
Jude the Obscure is one of my favorite novels of all time. It doesn't matter which time era the story is presented, it makes sense. Remarkably, it was written during a time with far more sexual restraint than we know today and definitely resulted in Hardy going "out with a bang".

There is more to a man than the outright sexual pleasures and need to plant his seed, and Jude clearly show the ties between the primal urges and that of loneliness and desire for love and acceptance. He makes some imma
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
"As nossas ideias estavam cinquenta anos adiantadas para que nos pudessem ser úteis."

O livro é de 1895, o último romance de Thomas Hardy. Começa com Judas em criança a despedir-se do professor que tanto o inspirou e que parte para a promissora Christminster, uma cidade que o rapaz a partir desse momento também ambiciona conhecer. De imediato se propõe a estudar arduamente nas pausas do trabalho para alcançar esse sonho. Judas torna-se um homem bom, crente e, aos olhos de muitos, um falhado. No e
Jude The Obscure is probably one of the bleakest novels in literature. I give this book five stars for its symbolism and themes that center around the complications of marriage and social class. When it was published in 1895, one critic called it "Jude the Obscene" for its controversy and "immoral" characters that do not follow the right conventions of society. However, I still love the book, even if it's extremely depressing, so I would consider this book one of my favorites. I would recommend ...more
Jul 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: men
Shelves: lit
Jude is every man. He is obscure, in that his choices make no sense, and yet complete sense. He manages to impregnate a local woman he has no aspirations to marry, and yet does. He abandons hope for a rewarding and successful career. Then he carries on with his cousin, mainly because she is a way out of his dull life. All along, we are reminded of what could have been, if only this man could settle for one woman. He meets the best end for a character I've ever read, and one that is more than app ...more
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
HOLY COW that was depressing. Well done, but depressing. A Shakespeare tragedy... only lacking the passion and the violence.


“I may do some good before I am dead--be a sort of success as a frightful example of what not to do; and so illustrate a moral story.”

What can I say about this one…. It was sad. No… it was depressing Uhhhh, yes but more than that is was frustrating and down right tragic.

It is a classic. It is well written… of course it is, it is Hardy after all. But my rating o
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only those who have read other Hardy novels
Shelves: fiction
So if you are a literary person and have read Thomas Hardy before, then go ahead and read this one. If you haven’t read any other Thomas Hardy works, PLEASE don’t start with this one. I took a class on Thomas Hardy literature because it was taught by one of my favorite professors. I visited “Thomas Hardy” country in the southern westerly region of England because it was an opportunity to travel abroad. I’ve read several of Hardy’s novels – but none were quite as depressing and dark as this one. ...more
Dec 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british
so... right... um...

this book is basically what you would get if madame bovary gave birth to werther and then he went out on a walk with thomas mann, that is if none of them had a sense of humor... basically then we have what would be left of madame bovary if you took out the funny. unless I just somehow missed everything funny in the book, but that seems basically impossible.

Reading this book is kind of like picking up a stick and poking a corpse with it to try to get the corpse to wake up. I
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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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“People go on marrying because they can't resist natural forces, although many of them may know perfectly well that they are possibly buying a month's pleasure with a life's discomfort.” 344 likes
“But no one came. Because no one ever does.” 274 likes
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