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Jude the Obscure

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  66,731 ratings  ·  3,339 reviews
Jude Fawley's hopes of a university education are lost when he is trapped into marrying the earthy Arabella, who later abandons him. Moving to the town of Christminster where he finds work as a stonemason, Jude meets and falls in love with his cousin Sue Bridehead, a sensitive, freethinking 'New Woman'. ...more
Paperback, 310 pages
Published December 1st 2006 by Dover Publications (first published April 16th 1895)
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Carrie Jude would have certainly fallen into the category of Emo that we were all so lucky to have gone through a few years back and the horrible thing would…moreJude would have certainly fallen into the category of Emo that we were all so lucky to have gone through a few years back and the horrible thing would have been is he would have been so popular with the ladies, none stop on his phone quoting Edgar Allen Poe. (less)

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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 b
Sep 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Ahmad Sharabiani
(799 From 1001 Books) - Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy

Jude the Obscure, the last completed novel by Thomas Hardy, began as a magazine serial in December 1894 and was first published in book form in 1895.

Its protagonist, Jude Fawley, is a working-class young man, a stonemason, who dreams of becoming a scholar. The other main character is his cousin, Sue Bridehead, who is also his central love interest.

The novel is concerned in particular with issues of class, education, religion and marriage.

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 first -cousi ...more
As my son puts it: "You are Hardy-broken yet again!"

How come I was not warned against Jude after my long suffering with Tess? How come nobody stood up and said:

"Listen, Lisa, this is a wonderful, brilliant novel, but it is not for you! You won't survive the pain of the injustice and the legal prostitution and the brutal loss of the children. You will yet again be book-scarred!"

How come? Or maybe I did get a ton of good advice, just like Sue and Jude, but I didn't act on it, just like them, un
Nov 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 omnipresent tra
“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 En
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 feel
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
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
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Read this if you're looking for that final push towards suicide. ...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’
Amalia Gkavea
“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.”

“Teach me to live, that I may dread
The grave as little as my bed.
Teach me to die…”
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My uncle called me from France because he'd heard third-hand that I was about to read Jude the Obscure and he felt he needed to warn me away from it. I was going through a divorce; he felt that I was too fragile for Jude. He was trying to save me, like warning your friend who just got out of traction against dirtbiking down the Matterhorn. This is the bleakest book from the bleakest author, a serious contender for Bleakest Book Ever Written, a book so dire that almost everyone hated it when it c ...more
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read Jude the Obscure years ago in an undergraduate Literature course and remembered feeling emotionally devastated. Time has erased almost all memory of the setting and plot except that of a young child who made a brief appearance. He is called Father Time because he seems perpetually melancholic and aged from having lived a storm-tossed life despite his tender years. My heart broke when I met him again and encountered the hopelessness he must have felt.

Father Time is the son of Jude Fawley,
Dave Schaafsma
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
“I can't bear that they, and everybody, should think people wicked because they may have chosen to live their own way!”

This is my third reread in recent weeks of one of the four central Thomas Hardy novels; the first two were Tess and Far from the Madding Crowd, and I will also reread Return of the Native and (maybe) The Mayor of Casterbridge. Each of them feature strong, independent and passionate women who are flawed, but are seriously interesting in their challenging of Victorian mores. All o
TBV (on semi-hiatus)
This was the second time that I read this novel, and this time around it impressed me a great deal more. The first time I was certainly devastated by the story, and the story remains devastating, but this time I read it for the superb writing and what a rewarding exercise this was.

Jude sets out with such lofty ideals, but he makes bad decisions and is ultimately his own worst enemy. The result is that he never achieves what he wants, but is always on the outside looking in. One mistake in parti
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Erin by: Jenn
Shelves: 1001-books, 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
'Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.'
'Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein.'
'Why died I not from the womb? Why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly? ... For now should I have lain still and been quiet. I should have slept: then had I been at rest!'
Alok Mishra
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I will certainly call it Hardy's Masterpiece as he designed it in a way that it posed a serious challenge to the society at that time. Later, though, denied the due for his artistic intelligence, the author had to shun the writing (many believe so). Jude, whatever be said by whoever, is a character who is sincere and honest and brave enough to accept what is thrown at him as a challenge, could not defeat the society and today, we have overcome that. When Shakespeare said that love knows no bound ...more
Nov 14, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
“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
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“But I don’t admit that my failure proved my view to be a wrong one, or that my success would have made it a right one; though that’s how we appraise such attempts nowadays—I mean, not by their essential soundness, but by their accidental outcomes.”

This is a true tragedy, but didn’t feel sad, exactly. Instead, the tragic events happen as a matter of course. There was a feeling of predestination in the prose, from the very beginning of the story. I found myself mumbling while reading, like multip
Diane Barnes
Feb 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Finally! Finally I have finished this book! This has to be one of the bleakest, unhappiest novels ever written. The 3 stars are generous on my part, mainly because I take some of the blame for my lack of enjoyment. It just happened to be the wrong book at the wrong time. This was an eventful month for me, and reading time was almost non-existent, so bad choice on my part.

Still, Mr. Hardy, what the heck? Is life really that bad?
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Never re-read this, first read in H.S. I did give it as a birthday present to my Mother, maybe the worst present I gave her (she liked a turqoise circle pin better). At the time it was my favorite book, but let's face it, Hardy is a downer: Bill Pritchard spoke on Hardy's poetry in Boston, reading one in which another Dorset man, too poor to keep supporting his dog, takes him down to the estuary and flings a fetch-stick out far into the outgoing tidal river. The dog faithfully fetches it, and is ...more
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.
Brett C
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I truly enjoyed this story. It's the most depressing story I've ever read. I thought the author would wrap it up and end on a positive note: he didn't. I kept rooting for poor Jude as he faced one saddening challenge after another.

The author's tone, the sense of woe, and the solemn mood throughout the course of the book kept me hooked. This one will have me reflecting on the story for years to come. I highly recommend this one to anyone who likes classic literature. Thanks!
Natalie Richards
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-book
This is such a bleak read but also a very interesting one. Religion, morals, class; they are all in this book. I enjoyed the story but found it hard to really connect with anyone and therefore it didn`t really touch me like it should have. I also found Sue to be one of the most annoying characters ever created! Tess remains my favourite Hardy book. ...more
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, audiobook

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.
BAM Endlessly Booked
Catching up on classics group read

Jude is just pitiful. Talk about victims of the times. Good lord! He and sue were way ahead of the period. No way could they ever live happily. And so, so poor. I appreciated his love of learning and books, but it's like so many people nowadays who have to pick between education or food on the table.
What surprised me was that I didn't immediately fall in love with the text like I usually do with a Hardy story. Instead he kept it even keel then PUNCHED me in the
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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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