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Jude the Obscure

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  57,138 ratings  ·  2,857 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'.
Paperback, 310 pages
Published December 1st 2006 by Dover Publications (first published 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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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  57,138 ratings  ·  2,857 reviews

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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 tospoiler)]

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.
“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 English Literature
Nov 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Finallly 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 paupe
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
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 wonde
Ahmad Sharabiani
799. 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.
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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
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 Hard
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Read this if you're looking for that final push towards suicide.
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’
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 came out, not ...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
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Erin by: Jenn
Shelves: classics, 1001-books
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
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
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 are interested in reading a T
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.
BAM The Bibliomaniac
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 PUNCH
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
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
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 strengths an2.5/5
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 listened to an au
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 told tha ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a beautifully depressing book. I kinda want to call him the Job of Marriage. Or rather, the Jude of Marriage, because, let's face it, he is or should be an archetype. :)

For those of you not acquainted with Thomas Hardy, he's primarily a poet but he is best known for his novels. And, if I might be so bold, for good reason. He's almost Dickensonian in his command of the pathos, but more than that, he's a naturalist with his thumb on the pulse of the times.

Those times,
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
'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!'
'There the pris/>
Dec 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This Thos. Hardy novel will either break your heart or leave you cold. As someone from a disadvantaged region with an inferior secondary education, I identified strongly with young Jude Fawley, his dreams and aspirations, and his cross to bear: despite plenty of smarts and initiative, late 19th-Century England would deny him educational opportunities because he lacked "background." Not as much romance in this 1894 novel as in most Hardy works, and it certainly can get rugged at times, but the sa ...more
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
Yigal Zur
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
tragic story. great writing
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.
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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 character ...more
“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.” 392 likes
“But no one came. Because no one ever does.” 302 likes
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