Sarah's Reviews > Far from the Madding Crowd

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
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really liked it
bookshelves: i-own-a-physical-copy-of-this-book, read-in-2015

I was worried that I might not like this book as much as I expected it to, since I loved Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles so extraordinarily much, and well, it didn't like it as much as Tess - there are only very few novels that can ever come close to the magnificence that is Tess of the D'Urbervilles - but I really did like it a lot.

It was very different from Tess and thus very different from what I expected it to be, but I got used to that very quickly. I was relieved that this book - other than Tess - ended in the way I hoped it would, right from the beginning, and I was glad it was a lot happier in general than Tess was - though I might have loved it more had it been similiar sole-crushing, as I just seem to love a book or a protagonist more the more they have to suffer. It probably means I'm a bad person.
I loved Bathsheba Everdene, who is this book's female lead and just as extraordinary as her name. Far from the Madding Crowd was written in 18-something, and I never expected to read a book written in this time featuring a woman so strong and so full of energy as Bathsheba. She's the woman who turns down proposal by telling men they're too weak for her, she straight out tells people that if they think she can't manage her farm on her own simply because she's a young woman in her 20s, they're in for a nasty surprise, she hates knitting and prefers reading, she's proud, she's headstrong, she's independent, even the man around her note that a woman like her doesn't need one of them by her side to get by. I was constantly surprised at how little she cared about what people wanted her to do and with how much strength and boldness she pursued her goals.
I would like to have a bit of Bathsheba's strong will for myself, to be honest. Her character would be amazing and surprising in any present-day novel, but it is all the more so in a novel from the 19th century. It's her energy that shapes this book, and it probably would have been a lot less good with a protagonist more boring.
I really liked how unique all the other characters in this novel were, as well, and I really appeciated Thomas Hardy's humour.

I'm very glad that I discovered Thomas Hardy as a writer, and I honestly feel like he's very, very underrated. I honestly can not recommend reading one of his books enough, the brought me so much joy during the past few months. His books have opened up a whole new world for me, somehow, because when reading them it doesn't feel historical, it feels alive. When I read them, I'm not merely someone who reads a book set in the 19th century, I'm someone who lives there. It's absolutely amazing.
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Reading Progress

May 27, 2015 – Started Reading
May 27, 2015 – Shelved
May 27, 2015 – Shelved as: i-own-a-physical-copy-of-this-book
May 27, 2015 – Shelved as: read-in-2015
May 27, 2015 –
page 20
4.2% ""When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread, till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced to mere chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extending upon his countenance like the rays in a rudimentary sketch of the rising sun." Aka: Einer der besten ersten Sätze, die ich je gelesen habe."
May 28, 2015 –
page 95
19.96% ""In short I shall astonish you all." Bathsheba Everdene hat so viel Kraft und Energie und kümmert sich so wenig darum, was andere von ihr denken, oder was ihre Position als Frau ist oder sein sollte. Das ist so wunderschön?"
June 3, 2015 –
page 173
36.34% "Und dann der eine Typ so: "Warum sollte Bathsheba denn heiraten, sie kann doch alles alleine?""
June 7, 2015 –
page 234
July 28, 2015 –
page 313
65.76% "Erstmal mache ich aber noch eine Pause von den Schattenjägern um mich endlich wieder meinem geliebten Hardy widmen zu können."
July 28, 2015 –
page 342
71.85% "Wie könnte ich eine Frau nicht lieben, die irgendwann im 18. oder spätestens 19. Jahrhundert lieber liest als strickt oder stickt?"
July 28, 2015 –
page 411
86.34% "Wir steuern auf eine Katastrophe zu, und hoffentlich schreibt Hardy nicht zu jedem Buch ein furchtbares Ende. Das würde ich nicht aushalten."
July 28, 2015 – Finished Reading

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