Gary the Bookworm's Reviews > Far From the Madding Crowd

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
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Jul 24, 2012

it was amazing

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Who knew Thomas Hardy was such a romantic? After feeling bludgeoned reading about the fates of Casterbridge's misguided mayor, poor pretty Tess, and Jude the obtuse, I approached this with trepidation. Could the stars align favorably for anyone in Hardy's pool of hapless souls? Gabriel Oak and Bathsheba Everdene meet, separate and are ultimately reunited in a love story which seems too good to be true in the harsh world of Thomas Hardy. But happiness doesn't come easily to them or anyone else, immeshed as they are in the intricacies of survival. Hardy paints a magnificent picture of the natural world, the countryside and its vibrant inhabitants. His writing is as breathtaking as ever and he offers up a vision of life's possibilities that is less than optimistic, but not unremittingly tragic either.
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Reading Progress

July 24, 2012 – Started Reading
July 24, 2012 – Shelved
July 31, 2012 –
page 136
31.41% "This is taking a long time.When I pick it up I'm happy to read on but I don't feel the compulsion I felt with Hardy's others. Maybe I'm more drawn to tragic figures than people falling in and out of love. For that I have Jane Austen!"
August 4, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim Lovely review, Gary. I read this at Uni and I remember being really surprised that I liked it after disliking Tess so much.


Gary  the Bookworm Thanks Kim. It was slow going at first but it all came together for me. Next up is Return to the Native which may be my last Hardy for a while.


message 3: by Steve (new)

Steve I'd been curious about this one, Gary. Thanks for letting us know that some of that Hardy darkeness and heft can be lightened.

I see you opted for the old movie poster. We were thinking of seeing the new one this weekend. Would you lose all respect for me if we saw it before reading the book?


Gary  the Bookworm Steve wrote: "I'd been curious about this one, Gary. Thanks for letting us know that some of that Hardy darkeness and heft can be lightened.

I see you opted for the old movie poster. We were thinking of seein..."


Actually, Hardy's novels usually make good movies-with the possible exception of Roman Polanski's Tess-he's such a perv. I would have more respect for you if you passed up the newer version, and stayed home to watch Julie Christie in her prime. Which ever you decide, I hope it inspires you to read it too. And The Return of the Native and The Mayor of Casterbridge Oh what the hell...read them all! It's a long weekend after all. ;-)


message 5: by Steve (new)

Steve Long, yes, but anything more than one Hardy novel per day strikes me as a bit much. But thanks for the encouragement in any case.


Gary  the Bookworm Steve wrote: "Long, yes, but anything more than one Hardy novel per day strikes me as a bit much. But thanks for the encouragement in any case."

I guess you're right. Suzanne and I got into a competition one summer, and read most of his novels. She's a faster reader, but I was only about half a book behind her at any given time. She tried to entice me into the same trap with Geroge Elliot, but I couldn't get past the prologue of Silas Marner. Being married to an English teacher can be challenging.


message 7: by Steve (new)

Steve You should feel glad Suzanne didn't start you out with Beowulf, right? I'm sure you had more hits than misses from your joint reads.


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