Laura's Reviews > The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
1040930
's review
Nov 24, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: classic, english-lit

Truth is stranger than fiction except in this story, which presents a circuitous series of tragic circumstances that only the cruelest force — a depressed novelist — could dream up. Actually, I have no idea if Hardy was depressed when he wrote this book, but I certainly was by the time I finished reading it. The story begins with an itinerant hay-trusser, Michael Henchard, selling his wife and baby daughter for five guineas (!!) in a fit of drunken madness. Unbelievably enough, it goes downhill from there. After twenty-one years of sober regret Henchard has risen to the position of mayor of Casterbridge, but is still haunted by his past mistakes, which, naturally, come back to haunt him in person. Surprise!

In spite of its obvious downsides, the novel does present a fascinating portrait of a man who battles demons of insecurity and bad temper and willingly endures the enormous suffering wreaked by his self-destructive behavior. The tragedy is that even though he accepts that he can’t escape his past actions, he doesn’t know how to change himself effectively. A sad but compelling read.
12 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Mayor of Casterbridge.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

03/27/2016 marked as: read

No comments have been added yet.