50 books to read before you die discussion

Tess of the D'Urbervilles
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Book Discussions - 100 list > Tess of the D'Urbervilles

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Buck (spectru) Group read for October 2017 from our 100 list


Sophie | 199 comments I will start reading this tonight or tomorrow, looking forward to it as I've been meaning to get to it for years! It's been that long that I've actually forgotten why I wanted to read it in the first place. I think it was just because it's a classic. Trying to keep an open mind with this one because I've heard conflicting opinions. I don't know much about the plot and have not read anything else by Thomas Hardy before so not sure what to expect. I've heard it's tragic and that I will definitely cry.


Buck (spectru) I recently read Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy because Tess of the D'Urbervilles was so good that I just had to read more Hardy. Tess is better than Jude.


Geoffrey Aronson (geaaronson) | 18 comments Yes, I agree, Buck, and that´s why literature course will have Tess as required reading instead of Jude.


Geoffrey Aronson (geaaronson) | 18 comments Bring Tess on. I have´t read her for 50 years.


Christine Sophie wrote: "I will start reading this tonight or tomorrow, looking forward to it as I've been meaning to get to it for years! It's been that long that I've actually forgotten why I wanted to read it in the fir..."

You will definitely cry over Tess. I think Hardy is a great writer and poet. His writing is often sad as he was lamenting the slow decline of rural traditions in England. This was due to the long term effects of the industrial revolution had on rural communities. It's not that he was a Luddite but he didn't like the small changes. For example, when he was a boy, in church on Sunday there would be local minstrel band playing music in the gallery and the congregation singing along, very happy clappy. However, by the time he grew up the band had been replaced by an organ with one man playing Victorian dirges. Miserable, dour stuff, with a stiff upper lip etc.,

If you like Tess, go on and read Far from the Madding Crowd, that has a happy ending.


message 7: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam | 16 comments Really enjoying reading Tess. Haven't read any other Hardy books but will do at some point.


Sophie | 199 comments I finished this yesterday and am a bit conflicted. I really loved some parts, a lot of it is so haunting and emotional! Two scenes in particular stuck out to me; (view spoiler). Those two things on their own were enough to send shivers down my spine. However for me, those sort of moments (and there were quite a few of them) weren't enough to hold my attention for the book in general. I don't know if I just wasn't in the mood or what but I became disinterested pretty quick. I'm definitely glad I read it and will probably try another Thomas Hardy sometime in the future. It was good but not for me.


Geoffrey Aronson (geaaronson) | 18 comments Christine wrote: "Sophie wrote: "I will start reading this tonight or tomorrow, looking forward to it as I've been meaning to get to it for years! It's been that long that I've actually forgotten why I wanted to rea..."

Your mention of his dislike of the sm all changes in rural life prompt me to think about the small changes in contemporary American culture. I would like to challenge other posters to write of the cultural changes over the last 70 years that you miss.


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