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Adam Bede (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – June 16, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

`Review from previous edition 'Carol Martin demonstrates that the first edition will not do and persuasively makes the case for taking as copy-text the corrected 'eighth edition' of 1861...the notes are the best available'' Stephen Gill, The George Eliot Review, No. 33, 2002 [n.b. Gill is editor of the Penguin edition, which uses the first edition text]

From the Back Cover

Eliot probes deeply into the psychology of commonplace people caught in the act of uncommon heroics. Alexandre Dumas called this novel 'the masterpiece of the century.'
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (June 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199203474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199203475
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Adam Bede, the titular hero of George Eliot's first novel, is of a character so sterling that one little anecdote serves to define his whole life and work ethic: He's a carpenter, and he had done some work for a lady whose father, an old squire named Donnithorne, suggested that she pay him less than the fee he requested. Adam insisted that he would rather take no money for the job, for to accept a reduced amount would be like admitting he overcharges for shoddy work. By standing on his principles, he won his full fee in the end and cemented his reputation as a businessman of honor and acumen, proving his fairness to both his customers and himself.
Thus he seems an unlikely match for Hetty Sorrel, the prettiest girl in the village of Hayslope. Vain, selfish, materialistic, hating her laborious farm chores, Hetty bears more than a passing resemblance to Flaubert's Madame Bovary. However, while Madame Bovary's unattainable dream world is inspired by her reading romances, Hetty "had never read a novel" so she can't "find a shape for her expectations" regarding love. Unable to foresee any possible consequences for her actions, she allows herself to be seduced by Arthur Donnithorne, the old squire's grandson, who stands to inherit the land on which most of the Hayslopers live.
Arthur is a radiant example of Eliot's mastery in complicated character creation. Acutely aware of his position in society, he has the kind of charisma with which he can talk to his tenants politely but with just the slightest hint of condescension and completely win their respect for his authority.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Adam Bede is more volatile than Middlemarch, but also more powerful. It centers around the life of a master carpenter, Adam Bede, and the people in his village above and equal to his caste, and his conflicted love for a young woman who has also caught the attention of the young aristocrat who is the nominal authority within the community, with tragic consequences. It is not only worth the download, but equally deserves your focus and attention.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I started reading George Elliot's works after initially reading "The Mill on the Floss". There are few writers that I enjoy reading as much. She makes me feel as though I am experiencing the emotions of her characters. I am swept away and have trouble putting her books down. I love the themes she chooses to write about. Her characters are believable and the works are always filled with choices and consequences of everyday people. She does a phenomenal job of weaving the web of the interactions of the characters and demonstrating how each person's actions have affected the others.
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Format: Paperback
George Eliot weaves a simple story of love, suffering, and goodness. While the plot is hardly complex (boy loves girl, another boy gets girl, unhappiness abounds - also reused in Mill on the Floss), the manner in which Eliot develops her characters and their emotions and actions ring as true and resoundingly as a bell. It's so clear, so obvious, but also moving and textured. You feel Adam's absolute love for vain little Hetty, Dinah's calming grace, Arthur's good intentions, Lisbeth's fretting nature. Eliot draws you in with her honest observations of life in a country town, without the background becoming a dominant factor. The near idyllic life the characters lead is a healthy contrast to the town's emotional upheaval.
Adam is an upright, genuine character, and not as perfect as he seems. If his love for Hetty seems unfounded at times, it only serves to highlight how dangerous delusions can be. All the "sinners" are ultimately redeemed by truth - true love, true friends, true promises, and true acceptance. Religion plays a significant part in the novel, but don't let that deter you. It's so much more than that - Adam Bede is truly one of the few works that encompass a world of humanity between two covers.
AB reminded me of Tess of the D'Ubervilles a bit, but there is no villain here, just flawed, honest people in search of unattainable dreams. In the process of trying to get a bit of happiness, they stumble and bleed, but ultimately find something truly worth having. Bittersweetness is Eliot's trademark for good reason.
George Eliot's first full novel is obviously a bit less polished than her later works, but you see the wonderful command she has over language and expression. The book, the people, the story all come alive with her touch. A rare read that has something to say and says it beautifully.
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Format: Hardcover
Highly recommended for those who loves classic literature. George Elliot beautifully captured the lives of the people in rural English country in the late 18th century and early 19th century. I guarantee you'll fall in love with all the 4 main characters ie. Adam Bede, Hetty Sorrel, Lord Arthur and Dinah Morris before you finish the book. The courting scenes involving Adam Bede and Dinah are both very romantic and honest. George Elliot had a great understanding of human nature which makes the story very believable although it's fiction. ADAM BEDE's a hero in my heart, and this book's a must read for all literature fans.
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