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Far from the Madding Crowd (Penguin Classics) Paperback – April 29, 2003
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
for which his fiction is best remembered.”
Top Customer Reviews
"Far from the Madding Crowd" may, in some sense, be the model for every cheapo drugstore romance novel ever written, but it is a classic for the very simple and very good reason that it transcends the genre it may have helped to start. Bathsheba's trials, in love and elsewhere, are completely realized, with terrific detail. Hardy has a powerful understanding of human nature and makes each of the characters both deep and broad, both simple and complex, both good and filled with fault. The result is a story with many characters, each of whom is as full-blooded and human as a reader could hope. It's a book which bears reading again and again, as each new reading shows the reader new detail and new depth not previously seen. A more three-dimensional character study may not exist in novel form--and the beauty of it is that all this terrific character examination is done against the backdrop of a wonderful plot as well. You really couldn't ask for a more richly satisfying novel.
It's not surprising that the novel was originally attributed to George Eliot because the protagonist, Gabriel Oak, as the novel's moral anchor, is very similar in character to Eliot's Adam Bede. Oak is trying to make a living on his own as a farmer, but a stroke of bad luck compels him to take a job as a shepherd for a beautiful young woman named Bathsheba Everdene who has recently inherited her uncle's farm and commands a large number of workers and servants. Oak iconically personifies the rustic setting, not only because of his surname but because of the intimacy with which he communes with nature, and his fondness for playing the flute seems designed to evoke an image of Pan.
Oak has an awkward history with Bathsheba -- he had known her before her windfall, but in her independent spirit she spurned his love. As the head of Weatherbury farm, however, she can't get by on her independence alone, and she needs Oak's expertise in ensuring her sheep are healthy and fit for wool production. Her romantic attention turns toward a profligate soldier named Francis Troy who, through an unlikely error, has just barely avoided wedding Fanny Robin, one of the Weatherbury servants.Read more ›
At the core of all the turmoil is beautiful farm girl, Bathsheba Everdene - spirited, vain, intelligent and adept at toying with the hearts of men. Inevitably beguiled by her charms a humble and kind farmer, Gabriel Oak, fervently attempts to win Bathsheba's affections. Enter the competition....
(suitor#2) Farmer Boldwood - a wealthy and temperate middle-aged man respected in the community, eventually plunges into maniacal obsession at the mere possibility of making the beloved Miss Everdene his wife; and (suitor#3) Sergeant Francis Troy - a dashing young philandering soldier, with his share of inner demons, ruthlessness and vanity, vies for Bathsheba's hand in marriage.
Bathsheba's ultimate decision, and the cataclysm it evokes, lies at the epicenter of Hardy's unforgettable ambivalent story.
"Far from the Madding Crowd", Thomas Hardy's fourth novel, saw publication in 1874 and earned him widespread popularity as a writer. A delicately woven tale of unrequited love and regret, set in the mid-19th century, "Far From the Madding Crowd" is a masterpiece of pure story-telling.
Hardy's classic style is a pleasure to read as he masterfully brings his characters and their dealings to life. I would not hesitate to say it definitely captured my heart as another favourite.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It starts off kind of slow but gets very interesting as one goes along. I suggest watching the movie so you have some idea what the characters of Bathsheba Everdene and Gabriel... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jennifer Rose
Loved the rich prose once I got used to it. Lots of words I needed to look up. The plot was intricate but story had happy ending. This was not always the case with Thomas Hardy.Published 1 month ago by janet Murchison
Terrible quality issues and grammatical mistakes in kindle edition.Published 1 month ago by JBoehman
This book was difficult to read. The writing style was old-fashioned and hard to follow, plus the Kindle version was not well formatted at all. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Claire
A classic that I hated in high school, but enjoyed more after I had seen the movie.Published 2 months ago by Margaret Harrell
Thomas Hardy's books are classics with beautiful nature descriptions, characters with biblical names, and even though we read Hardy in school usually, it's worth reading him again... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Priscilla Kirkeby