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The Mayor of Casterbridge Audio, Cassette – Unabridged, November 1, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0786121007 ISBN-10: 0786121009 Edition: Unabridged

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (November 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786121009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786121007
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 2.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,243,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Hardy's 1866 novel gets the red carpet treatment here. Like Broadview's recent edition of Dracula (Classic Returns, LJ 1/98), this includes a scholarly preface and introduction, a chronicle of Hardy's life, and several appendixes. All that for $9.95 makes this an absolute steal.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

The Mayor of Casterbridge is a novel about Henchard’s ‘struggle into love and the struggle with love’ . . . Hardy is clearly an expert in moods and maps out the terrain . . . like a writer who knows the emotional landscape intimately.” –from the Introduction by Craig Raine --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

I found this book a very interesting read.
Barry
If you enjoy classic novels, give yourself a treat and read one of the best novels ever written.
bearieq
Like most of Hardy's books, it is a tragedy for the main character.
Fred Camfield

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Jack Cade on March 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
When one finishes "Casterbridge," one is immediately struck by its place in the development of the novel. Hardy came after Dickens and before James, and his style intrigues as you connect parts of it to the former, parts to the latter.

His plotting is sort of Dickens "lite." There are mysterious benefactors, sudden tragic deaths, reversals of fortune, paternity mysteries, ect. His prose is cleaner and easier to read than both Dickens and James; "Casterbridge" scans better than "Bleak House" or "The Wings of the Dove."

The story begins when a pastoral laborer, in a drunken rage, sells his wife and child one evening (I hate it when that happens...). When he wakes the next morning, abhorred at what he has done, he swears off liquor and decides to make something of his life. The novel truly begins eighteen years later, when his wife and daughter come back to present themselves to him. In the course of the rest of the novel, we witness the fall of the now Mayor of Casterbridge, brought about by his own character flaws and the interventions of fate.

Henchard, the main character, is a facinating combination of hot-spirited volition and turn-on-a-dime repentance. He is quick to do things which damn him but just as quick to admit his guilt. He is a wonderful character and a precursor to the later "psychological" novels of James and Forster. The satellite characters remind one of Dickens, but they are not nearly as startling and interesting, but of course, a character such as Henchard never existed in all of Dickens.

The novel proceeds to its forgone conclusion inexorably, albiet with a few melodromatic touches, yet it sustains its tone and readibility due mostly to Henchard, and the dramatic situations Hardy puts him through.

Well worth a look.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Dana Keish on January 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
Since I have decided to dedicate part of my time spent reading in 2003 to the classics, I started first with The Mayor of Casterbridge, not the most famous of Hardy's works but seemingly a good place to start. I will definitely read the other works by this author since I was so captivated by this book.
The novel begins with the sale of Michael Henchard's wife and child to the highest bidder at a local summer fair. Henchard is drunk and his wife, tired of his habits, decides to leave with the sailor who bids on her and her daughter. Henchard wakes up the next morning, somewhat remorseful for what he has done and vows not to drink for twenty-one years.
The very next chapter picks up the story nineteen years later, with the return of the wife and child into Henchard's life. Henchard is now quite wealthy and is such an important man in his community, he is now Mayor of Casterbridge. From here, a series of wrong decisions and misunderstandings lead to the devastating conclusion.
Hardy is well known for his tendency towards gloomy endings and this book certainly fits the mold. But he is also well known for his lyrical descriptions of the English countryside and describing a way of life which had disappeared even in his own time. There were beautiful passages about the hay carts being driven through town, loaded so high that people on the second floor of homes could reach out and touch the top of the hay. Small details abound, describing the sound of rain on trees and the smell of the local foods. But perhaps the most significant aspect of the novel for me was the feeling that Henchard had wished for everything that had happened to him, and all of his wishes came true, and thus ultimately his downfall.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jenny on December 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
At first I was forced to read "The Mayor of Casterbridge" in school more than 12 years ago. Reading it slowly made an impact on my life. This book always served a special purpose in my life. It introduced me to the wide world of Literature. It sort of enlighten my interest and liking for English literature. Now re-reading it not only brought back fond memories of my yester school days but also renewed my liking to one of the greatest writer of all time Thomas Hardy.
Through this novel I came to the understanding of Irony and oxymoron. Hardy totally wrote with a sense of awareness of human characteristic and he had a amazing style of mixed humour with tragedy.
His protagonist,Michael Henchard's life was under the microscope of Hardy.
I love the way the story began I quote:"ONE evening of late summer, before the nineteenth century had reached one-third of its span, a young man and woman, the latter carrying a child, were approaching the large village of Weydon-Priors, in Upper Wessex, on foot. " I love the Englishness and the sense of intriguing events that would follow...
In brief, Michael Henchard was a drunk who sold his wife and daughter at the fair. Later he realised his mistakes he work real hard and eventually became the mayor of Casterbridge. His life took another twist 20 years later when his wife and daughter came back to his life plus a few more other characters adding on the complexity of his life.Soonafter events unfolded and many things became to go against his way and then came his downfall. Indeed Michael Henchard's rise and fall were filled with compelling details and his encounters with numerous intestering people.
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