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Far from the Madding Crowd (Signet Classics)
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Far from the Madding Crowd (Signet Classics) [Mass Market Paperback]

Thomas Hardy , James Wright
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (611 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1, 1961 Signet Classics
Bathsheba, a willful English beauty of the nineteenth century, finally recognizes her true love in Gabriel.

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Random's Modern Library is reproducing this Hardy standard as a tie-in to a Masterpiece Theater presentation and offering a quality hardcover for a reasonable price.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

“Far from the Madding Crowd is the first of Thomas Hardy’s great novels, and the first to sound the tragic note
for which his fiction is best remembered.”
-Margaret Drabble
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Series: Signet Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics; Reissue edition (January 1, 1961)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451523601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451523600
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (611 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,906,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews
243 of 249 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A towering achievement of English literature May 24, 2002
This has to be my favorite of all Thomas Hardy's many classic works. "Far from the Madding Crowd" was published in 1874 when the novelist was 34 years old. It is one of the earliest works of English literature I can think of which has a fully rounded, fully independent, fully human female protagonist. Bathsheba Everdene runs a farm, is only semi-aware of her own extraordinary beauty, and is pursued by three very different men throughout the course of the book.
"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.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild and wooly in Wessex October 30, 2003
By A.J.
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Few literary settings are more distinctive than Thomas Hardy's Wessex, a hilly, chalky, bucolic quilt of pastures and villages occupying the southwest of England, its residents sworn to the immutable cultural traditions of centuries long past. But it is not the goal of "Far from the Madding Crowd" to be merely a sentimental portrait of a region for which Hardy has a great affection, but a grandiose drama about the eventual union of a man and the woman he loves. In summary, Hardy does accede to a Happily Ever After ending, but how he gets to this point is why his novel deserves to be read.
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.
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74 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic treasure September 13, 2003
Forget the infamous "love triangle". In Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy introduces us to the precarious "love square".
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.
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92 of 106 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far From the Madding Crowd - An Honestly Good Story December 2, 1999
Far From the Madding Crowd is a wonderful story about an honest and good man. This man is Gabriel Oak, a small time shepherd trying to gain his independance as a farmer. In his quest for independance he meets Bathsheba Everdene, a very pretty young woman, and falls instantly in love. On a whim he goes and askes Miss Everdene for her hand in marriage, eventhough he has barely known her for a week. She rejects farmer Oak's proposal. The next week Batsheba moves away to a far away town. Eventhough he is rejected by Miss Everdene he vows that he will always love her, and being the honest man that he is Oak did exactly that. Not long after Miss Everdene's rejection Oak finds himself in financial ruin. A young, inexperienced sheep dog that farmer Oak owns, carelessly chases all two hundred of Oak's sheep off of a cliff killing them. After this devestating blow Oak sells everything that he owns and moves away in search of new work. On the road to finding new work Oak happenes upon a small structure that is on fire. Oak immeaditly jumps into action to help save the surrounding structures from also burning to the ground. After he has accomplished this good deed Oak Finds out that the owner of the buildings he has just saved is no other than Miss Bathsheba Everdene. He also finds out that she is now the mistress of a large estate on which these buildings are located. In his desperate situation he askes Miss Everdene if she would like to hire a shepherd and out of her thankfulness she gives Oak a job. Oak continues to work for Miss Everdene through good times and bad, he is very faithful to her. Even after Miss Everdene marries a man that is less than good Oak's good nature and love for Miss Everdene forces him to stay by her side. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It was a great read.
Published 3 days ago by Delana
4.0 out of 5 stars Just what a classic should be.
Hardy captures a bygone era in this "Taming of the Shrew" type story, while adding some twists that add to the realism. Read more
Published 4 days ago by MMTC
5.0 out of 5 stars A story to best all stories.
One of my favorite books. A gripping, heart-wrenching journey that fills the imagination long after it is over.
Published 7 days ago by Caveat Emptor
3.0 out of 5 stars The book took me to an earlier time, with fastenating characters with...
Extremely well written but with plot twists that felt contrived.
Published 8 days ago by martin munter
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
Love the movie but loved the book even more.
Published 9 days ago by Happy hunting shopper
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
I did not realize when ordering it that it was an MP3 I had gotten it for my grandmother and she didn't have anything to play it on
Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars loyal and intelligent farmer/shepherd who lacks great looks and falls...
In a simple tale about a solid, loyal and intelligent farmer/shepherd who lacks great looks and falls into poverty through bad luck, Thomas Hardy describes how swings in economic... Read more
Published 11 days ago by grizzlybill70
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
I would not choose to purchase this book. My wife uses my amazon account and read this book.
Published 13 days ago by Jonathan Ziebell
5.0 out of 5 stars Prosaic magnificence which too few will enjoy or appreciate
I'm a sucker for almost anything 19th century England, and this novel is top notch. Looking forward to my next Thomas Hardy book.
Published 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Darker than the movie adaptation
Nice story with some not so nice characters. There are no perfect people in this book. It is also nice to know that some 19th Century men respected women. Go Hardy!
Published 28 days ago by Alexandra Kish
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