- File Size: 2067 KB
- Print Length: 360 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: B086BK5CBQ
- Publisher: Open Road Media (February 24, 2015)
- Publication Date: February 24, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00T5H5EU0
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,676 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$4.99|
Save $2.00 (40%)
Jude the Obscure Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
|Kindle, February 24, 2015||
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
From the Back Cover
When Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure appeared in 1895, it immediately caused scandal and controversy. Its frank treatment of Jude’s sexual relationships with Arabella and Sue, its scathing criticisms of late-Victorian hypocrisy, its depiction of the “New Woman,” and its attacks on “holy wedlock” and religious bigotry outraged numerous reviewers; one called the book “Jude the Obscene.” Others saw it as brilliantly progressive in its ideas and techniques. Vivid and complex, satiric and harrowing, this novel marked the culmination of Hardy’s development as a leading novelist of the cultural transition from the Victorian to the Modernist era. The Broadview edition restores the original, controversial 1895 text.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
What was all the fuss about? In the staid and conservative Victorian era, Hardy's classic tale follows Mr. Jude Fawley, a poor, working-class orphan living with his great-aunt but who has big dreams of attending a college in the nearby Oxford-like town of Christminster. Jude encounters a series of obstacles, including an eye for the ladies and a taste for the drink, that thwarts his lofty goal. While he may be teaching himself Greek and Latin after a long day of work as a stonemason, he also can't help falling passionately in love with the wrong women. He is tricked into marrying the coarse and crude Arabella, who then leaves him by escaping to Australia—and without the benefit of divorce. Jude then falls in love with his free-spirited and independent-minded cousin, Sue, and openly lives with her as they proceed to have children—and without the benefit of marriage. Jude and Sue deeply suffer the financial and social consequences of brazenly defying the mores and morals of society, but nothing can prepare them for the deepest tragedy anyone can bear in life and the heartbreaking actions that ensue.
Hardy fully intended to use the novel to lambaste the institution of marriage, as well as the Anglican church and higher education, and he did just that masterfully. But on an even deeper level, the characters play out their own battle of religious faith vs. insidious doubt, making this a brilliant, multilayered novel that still resonates today.
“Specifically in the novel” (says Cliff’s Notes), “Hardy depicts characters who raise questions about such things as religious beliefs, social classes, the conventions of marriage, and elite educational institutions and who feel in the absence of the old certainties that the universe may be governed by a mysterious, possibly malign power.”
We who live in the 21st century face this constantly. An ongoing debate continues between liberal and conservative views of religion. Liberal Christians, for instance, have no difficulty accepting both scientific discovery and thought, while conservative ones conduct a constant battle against new concepts. Some will even insist on a narrow, literal view of Biblical Creation, instead of accepting the ongoing new discoveries of astro-science. Political contests abound in which those of progressive, liberal views, compete against candidates of conservative, even regressive views. Every new election in almost any country is an example of this tension. Keep the old way, or throw it out. Adopt a new way, or reject it. The recent U.S. election is the most visible illustration of this. Politicians will characterize their opponents as evil, even the devil incarnate, whether true or not, while offering themselves as the new savior, the new knight in shining armor who will ride in on a white horse and make everything right again (Translate, “Make America Great Again”).
Jude the Obscure is an excellent example (even the best example) of the author’s “gloom and deterministic” philosophy of life. Optimism never appears on the scene, while tragedy dominates the narrative. The negative gets worse and worse as all sorts of situations block Jude’s desire for happiness.
The book is really a post-modern, 21st century novel in the disguise of one written in a Victorian environment. Hardy’s treatment of marriage is quite akin to our contemporary context. In this regard, he was well ahead of his time. Further, he did not hesitate to depict the tragic, the horrific. The scene for example, of the deaths of Little Father Time and the younger children (Sue, who lived with Jude unmarried, expecting their third child, found Little Father Time had hanged the two babies and himself, after which Sue collapses and gives premature birth to a dead baby), were certainly shocking to Hardy’s contemporaries of the 1890's. However, they could fit in quite well with the novels, screenplays, and television dramas of today.
So the five star rating comes from the unique parallel that Jude the Obscure has with the second decade of the 21st century. To put it another way, Hardy is a secular prophet in his own right.
Top international reviews
As a teacher, I think his books should regularly be used in secondary schools to teach students how to create imagery.
A note of warning, though: Hardy wrote in the 19th century and some of the words he uses should be checked up in a dictionary.
Reading Thomas Hardy reminded me how beautiful English language is.
In this age of diversity and equal representation, I have heard people dismiss Hardy as just another dead white dude who doesn't have anything to say to us. That's quite sad, because Jude is one of the great novels of exclusion, a gutwrenching tale of a human being who is refused entry to the elite simply because he was born in the wrong circumstances. Even here in the 21st century, this book has a lot to say about power structures in society, and how a humble human life can be ground to dust if it finds itself on the outside, or dares to transgress the conventions of the day. Jude is one of the great achievements of Western literature and remains as urgent and moving today as it was in Hardy's time.
The book feels inevitably dated in the topics it covers and the style of writing, but Hardy is excellent at screwing down the atmosphere of the book as the saddest of stories unfolds. Jude and Sue move in ever decreasing circles of opportunity and acceptance, and you just know it's all going to end badly for all concerned.
Perhaps one frustration with the book is the closed nature of it - with few characters really being fleshed out as the book unfolds and develops over a number of years. But the unforgiving and judgemental nature of rural and urban society is explored well; the harshness of lives lived in the landscape of Hardy's Wessex is vividly depicted, and although very much a slow-burning and often melodramatic read, the book lodges itself into the memory.
The free Kindle version is essentially free from too many annyoing formatting errors - the opportunity to read this and other Hardy classics for nothing is both remarkable and to be recommended.
His cousin Sue lives in Christminster and for the century this book was written in, she is a very emancipated young lady. Jude meets her and they fall in love. So once again his plans to enter University are thwarted. There are weddings and divorces and then divorces and weddings again but neither state brings happiness to either Sue or Jude.
To cut a long story short and not to cause any spoilers for other would be readers them not marrying ends in tragedy for 4 young lives. One of whom is a child of Arabella's and Judes.
Jude has now given up the idea of entering University and at last re-marries Arabella whilst Sue re-marries her ex-husband.
I could have shaken the pair of their heads together for loving each other so well but never marrying.........by this, I refer to Jude and Sue.
This is a sad book full of aspirations and hopes that are never fulfilled but for all of that, it is a cracking good read. Thomas Hardy certainly knew how to tell a story.
This is a dismal tale of nature and aspiration thwarted by society. Jude's lofty reading is no passport for one of humble birth, and it is only as a stonemason that he can approach Christminster's forbidding yet picturesque walls:
"They had done nothing but wait, and had become poetical. How easy to the smallest building; how impossible to most men."
His next hope is that in Sue, his cousin of liberal views, he might find a soulmate and intellectual companion. But their regrettable marriages and the intractable opinions of the world drag them inexorably apart: their fierce love cannot hold them together on the diverging railtracks laid down by conventional morality.
Even with that indispensable love, there is little cheer in this story. Indeed, there are notable episodes that remain disturbingly dark a century after it was written. A schoolroom brawl contains the novel's only approach to humour, so make the most of it:
"...a churchwarden was dealt such a topper with the map of Palestine that his head went right through Samaria..."
Jude and Sue are, in their different ways, crushed by social convention as if by falling masonry. Neither academia, nor marriage, nor religion will accept them as they are. The benefits of civilisation to the ordinary man are questionable at best in Hardy's gloomfest, and we can only hope that his writing is less wise than it appears...
Hardy also stares in the eye of Victorian hypocritical morality and conspicuous sense of piety throughout the story by showing that when the couple is happy, society looks down in indignation, and the only way to regain social approval and acceptance is by personal misery and suffrance in unwanted marriages.Towards the end of the story Jude tells Sue in a final attempt to escape there misery that both of them have been tricked into their marriages; him being made drunk on gin and she on creed.
Another attacked convention in the book is how high education is exclusive to the rich whilest self-taught people like Jude, Sue and Phillotson spend their lives reading and never manage to get anywhere above a low ceiling set upon them by society. Christminister stands for Jude's ethereal dream of a university degree all the way to the end.
Jude the Obscure is dark, complex and slow to get going. It took me many chapters to warm to either Sue or Jude and many more to sympathise with their respective plights. Sue thinks that she knows her own mind sufficiently to stand by her own non-conformist beliefs but she waivers so frequently that I wanted to slap her and tell her to get a grip. But as the story progressed and she was forced to reassess her long-held views, I was surprised to understand her a great deal better and even sympathise.
It's always hard to forget the equalities and freedoms that we take for granted but some of Hardy's discussions between Sue and Jude about marriage are still pertinent and towards the last third of the tale, I thought that Hardy's themes were very well expressed.
Yes, this story is gloomy, hopeless even but Jude the Obscure is all the better for not delivering us a happy ending. I love to discover flawed characters that are well-delivered and I respect authors who deal them fates that are gritty and realistic rather than cosy and sugar-coated.
Hardy's characters always linger in the mind long after you have finished reading the book but if you also want to be left moved and unsettled, then Jude the Obscure might just do it for you.
To all students- If you are buying this for educational purposes I wouldn't recommend this as it has much less critical material than other publishers such as Norton.
Here he meets his cousin, and so starts the amazing life story of the relationship, sweet and sour between the two. This book is not all happy endings, but as any reader of Hardy knows, that's just how he likes it.