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Munipenny55

Thomas Hardy

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Anyone a Hardy Fan? 

I read him years ago as a teenager.  'Tess of the Durbervilles' was amazing. Then for years i avoided him because the stories are so tragic. I didn't want to be dragged down. 

I have almost now finished 'Far from the Madding Crowd'.  My goodness i have not enjoyed a book so much for many a year! What sublime writing, what incredible knowledge of human character and wisdom of life. This one is more upbeat than one imagines too. Some of the descriptions of the characters are hilarious. 

Anyhow, every moment i get i have opened my kindle and settled into Hardyland. Gobbled this one up. Have downloaded all his novels and feel secure and happy to do more gobbling for the foreseeable. 

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I think Madding Crowd is probably my favourite of his books, I also read them a lot at school and then left quite a big gap before going back to them, as you say it has a mixture of tragedy and quite a bit of comedy too, and at least a happy ending, eventually!  Jude the Obscure is the most depressing though.

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Hi Madeleine

Ah, i was going to say this one had a surprising element of comedy in it. The scenes in the inn, of drunken companionship were priceless! 

But which one next? Which is least depressing? I have quite a few Hardys I've not read yet and i want to plunge quickly into one today! Before withdrawal sets in. 

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Yes, I like Thomas Hardy. When I read Tess of the d'Urbevilles I was glued to it but when I got to the end I literally threw the book across the room (I was a teenager!). I could not believe anyone could end a book like that and I was very upset. He sure knows how to hurt.

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Wait till you read Jude the Obscure.....the reviews were so bad that he never wrote another novel.

 

Under the Greenwood Tree is surprisingly jolly for Hardy, but not much story.  The Mayor Casterbridge is probably his other most famous novel, or Return of the Native.

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I've read Jude the Obscure - or perhaps I should say I started to read it and then gave up. It was a long time ago so I can't remember why I didn't finish. I liked The Mayor of Casterbridge. But he's not a happy chappy our Mr Hardy, is he? Perhaps I should read Under the Greenwood Tree as you say it is jolly. I think it was good for me to feel so deeply how his characters had to live. They were probably true to the times he lived in.

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I think I will read Tess of the d'Urbervilles again. I read it quite a few years ago, but I read the Oxford World Classic edition, which included most of Hardy's later alterations to the story. I would read the Penguin edition next, which is based on the first book version of the story. I did like a lot of Tess of the d'Urbervilles. but I thought there was also something sick about it. I have not read Jude the Obscure but I watched the film with Kate Winslet and Christopher Ecclestone. That was a good film, but that story also had a very sick episode in it. So sick, I resolved not to read it, although it is supposed to be one of his best written books. I have also read Far From the Madding Crowd, The Woodlanders, and The Return of the Native. I liked how each book had a different landscape.  The Woodlanders was in a forest. The Return of the Native was on a heath. Far From the Madding Crowd was set in mixed farmland although sheep play a large part. I suppose Tess is set on farms too, although three different sorts. I like all the agricultural details/

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