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Far From the Madding Crowd
Far From the Madding Crowd
Far From the Madding Crowd
Audiobook3 hours

Far From the Madding Crowd

Written by Thomas Hardy

Narrated by Neville Jason

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

3/5

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About this audiobook

Far from the Madding Crowd was Hardy’s fourth novel, gaining significant popularity and critical attention. It tells of Gabriel, an up-and-coming shepherd, who falls in love with a proud and vain young beauty Bathsheba, who refuses his offer of marriage as she values her independence too much. The novel can be described as an early piece of feminist literature and is regularly studied in schools. This is part of the ‘Young Adult Classics’ series launched by Naxos AudioBooks in 2009.

LanguageEnglish
Release dateSep 1, 2009
ISBN9789629548698
Author

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was an English poet and author who grew up in the British countryside, a setting that was prominent in much of his work as the fictional region named Wessex. Abandoning hopes of an academic future, he began to compose poetry as a young man. After failed attempts of publication, he successfully turned to prose. His major works include Far from the Madding Crowd(1874), Tess of the D’Urbervilles(1891) and Jude the Obscure( 1895), after which he returned to exclusively writing poetry.

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Reviews for Far From the Madding Crowd

Rating: 3.0404339250493098 out of 5 stars
3/5

2,028 ratings93 reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    My second visit to beautiful Dorset over this glorious Easter holiday has been accompanied by reading my second Thomas Hardy novel. I didn't enjoy this quite as much as The Mayor of Casterbridge, but Far from the Madding Crowd is still a solid and enjoyable novel rooted in the rhythms and ways of life of 19th century Dorset, being the first of Hardy's Wessex novels. Bathsheba Everdene is an independent-minded young woman making her way in the male-dominated rural life of the time, after inheriting her uncle's farm on his death. Yet, as the object of three very different men's differing forms of love, she still shows a headstrong and even reckless side, for example when she sends a joke Valentine's card to middle-aged and confirmed bachelor farmer Boldwood, which ignites an obsession with him as he refuses to accept its light hearted motivation. She marries soldier Frank Troy, but their marriage is not a success and he disappears. It is shepherd Gabriel Oak whose loyal and steadfast devotion to her as his employer wins her love in the end, after a final explosive confrontation between Boldwood and a returned Troy. Other memorable characters include Fanny Robin, Troy's former sweetheart, who dies in the workhouse pregnant with his child. A very good read, though lacking the plot-driven narrative of Mayor of Casterbridge.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Only my second Hardy, but I think it’s safe to say I’m a fan.I loved everything about this book: the twisty story of friendship, love, and figuring life out, the character development, and especially the completely unorthodox female character that is Bathsheba Everdene. She goes from poor to rich, and from independent and brazen to lovesick and sad and then back again. So very good!
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    A good, well written book, as to be expected from a literary figure, but it's not something I would read again for entertainment. It's sometimes hard to review a book read for school purposes, as there was no reason of my own to draw me to it, and therefore no expectations. I have heard though, that this is Hardy's most "positive" work, which makes me leery of the rest of his stuff.The strong point in this book would have to be the characters. Things happen day to day, as the characters go about their lives. Sometimes there is an event of some significance, and there are definitely moments that steer the course of the story and the character's lives, but everything does to a point. We see what these character's personalities and actions get them into, and what comes of it. It's a book to read when you want to read about people rather than plot.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    Nothing special.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I don't know what it was with this Hardy, especially as so many people give it a 5 star rating, but I felt like I was really labouring through the first half of it. It seemed to take so long for the scene setting of the three suitors before the story really got going, and compared with other Hardy novels I've loved I wasn't feeling the characters for the first 150 pages or so.Once it finally got into its stride it was standard Hardy gold - drama, tragedy, wonderful characterisation. I just wish it hadn't taken quite so long to pull me in.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Which would you rather have? Burning passion or constant loyalty?
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Far From the Madding Crowd tells the story of beautiful Bathsheba Everdene, a fiercely independent woman who inherits a farm and decides to run it herself. She rejects a marriage proposal from Gabriel Oak, a loyal man who takes a job on her farm after losing his own in an unfortunate accident. The book is beautifully written and shows the atmosphere of 19th century England. I loved watching the relationship between Bathsheba and Gabriel evolve. Hardy does an excellent job of character and plot development. This is a story not to be missed and teaches a good lesson about being careful when you turn down your first suitor!
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    After reading many contemporary novels, Clock Dance the most recent,it is so good to be in the hands of a master again!Everything - plot, character, moods, tone, point of view, and so gloriously, the settings - is finely tuned and precisely and beautifully delivered.The only development that, to me, never got fully resolved was Boldwood (now, there's a name to live up to!) capitulating so quickly to Falling In Love.It would have seemed more in tune with his character to stay distant for a little longer until he could comprehend the nature of both his ownfeelings and Bathsheba's responses. Far From The Madding Crowd certainly stands as a testimonial for caution equally to lovers of both sex when Falling In Love!
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    In a common 18th-19th century plot convention, a beautiful young woman, Bathsheba Everdene, finds herself without guidance, trying to make her way in a man's world. What makes this novel stand out for me is Hardy's use of the rural, natural environment not only as a setting, but as a force in the plot of the novel. Bathsheba learns that a good farmer makes the best husband :). Actually, the examination of romantic love and conventions, contrasted with true affection and companionship, is still relevant and interesting, and Hardy's writing is rich and fresh.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    While I quite enjoyed this novel, I spent much of it extremely frustrated with Gabriel. He's such a good and honest guy, saving the farm on multiple occasions, but he's so fixated on Bathsheba he can't take himself away from the vain and thoughtless woman. Bathsheba may have been beautiful, but no woman is worth the hell that Gabriel put himself through for her.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Another rural story with tangled romantic relationships from Hardy. I continue to enjoy his writing greatly.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    The Moral of the Story: If you marry a jerk, make sure he cant swim
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    1/5
    I was bored to tears. I went through the first five chapters and found nothing remotely interesting. I've seen previews of the movie adaption and was curious enough to read the book first. Now I'm not sure I'll even bother to rent the movie.

    Moving on!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I've only read three of his books now, but I kind of love Thomas Hardy. Because he gets it. He gets how shitty social and moral conventions are to women. Does Hardy have an avid following like Austen or Dickens? Because he totally should! I demand more Hardy adaptations!

    Bathsheba Everdene - what an awesome name - is a beautiful, intelligent, confident, and fiercely independent young woman. Upon inheriting her uncle's farm, she moves to Weatherbury, where she attracts the attention of three very different men: loyal shepherd Gabriel Oak, reserved farmer William Boldwood, and dashing soldier Francis Troy.

    There are so many vividly drawn scenes - for instance, Bathsheba falls for Troy after he gives her a display of his swordsmanship. (How perfectly Freudian!) And Bathsheba is just such a wonderful character, female or otherwise. She makes her own decisions, some of which are mistakes, but she is strong enough to own to those mistakes and grow from them.

    Hardy is truly one of the masters of his craft. Despite his books' gloomy reputations, he has a sense of humor that shines through. And I'm not a fan of descriptive prose, but his is gorgeous without being self-indulgent. I also learned more than I ever wanted to know about raising sheep and what can go wrong. (I admittedly did tune out whenever architecture or farming practices came up, but those passages don't last long.) I highly recommend this book if you're a fan of the marriage plot and/or soapy Masterpiece Theater productions.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Why did I enjoy this story so much? Among other reasons, I could visualize easily the settings and the costumes of characters. Another reason I liked this story is that it kept me conjecturing how the human relationships--intense and serious--would resolve, even though from the start the end was quite predictable. It was the how that kept my interest. Loved this book.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    A surprisingly modern tale.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    If I had known I'd enjoy this novel so much, I'd have read it sooner! It's a wonderful story of life in agricultural England, seemingly untouched by the Industrial Revolution. Bathsheba is young, alone, and very confident of her abilities. When she inherits her uncle's farm, her social position abruptly changes for the better. Over the next few months, three different men, each with unique combinations of virtues, enter into her life. Despite her earlier convictions to make it on her own, she chooses one to marry, with consequences for her little community. Hardy has developed a set of characters that, while maybe not entirely believable, are attractive and interesting. The novel moves right along, never bogging down. His descriptions of the farming community are charming and invite the reader into a world that was fast disappearing. His reflections on the social mores and their influence on people's choices are fun to read as well as thought-provoking.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I have no idea why this book did not impress me quite as much as Hardy's "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" or "Mayor of Casterbridge". After all, all the elements of a solid drama were there: a vulnerability of a beautiful woman precariously balanced against her stoicism, the unrequited love, sudden passion sprung as a result of a silly whim, tragic denouement for some and happy ending for others, intriguing insights into the human nature by the author... Bathsheba Everdeen and Gabriel Oak are the two co-protagonists, while Boldwood and Troy seem to be secondary characters that, to me, appear on the scene only to offset Bathsheba's weaknesses. Though Bathsheba is at the center of it all and, for a woman of that era, is certainly a redoubtable personality, Gabriel Oak seems to be the most positive and appealing character out of the four. Hardy dwells on the village life of the area, going into detailed description of nature and the colorful local characters - whose life, though "far from the madding crowd", gets suddenly disrupted by the unpredictable and volatile events. And yet, somehow, for me, neither the plot nor the deliverance of the narrative were at the level of Hardy's two aforementioned novels.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    This is the second Hardy novel I have read and is very much like the first, Tess of D'Urbervilles. This novel tells the story of Bathsheba Everdeen and her trials and tribulations trying to live her life as a headstrong and ambitious woman in a Victorian man's world. However, unlike Tess of D'Urbervilles, this book has a few smiles and a positive ending. This book has little action, but is mostly about relationships.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Mr Taylor's AP English class, 1981. Suburban northern Virginia. Alan Bates, Julie Christie in the movie. Sigh.