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Far From the Madding Crowd

Far From the Madding Crowd

Written by Thomas Hardy

Narrated by Neville Jason


Far From the Madding Crowd

Written by Thomas Hardy

Narrated by Neville Jason

ratings:
4/5 (71 ratings)
Length:
3 hours
Released:
Sep 1, 2009
ISBN:
9789629548698
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

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.

Released:
Sep 1, 2009
ISBN:
9789629548698
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 in Dorchester, Dorset. He enrolled as a student in King’s College, London, but never felt at ease there, seeing himself as socially inferior. This preoccupation with society, particularly the declining rural society, featured heavily in Hardy’s novels, with many of his stories set in the fictional county of Wessex. Since his death in 1928, Hardy has been recognised as a significant poet, influencing The Movement poets in the 1950s and 1960s.


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What people think about Far From the Madding Crowd

4.0
71 ratings / 94 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (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.
  • (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!
  • (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.
  • (2/5)
    Nothing special.
  • (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.
  • (5/5)
    Which would you rather have? Burning passion or constant loyalty?
  • (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!
  • (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!
  • (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.
  • (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.
  • (4/5)
    Another rural story with tangled romantic relationships from Hardy. I continue to enjoy his writing greatly.
  • (5/5)
    The Moral of the Story: If you marry a jerk, make sure he cant swim
  • (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!
  • (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.
  • (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.
  • (4/5)
    A surprisingly modern tale.
  • (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.
  • (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.
  • (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.
  • (5/5)
    Mr Taylor's AP English class, 1981. Suburban northern Virginia. Alan Bates, Julie Christie in the movie. Sigh.
  • (1/5)
    Quite frankly, there are better things to do (and read) with my time. I found this slow and tedious and odious and it has unfortunately put me off reading any of Hardy's works.
  • (5/5)
    The afterword of my 1960 copyright book begins with this, "To read the word of any famous author is in itself something of an art. A reader must develop the poise of courage in order to stay the judgement of his elders until he can read the work for himself." I have many friends who had to read this book for their 10th grade honors English class. They hate this book. As a 21 year old, I struggled with parts of this book, so I can only imagine being 15 and required to read it. The book follows the central character of Bathsheba Everdene. Bathsheba is a dark haired-dark eyed beauty who looks nothing like Julie Christie and who tempts several men around her. She has three main suitors. The first we meet being Gabriel Oak, who remains loyal to her throughout the book even though he is a poor shepard. We see Bathsheba grow and mature throughout the book. I know I questioned the experience of women during this time-period in England, and how constraining it must have been to be at the whim of men.Hardy has a way of describing the scenery so you feel as though it would appear right out your own window. This book was not exactly a fast read, but it was certainly something to be savored and it comes highly recommended to anyone who wants to escape to Casterbridge, England with a nice cup of tea.
  • (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.
  • (3/5)
    Verhaallijn nog redelijk volgbaar, maar soms eigenaardige wendingen (cfr plots bewuste schijnvertoning van Gabriel). Essentie: jonge, arrogante, rusteloze vrouw kiest tot drie keer toe voor verkeerde man; de ?juiste? wacht deemoedig af.Visie: iedereen ondergaat zijn lot en reageert op de gebeurtenissen die hem overkomen; je eigen lot in handen nemen loopt faliekant af.Sterk beschrijvend, vooral natuuromgeving, bepaalt mee de stemming. Gabriel Oak is zoals Levin in Anna Karenina, en Valvert in Les MiserablesTroy is niet absoluut slecht, cfr berouw na dood Fanny.
  • (2/5)
    This was really not my cup of tea. I would likely have put it down early on, were it not for my drive to complete books (fostered in no small part by Goodreads). My main observation about it is that the most exciting scenes tended to be about sheep.

    To be fair, Hardy has a certain stylistic audacity. But while his frequent digressions sometimes hit on a particularly beautiful or funny sentence, they usually come across as self-conscious and ineffective displays of literary wit. The ending of the book did charm me, despite all of my accumulated boredom and annoyance. On the whole, the story seems strong enough to carry a film adapation; I won't, however, be recommending the book to anyone I know.
  • (5/5)
    The main character of this 19th century British classic is Bathsheba Everdene, an independent woman who through an inheritance gains ownership of a farm. Bathsheba is feisty, smart and both willing and able to succeed in a man's world. That is until she falls in love with Sargeant Troy, a womanizer and overall scoundrel. This book could be a 19th century version of 'Why Women Choose the Wrong Men'. Although the language and the setting make this a classic, the personalities and the motivations were very much relevant to today's times.

    I both listened and read this book - great narration by Nathaniel Parker (the Artemis Fowl narrator) who gives a stellar performance of the quirky rural characters in this book. This is only the 2nd Thomas Hardy that I've read, but I've enjoyed them both. Great author.
  • (5/5)
    Mr Taylor's AP English class, 1981. Suburban northern Virginia. Alan Bates, Julie Christie in the movie. Sigh.
  • (4/5)
    This was my third work by Thomas Hardy, following The Mayor of Casterbridge and Jude the Obscure, both of which I thought were outstanding.Far from the Madding Crowd is very much in the same style. If you are a fan of Hardy, you will enjoy this book. As always, Hardy's story telling ability is top notch. His writing is fluid, descriptive and flows easily. On the negative side, I thought this work started far too slowly, and could have been tighter. While there were sections that were true "page turners," other sections were simply too long and/or unnecessarily descriptive.Not Hardy's best work, but still enjoyable.
  • (4/5)
    This is the story of farmer Bathsheba Everdene and the three men who love her. There were lots of things I liked about the book: the good humour of the conversations between the farm labourers, the character of Gabriel Oak and the strong sense of seasons/harvest/reliance on the weather.On the other hand, there was (and I think I always feel this with Thomas Hardy) a pervading sense of doom and gloom. Hardy has a very masculine narrative voice and often comments on things Bathsheba does as being typical for a woman (or not). Certain touches were excellent; the discovery of all the jewellery and clothes Boldwood had bought for Bathsheba, the fact that Boldwood's failure to secure his harvest from the rain is the surest evidence of his mental deterioration and the shocking revelation by Bathsheba that she married Troy because he told her he had seen a more beautiful woman than her and could not promise to be true.But... I struggled a bit with Troy's supposed irresistibility (although the description of their not terribly happy subsequent married life was well done). I did not understand why Fanny failed to meet with Troy when she followed him to his barracks. In looking back, Troy makes it clear that she stood him up - why? [I have since discovered the chapter which explains this as an appendix to my version - very annoying as it helps the story make sense and casts light on Troy's character]. I could have done without all the references to Greek mythology and the obsession with the stars in the (rather slow) opening chapters. The romance at the end felt very natural and provided a satisfactory conclusion.
  • (2/5)
    Was surprised to find this book kind of trashy. Everything seemed simplistic and over the top, and the characters made such terrible, unrealistic decisions. Quick read, though.