Monday, May 20, 2013

And the number is...



That means I'll be reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy for the Classics Club spin. It's not exactly a title I'm dying to read but, on the plus side, I will have company. Brona of Brona's Books also had it listed at number six.


Here's the book description from amazon:
Hardy’s penultimate work, Tess of the D'Urbervilles  is arguably the greatest tragedy of all Victorian literature. It tells the story of Tess, an impoverished woman whose past relations and miscarriage cause her to be rejected by her husband on their wedding night. Touching upon the themes of class, religion, gender, and sexuality, the novel was highly controversial for its time and is held in high esteem by literary scholars to this day.

Anyone else want to read along? Our goal is to finish by July 1.

35 comments:

  1. Tom and I were so lucky in college to take a course on Hardy with an expert. Then we went to England and just happened onto a tour of Hardy country. Heaven.
    He's not the cheeriest author in the world, but my gosh he could write. There are whole scenes in his books that are still in my head forty years since reading them.

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    1. Nan - What an amazing experience that must have been! I'm looking forward to reading Hardy... and would love to tour Hardy country myself one day.

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    2. It is truly some of the prettiest country I've ever seen.

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  2. Good pick!!! I read this one a few years ago and while the writing was sometimes a bit tough it was a beautiful book. Like Nan I can still vividly picture portions of the book. Enjoy!

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    1. Trish - I know I read The Mayor of Casterbridge in college, but for the life of me can't recall a single thing about it! This will be like meeting Hardy all over again.

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  3. Tess is absolutely beautifully written. I know it's a tragedy, and some parts are so difficult to read, but it is a masterpiece and so evocative of a lost time and place. It's set in the late 1800s, but much of it feels medieval.

    Enjoy, and stock up on tissues!

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    1. JaneGS - Just bought a case of tissue at the warehouse club today, so I'm ready! All the comments here and on twitter today have me anxious to get started.

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  4. I have this on my classics club list too and I'm kind of 'meh' about reading it, so I'll look forward to your thoughts.
    I got Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier, which I think should be quite good.

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    1. Sam - You're in for a treat with Rebecca! I was secretly hoping my DuMaurier title would be chosen.

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  5. I haven't read this one yet, but the Hardy I've read is pretty incredible. Always dark, but so good.

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    1. Melissa - Thanks for the encouragement... we'll see how it goes.

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  6. I could happily read Tess all over again, but between my own spin books and others already lined up I'm afraid I shall have to watch from the sidelines. Hopefully Hardy will win you over.

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    1. FleurFisher - I wonder if Hardy will win me over. I'm predisposed to say he will, but we shall see...

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  7. I love Thomas Hardy and Tess is a wonderful but tragic story. I hope you will love it too!

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    1. Cat - I'm so encouraged by all the Hardy love in the comments today. It gives me a good feeling about my own reading.

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  8. Good morning JoAnn. I'm delighted that we're sharing this book together.
    Tess is a reread for me, so I feel fairly confident that I will love it all over again (although it's twenty years since I last read it!)
    I remember loving the language, the descriptions of the countryside and life on a farm. I was able to really connect to Tess's angst and desires and longing as a fellow twenty-something.
    I'm curious to see how I respond as a forty-something :-)

    I'm not on twitter by I do use Instagram (brona68) and I will be posting photos of my book, list etc on the hashtag #ccspin.

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    1. Brona - I'm so glad we're reading this together, and it looks like I'm already following you on Instagram. It's always fun to revisit books we loved when we were younger (I've hit 50, so have this experience more and more frequently lately!) I plan to get started later in this week.

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  9. Thomas Hardy is another one of the authors who has intimidated me for years, but inspired by blog reviews I've loaded a couple of his books onto my nook. I'll look forward to your reading.

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    1. Lisa - Hardy intimidates me as well, and I'm not really sure why. So many bloggers seem to love him. We'll see how this goes...

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  10. Tess is one of my all-time favorite books! I've read it several times and feel different about it each time - it really fascinates me.

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    1. Anbolyn - That's so encouraging, thanks!

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  11. I hope you enjoy Tess. I really liked it and would like to re-read it one day. I know people seem to be scared of Hardy, but I liked his writing style.

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    1. Loni - I am a little scared of Hardy, but have been encouraged by all the positive comments.

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  12. i read this many years ago, and i remember enjoying it, although it is tragic. I do want to re-read it but I can't at the moment. Hope it works for you and at least you have company :)

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    1. Jenny Girl - As long as I know it's tragic, I can plan accordingly ;-)

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  13. I don't know if I should recommend you read this on days when you're already feeling down so you don't ruin a good day or read it when you're feeling really happy so you're not tempted to throw yourself off a bridge. Not that it's not a good book, but so, so depressing!

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    1. Lisa - Maybe it's better to read depressing in the summer... don't know if I could handle it in the dead of winter?

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  14. Tess is gloriously miserable and haunting, good choice for a summer read though as I don't think I could bear it in the winter! :)

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    1. Alex - I love the description "gloriously miserable"... makes me want to go read a chapter right now!

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  15. At least it isn't terribly long. I need to re-read the ending. I had this for a book club book and had to skim the end to make the meeting. Have always regretted it.

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    1. Care - 450 pages is long enough though ;-)

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  16. oh, and Hardy is one of my bestest friend's favorite but this is the only one I've attempted. Let's read The Woodlanders next?

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    1. Care - We'll see how I get on with Hardy, but if it goes well, I'd be up for reading The Woodlanders. Read the first chapter of Tess last night and think it will be fine.

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  17. I've always dreamed of reading this one!! Good Luck!

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    1. Staci - I feel strangely energized after Alex's "gloriously miserable and haunting" comment!

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