Thursday, July 2, 2015
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
It's tough to "review" a classic. I worry that I'm not using the proper vocabulary (should have taken a few more English classes in college), plus it seems like there isn't much fresh or new to say. So instead, I have chosen to focus on my reading experience.
When it comes to Hardy, my experience is limited. The Mayor of Casterbridge was assigned at some point in college, but I have no recollection of actually reading it... I was probably studying organic chemistry.
Two years ago The Classics Club Spin dealt me Tess of the d'Urbervilles , a novel which redefined my idea of a tragedy. I loved it and knew there would be more Hardy in my future.
Far From the Madding Crowd was next, primarily because of the impending film release. I watched the trailer, but went into the book not knowing anything else about it. Not the way I usually approach a novel, but that turned out to be a plus in this case.
The story was engaging and I delighted in a couple of unexpected plot twists. The characters were well-drawn... independent and determined Bathsheba Everdene and her multiple suitors. My favorite, of course, was the quietly suffering, honorable Gabriel Oak.
Hardy does get a little long-winded in some of his descriptions, but I felt I could see the countryside and characters. A very visual author, indeed.
This book was another a read/listen combination for me - my preferred approach for classics these days. I enjoyed Jamie Parker's narration, but it did seem strange listening to someone other than Simon Vance read a classic. Thank you, Care for "OneBooking" this title to me. I would be happy to pay it forward if anyone else would like to listen. (Read about audible's OneBook program here.)
I finally saw the new film version over the weekend and loved it... the perfect way to spend a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon, in my opinion. My husband, unfortunately, wasn't quite as enthusiastic and had a hard time staying awake.
Which Hardy novel should I read next?