About My Book Reviews

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

 Image result for far from the madding crowd book cover
Title: Far from the Madding Crowd

Author: Thomas Hardy

Published: 1874

Genre: Classic Fiction

Grade Level: Adult

-Movie Rating: PG- 13

Blurb (from goodreads):

Far from the Madding Crowd was Thomas Hardy's first major literary success.

Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy, and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in the fictional county of Wessex, Hardy's novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.

My Scores:

Writing Style: Flowery

I am not a fan of this writing style, it fell really flat for me, especially after reading the raw, candid, and intimately personal style of Jane Eyre

I would recommend reading the introduction to this novel (if you have this version) because it really helped me understand what the author was trying to do. It seemed like there was a lot of focus given to the setting, which is meant to give symbolism but only serves to drag down the plot.  

Characters: Underdeveloped

Even though I became attached to these characters, I wouldn’t exactly say they’re crafted well. Specifically speaking of Bathsheba and Sergeant Troy, they just don’t seem realistic at times. While I don’t think characters need to be completely rational all the time, I do think their motivations need to be clear. Interestingly enough the odd decisions of those two drove most of the storyline. 

At the same time, other characters, like Gabriel Oak and Liddy, feel one-dimensional. I like them, regardless, but I can’t score them any higher.

Plot: Slow Burn

The first half of the book feels really slow because of all the setting descriptions. It’s during the second half of the book that everything snowballs and suddenly becomes a great roller-coaster until the end.

Overall: Enjoyable

Know going in that it’s a slow-burn type of novel. The second half is where things get crazy and well worth the patience of getting through the first half. Don’t over-analyze the characters or you’ll just be spinning your wheels; just go with the flow. So, overall, I enjoyed the piece, although I don’t think I’ll ever read it again for pleasures sake.

Goodreads Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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