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Far from the Madding Crowd, Companion Edition by Thomas Hardy

  • Author: Thomas Hardy
  • Book title: Far from the Madding Crowd, Companion Edition
  • Category: Literature & Fiction
  • Subcategory: Classics
  • Publisher: Modern Library; First Thus edition (May 1, 1998)
  • Pages: 410
  • ISBN: 0679603077
  • ISBN13: 978-0679603078
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Votes: 367
  • Other formats: lit doc lrf txt
Set in his fictional Wessex countryside in southwest England, Far from the Madding Crowd was Thomas Hardy's breakthrough work. Though it was first published anonymously in 1874, the quick and tremendous success of Far from the Madding Crowd persuaded Hardy to give up his first profession, architecture, to concentrate on writing fiction. The story of the ill-fated passions of the beautiful Bathsheba Everdene and her three suitors offers a spectacle of country life brimming with an energy and charm not customarily associated with Hardy. ("When Farmer Oak smiled," the novel begins, "the corners of his mouth spread till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears. . . .")----The text is based on the authoritative Wessex Edition of 1912, revised and corrected by Hardy himself.----This edition is the companion volume to the Mobil Masterpiece Theatre WGBH television presentation broadcast on PBS. It stars Paloma Baeza as Bathsheba Everdene, Nathaniel Parker as Gabriel Oak, Nigel Terry as Mr. Boldwood, and Jonathan Firth as Frank Troy. Adapted by PhilomenaMcDonagh, Far from the Madding Crowd is directed by Nick Renton. The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.

7 Reviews
Kizshura
I bought this book because I was enjoying reading a library copy and the library insisted they wanted it back. Therefore, the poor rating has nothing to do with Thomas Hardy nor his book. It is a well written book and worth reading. My poor rating has to do with this particular copy of the book. It is unreadable. It would appear that someone took an electronic copy (There is a reference in the front of the book, under the 'copy right' (sic) about deleting which you cannot do with a hard copy.) of the book and copy/pasted it into a new format and then printed it. Coincidentally, according to the date in the back of the book, that happened on the day I bought it. The book does not contain a forward, any information about the book nor about the author. Neither does it contain any paragraph indentations. The entire 213 pages is one long, long paragraph! This makes it basically unreadable and is especially annoying during conversations when the first speaker's lines run into the second speaker's with only quotation marks between. It also makes for some really interesting hyphens in the middle of words where the word was once split between two lines but no longer is. I tried reading it, but it drove me nuts. I recommend you buy a different copy of the book.
Uttegirazu
This book is a classic and should be read by anyone who has a love for words.....you will be pressing so many words to get definitions on your kindle that it could almost be distracting....but......but the vocabulary is so delicious that you must know the meaning of the words.....and so your kindle helps you......what a plus this is!!!

The actual story revolves around relationships in England during a time of very specified courting behavior that we would find amusing today...but stick with it. It is not an easy beginning read, nor is it possible to get the flow of the book after a few chapters. Remember this was a time when vocabulary embellished every sentence, description, thought, movement. A mere kiss meant a bold statement of presumed matrimony....so different from today...right?

The characters are all farmers and you learn what a difficult and rewarding life this could be for some one under their circumstances. There are the usual twists and turns in the book that keep you busy and reluctant to stop reading...so enjoy....enjoy...and be amazed how we lost so many interesting words and descriptions to mediocre literature.
Vishura
It's a soap opera and was written as a serial for a newspaper. It was not written all at once before publication and it shows. A young man gets drunk and sells his wife and baby to a sailor. He goes to Casterbridge and becomes a businessman and then the mayor for a year. In the meantime he meets another woman and has an affair with her but does not marry her because he does not know what happened to his wife. Then about 18 years later, the wife and child show up, the sailor having died a sea. He decides that he should re-marry his wife so no one would know of the scandal. He meets a young man from Scotland who is perfect in every way and hires him as his business manager at his corn business. Then his wife dies. The daughter does not know what happened when she was a baby and think of Henchard (that's his name) as her stepfather. However when his wife died, he told her the truth, only to discover that his own child had died and the daughter he thought was his was actually the daughter of the dead sailor. Then he got mad at Donald, the young Scot, and fired him. Then his old girlfriend showed up and wanted to marry him. She had inherited money, lots of it, from an aunt and was now rich. He put her off a day too long and she saw Donald and it was love at first sight. So Donald and Lucetta, Henchard's old girlfriend got married, even though the daughter, Elizabeth, had hoped to marry him. Then all the scandal came to light about the sale of the wife and about the affair and Lucetta was so upset that she died. Meanwhile the sailor wasn't dead at all and he came back and looked for his daughter Elizabeth. And on, and on, and on, and on. I'm sure Hardy would be surprised to find out that people are still reading his soap opera. It would make a good serialized tv soap opera, and I would like to see the movie, but I wouldn't call it classic literature -- more like pulp fiction. A lot of it is boring.
Zahisan
Bathsheba Everdene is a self-willed and independent young woman who inherits her uncle's farm. An assertive and confident nature in a woman is a novelty in the rural parish of Weatherbury and Bathsheba soon attracts three very different admirers.

The only other book I've read by Thomas Hardy is Tess of the D'Urbervilles which I enjoyed because Tess was a well-rounded female character which I feel is a rare find in most books. Bathsheba too, is a well developed character and the reader gets to know her intimately as she comes of age in this sometimes funny and other times tragic love story.

Hardy is prone to waffling especially when describing architecture or milieus so the reader must be patient. The first half of the book is quite slow and I was tempted to give up on the book but the second half more than makes up for it.

The second half is tense and builds up to an unexpected violent scene and while the ending is predictable it is also satisfying. I recommend this book to those who enjoyed Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
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