Far from the Madding Crowd was the first of Hardy's novels to give the name Wessex to the landscape of southwest England and the first to gain him widespread popularity as a novelist. Set against the backdrop of the unchanging natural cycle of the year, the story both upholds and questions rural values with a startlingly modern sensibility.
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This book truly stands the test of time. If you've read it before as I have I think you will enjoy listening to the story this time. Its such a wonderful story that should be revisited now and then. The narration is suburb. This is definitely one that I will listen to again in the future.
I certainly would recommend it. I loved the descriptions of the landscape, the agricultural life,
The strong female character. I did hate to see her get into the disastrous entanglement with a "bounder."
He gets the local accents, and characters sound "of the period," but the dialogue is easy for an American to understand.
Gabriel shows such loyalty to Bathsheba and to the proper management of the farm--saving the crops and livestock. I was touched by Fanny's desperate situation.
I came to the novel via the new (2015) film which I also recommend. Reading the book rounds out the story. There's the interesting interlude in Bath.
This is a timeless tale of love, love lost, love sperned, devotion, faithfulness, and community. 1800's or today, the core of this story still rings true. It is narrated by John Lee so in other words expertly.
A beautifully written book and read perfectly by
John Lee. Of the many, many books I have listened to, this is up at the top (along with The Forsyth Saga).
I am a Hardy fan, so his writing appeals to me. It seemed to me that this novel had such an abundance of geographical detail as to make it almost equal to the main story. Hardy's descriptions of nature are beautifully wrought with great personal feeling; and almost in contrast, he spends quite a bit of time on the doings and ruminations of the 'lowly' farmworkers.
I felt that in this case, his male portrayals were more interesting than that of the vaunted heroine.
Not as compelling as "Tess," but a good read.
I am also a fan of John Lee and thought his interpretation this time was fine if not outstanding.
A beautiful story narrated by a top notch narrator. Jinn Lee is one of my favorite narrators, and he really brings this story to life.
John Lee's narration as always is spot on. The story was good. Sometimes it can be hard to understand, but the longer I listened the easier it was. I just wasn't used to the old English. I quite enjoyed it. I will look for another Thomas Hardy book.
"a question of taste (isn't it always?)"
Thomas Hardy stands apart among 19th century classic novel writers. The setting, the overall atmosphere and the writing style feel more modern than what you'd expect. That said, this might be a little dour for some, but it's a good story.
With this recording, I find the narrator fails to sufficiently differentiate the voices of the characters and I find him generally too monotone in his reading, though some of his rural England accents are good.
Many people carry Thomas Hardy?s works around like an old friend ? and when times are tough and the world looks a difficult place, the perfect relaxation is to travel back to Wessex and rediscover what real woes and worries are all about. Sheep that take ill, unrequited love, the self willed female in a traditionalist world, position and power in opposition to life and vitality. It is all here ? and the reader can quicky immerse themselves in a world that always stays the same but seems to adapt to speak to us in words that echo our contemporary concerns. Take time out, travel backwards, relax and enjoy ? Hardy?s is a rich endowment in a contemporary world of diminishing returns.
"Favourite classic, well read."
Second novel I've listened to narrated by John Lee, and find him very easy to listen to.
"I love this book"
I am very familiar with this book and found it the relaxing listen that I was looking for.
However, I wish the narrator hadn't given the impression that he was galloping through it.
And, although he didn't labour acting the voices, Gabriel's in particular having an excellent nuance, he simply couldn't capture Bathsheba (even though other female characters appeared to be unproblematic). But Bathsheba was presented with an insipid air, which certainly doesn't match her character.
Altogether, these niggles aside, it was a pleasant listen.
"A must for Thomas Hardy followers!!"
John Lee, as ever, delivers a wondrous narration in which one loses oneself in time and becomes one of the participants in the story. I listen to this for hours transfixed by the coming-to-life of all the characters. Well done!!!
"excellently read !"
An excellently read glimpse into rural life in the mid 19th century.
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