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Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

Jude the Obscure

by Thomas Hardy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,203111646 (3.87)2 / 445
Jude the Obscure tells the story of a stonemason, tricked into a loveless marriage, who craves a formal education and a finer existence. Separated from his wife, Jude begins a new life with his cousin, and the couple defies social convention at every turn.

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English (107)  French (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (110)
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
I read this in 2009 and it was my first Hardy. I really liked it. I guess it was his last novel. The main character, Jude, wants to be a scholar. The other character is Sue, his cousin and his love. The novel is concerned with issues of class, education, religion, morality and marriage. ( )
  Kristelh | Sep 8, 2019 |
This is a novel that has been stuck on my shelves for years and years, unread. I made a go at it once before but didn't get very far then, but this time I didn't find it that hard to get into the novel. Through the second half, struggling to suspend my disbelief became something of a problem to my enjoyment of the book, as Jude and Sue's lives increasingly resembled those of soap opera characters in their excess of drama. Ultimately, both Jude and Sue felt a bit flat and inconsistent, so I couldn't really understand them as much as I might have wanted to. ( )
  mari_reads | Sep 7, 2019 |
Tragic, heartbreaking. Either the last great novel of the 19th Century, or the first modern novel. I have not read this book in over 30 years, but my heart aches every time I think about it. ( )
  vlodko62 | Dec 29, 2018 |
Hardy’s last novel was controversial in its time for reasons that are evident in the plot. Victorian morals are repeatedly transgressed, although life punishes the transgressors terribly. I confess finding Sue incredibly irksome even before the tragedy that strikes; her turn to religion just seems to put the final supreme touch of unpleasantness on her character. Jude’s passion for her is difficult to understand. Jude himself walks into trouble repeatedly. “Wait!” I kept thinking. “What are you doing now?” It’s hard to believe at the end that he is only about 30, as he seems to have lived several lifetimes of sorrow. ( )
  NinieB | Nov 1, 2018 |
Warning: this review contains spoilers


Jude Fawley, raised by his aunt, dreams of becoming a scholar at Christminster, an Oxford- or Cambridge-like city where the streets are paved with intellectual discussions. Instead, his social standing leads him to the city as a stonemason, and he ends up in an unsuitable marriage: Arabella is not really his type at all, and his aunt had always warned him that Fawleys made terrible marriages in general. So naturally, when he and Arabella end up separating, he finds and falls in love with his cousin, Sue. Great emotional torment and social ostracisation ensue.

This was my first Thomas Hardy novel, which is strange because it was the last novel he wrote. I found it surprisingly readable, and the story pulled me right along even as I was grinding my teeth at how angsty Sue in particular was. I was just as puzzled as Jude when her whole outlook on life changed from the free spirit she was when they first met to the cringing, self-flagellating woman she ended up becoming because of what she thought of as God’s punishment of her. (That punishment — the deaths of the children — was so horrifying that I gasped out loud when they were discovered.) I can see how contemporary readers would have been shocked by some of the behaviour in the book (Richard letting Sue go because she was miserable), and I can imagine that modern readers are shocked by different things (that she goes back to him).

Overall, I found this a pretty good book, worth a try if you’re new to Hardy. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Oct 14, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (152 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Hardyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bayley, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brown, RosellenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hynes, SamuelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luciani, GiovanniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monzó, QuimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parker, Agnes MillerIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reddick, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sisson, C. H.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sisson, C. H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sisson, C. H.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watts, Cedric ThomasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Jude (1996IMDb)
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"The letter killeth"
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The schoolmaster was leaving the village, and everybody seemed sorry.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Average: (3.87)
0.5 7
1 46
1.5 5
2 80
2.5 23
3 274
3.5 69
4 504
4.5 59
5 451

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140435387, 0141028890, 0141199830

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