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Jude the Obscure (1895)

by Thomas Hardy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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9,309128667 (3.87)2 / 485
The schoolmaster was leaving the village and everybody seemed sorry.
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English (120)  Catalan (3)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (127)
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)
A truly magnificent bummer. ( )
  jdegagne | Apr 23, 2022 |
I might have liked this book. There's honestly no way to tell for sure, since my first encounter has been thoroughly overwhelmed by the audiobook's dreadful narration. Frederick Davidson (aka, David Case) reads his way through every bit of narrative with an inflectionless sing-song that lands on important words in a whisper as often as it lands on irrelevant ones with emphatic volume. He sobs his way through tearful dialogue instead of reading it with pathos; changes his rough-voiced characters to simpering whiners whenever they're having an emotional moment; and imbues every female character with the least attractive vocal qualities of their sex---limpid die-away airs or hard-voiced whorish manipulation, with no in between.

While there might have been something redeemable in these characters if I'd read their story, myself, I've been left with the indelible impression that, no, in fact, these characters are nothing more than mincing ninnies or greedy narcissists or self-deluding fools. And that while, yes, their story is framed by the devouring juggernaut of the English educational system and marriage laws, they would've determinedly ruined their lives even in the absence of these things.

My philosophy teacher in college told me I desperately needed to read this book, that if I did, I would see a British author's compassionate treatment of his characters (in contrast, according to her, to Jane Austen's contempt for them). But I didn't see Hardy's compassion for these people---and I've read Tolstoy, so I know what the compassionate expression of very flawed people looks like. What I saw, what I read, was a determined lambasting of a social system via sad, pathetic people who probably couldn't have made a go of life even under the best of circumstances. Hardy made it difficult for me to even care about these people, let alone have compassion for their circumstances.

I might laugh at Austen's characters, but she means me to. I don't think Hardy wants me laughing, let alone sneering, at his...but that's what I fought not to do through the entire book.

Poor Jude. Poor Sue. What unfortunate wretches you are. ( )
  slimikin | Mar 27, 2022 |
God, Hardy is depressing. I would like to read more, but I don't think I could handle it. ( )
  invisiblecityzen | Mar 13, 2022 |
God, Hardy is depressing. I would like to read more, but I don't think I could handle it. ( )
  invisiblecityzen | Mar 13, 2022 |
Here's what I wrote after reading in 1984: "In Hardy's words, "the tragedy of un-fulfilled aims". Bright, intent Jude Fawley realizes none of his aspirations as a result of his short-term passion for Arabella and long-lived love for Sue Bridehead." ( )
  MGADMJK | Dec 4, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (233 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
Miller, J. HillisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monzó, QuimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parker, Agnes MillerIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reddick, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sisson, C. H.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sisson, C. H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sisson, C. H.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Storm, ArieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watts, Cedric ThomasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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The schoolmaster was leaving the village and everybody seemed sorry.

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Average: (3.87)
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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140435387, 0141028890, 0141199830

 

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