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The Mayor of Casterbridge (Enriched Classics…
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The Mayor of Casterbridge (Enriched Classics (Pocket)) (original 1886; edition 2008)

by Thomas Hardy

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,45964793 (3.87)217
Member:supersam
Title:The Mayor of Casterbridge (Enriched Classics (Pocket))
Authors:Thomas Hardy
Info:Simon & Schuster (2008), Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:historicaly timeless

Work details

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (1886)

  1. 30
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Both stories of men who commit public crimes ... and yet the outcomes are very different.
  2. 20
    The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (chrisharpe, kxlly)
  3. 20
    Silas Marner by George Eliot (kxlly)
  4. 10
    Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (John_Vaughan)
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Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
While the Mayor of Casterbridge full of unlikely coincidence and thematic weightiness, these aspects aren't flaws at all, in my experience--instead they elevate the novel to the high drama of a classical Greek tragedy. ( )
  poingu | Jan 29, 2015 |
Oh Mr. Hardy - canst thou ever forgive me for doubting thee?

The book is finished. My heart is sore. In my grief I can't bear to put it back on the bookshelf yet. Let it stay beside me on the bedside cabinet just a little while longer.

How wrong was I in my original assessment of Hardy's prose. I wept whilst reading this book. WEPT! Real tears! And not just once either.

Hardy initially cut to the chase with alarming alacrity, and it almost put me off continuing as I felt he had divulged the plot before I was engrossed enough to care much for the characters. More fool me. That was merely the tip of the iceberg, for the tale that developed was to have more twists and turns than a doorknob.

And the characterisation - oh, like nothing I've read before. Mr. Henchard was the most unpleasant of protagonists - harsh, proud, stubborn, jealous, cold, pompous - yet the whole way through the novel I was rooting for him, willing him on, desperately hoping he'll say the right thing here, do the right thing there. In the same way that my husband's wayward driving compels me to pump an imaginary brake as a passenger, so too Henchard's repeated mistakes had me constantly silently screaming "Stop! Look out! Take care!".

I'm now 5 books into my 50 book target. How I fear the 45 others shall now pale by comparison. ( )
4 vote AlisonY | Jan 24, 2015 |
Such beautiful writing and an unusual story. There is simply no way to know how it will end so you know you have to finish quickly.
( )
  Benedict8 | Jul 16, 2014 |
A truly outstanding book, and perhaps my favorite work of 19th century British literature.

The author's style is engaging, with interesting story lines and character development that flow seamlessly throughout. Mr. Hardy has that rare ability to capture the reader's attention and maintain it with wonderfully intertwined twists and turns that make for a compelling novel.

Highly recommended. ( )
  la2bkk | Apr 24, 2014 |
Truly a triumph of Hardy's later works. Despite each of the main characters' personality flaws, one cannot help but become attached to their outcomes and trials. Hardy proves his mastery of the human condition in literature within the pages of this book, showing readers the perils of being obstinate, jealous, and vengeful. In contrast, readers are also shown how life can be nothing but misery for those who are meek and remain quiet when ill-treated. I do not agree that this is a parable regarding the evils of alcohol, as Michael Henchard, the main character, is not suffering because of his past drunkenness or due to the effects of remaining sober before returning to drink. This is a novel about human character and there is no teetotaller messages to be found. There really is not a dull moment throughout this novel and the parallels between the time periods are similar enough to keep even strictly anti-"Classics" readers entertained. ( )
  hovercraftofeels | Jan 17, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Hardyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allen, WalterAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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One evening of late summer, before the nineteenth century had reached one-third of its span, a young man and woman, the latter carrying a child, were approaching the large village of Weydon-Priors, in Upper Wessex, on foot.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141439785, Paperback)

The Mayor of Casterbridge opens with an act of such heartlessness and cruelty that it still shocks today. Michael Henchard, an out-of-work hay-trusser, gets drunk at a fair and for five guineas sells his wife and child to a sailor. When the horror of his act finally sets in, Henchard swears he will not touch alcohol for twenty-one years. Through hard work and acumen, he becomes rich, respected, and eventually the mayor of Casterbridge. But eighteen years after his fateful oath, his wife and daughter, Elizabeth-Jane, return to Casterbridge, and his fortunes steadily decline.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:54 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

On a drunken impulse, Michael Henchard, a hay-trusser by trade, sells his wife Susan and their child to a sailor. Years later, Susan returns to Casterbridge a widow, to seek her legal husband who is, surprisingly, now the Mayor.

(summary from another edition)

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Audible.com

14 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439785, 0141045175, 0141199598

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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