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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (178,964 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Hardy Narrator: Robert Powell Publisher: Copyright Group Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2014 ISBN: 9781780003092
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Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy, and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in Wessex, Hardy’s novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Evan | 2/19/2014

    " The only Hardy with a happy ending. As his first major novel, it has a few unnecessary nods to convention, but it's Hardy through and through. A fun, thoughtful, well-constructed, and occasionally melodramatic novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Yasmin | 2/17/2014

    " A story about a young, kind and rich girl who'd been proposed to get married by three men. But she made a wrong choice when the man she married to is not a nice man. The man was the lover of someone else and like to waste lot of the girl's money. I like the first man who proposed her. From my first reading, I knew that at last, the girl will finally choose that guy. They together run away from their town and start new life. News about them spread around their town so people knew about them. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 AnnaMarie | 2/16/2014

    " Pretty slow-moving, and thus hard to get myself to read. But it all worked out in the end, and the story all came together. It was alright. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jennelle | 2/14/2014

    " I couldn't even make it all the way through this book before I finally gave up on reading it altogether. I kept trying to force myself to finish it, but no book is worth that much effort. Don't bother wasting your time with this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrealenoir | 2/13/2014

    " A tiny bit lighter than other Hardy novels. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elisabeth Newbold | 2/11/2014

    " Beautiful language! Lovely story - lovely book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlotte | 2/6/2014

    " I read this book when I was in the hospital after having Kirsti. I like character development books and had somehow missed reading this in high school so I picked it up and read it. It was just as I expected. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cesar | 2/5/2014

    " Slow and steady rural romance novel, that plods along with cliffhangers and twists, not a fun read, really only recommended to fans of the author or genre. It hasn't put me off wanting to read his later more controversial novels, but I'm in no rush to read them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig | 2/5/2014

    " What reminds one of consistently good quality writing but reading an author's works and uncovering an intriguing story with well-defined characters, again and again. Hardy evokes bucolic fantasies colored by troubled pasts and less likely futures. This ends somewhat well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mona Lisa | 2/5/2014

    " I read this in college and I totally fell in love with Gabriel Oak :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim Tarry | 2/2/2014

    " I normally don't like old fashioned styles of books but this one really was exciting to read. I thought it was a book about the character in the first few chapters Gabriel Oak but it turned out to follow a bunch of different people in their lives. It has a lot of different twists that I didn't expect and the story was really interesting as it unfolded. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathi Olsen | 1/31/2014

    " One of my very favorite books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marisa | 1/31/2014

    " Far From the Madding Crowd, based in London in the late mid-to-late 1800's, is about a young girl, Bathsheba, and her three suitors, Troy, Oak, and Boldwood. In this book by Thomas Hardy, Bathsheba battles with herself on her actions, and on which man to marry while the three men battle for her love. I really liked this book, because it had a really good story line, but Thomas Hardy is very descriptive. Sometimes the descriptions were a little boring, but Far From the Madding Crowd is definitely a classic love story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helynne | 1/28/2014

    " Back in graduate school, I took a course that was entirely on Thomas Hardy--his main novels and some of his short stories. It was interesting to learn that all of his novels ran first as serials--chapter by chapter in newspapers and other periodicals. However, the most interesting thing we learned in that course was that Hardy relies largely on ironies and little coincidencies--some fortuitous, but most of them ill-timed--to move along his stories and bring them to what is usually an unexpected conclusion. We see a lot of these Hardian ironies and happenstances coming together in the story of Far from the Madding Crowd and our heroine Bathsheba Everdene. (Isn't that a great name?) Bathsheba is a beautiful, young, single woman running her own farm. She is doing well on her own, but, obviously, she could use the help--and the love--of a devoted man. There are three men in her life, and, naturally, it is the little ironies and missteps along the way, as well as some innocent, but ill-timed, judgments on her part that will lead her into the unworthy arms of one, then nearly into marriage with another before she will end up with the right one. Bathsheba, for all of her naivete and bad choices, is an admirable character and it is gratifying to observe her personal growth along the way. The 1967 film version of the novel starring Julie Christie, Terrence Stamp, Peter Finch and Alan Bates is nicely done. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 1/28/2014

    " Like visiting a new country and traveling down unfamiliar roads, reading a novel about the mid-1800s can be a difficult but enticing journey. Hardy shows an English countryside and a romantic plot that has become classic: a pretty woman pursued by 3 gentlemen. Three scenes are worth the effort: the sheep shearing (ch. 21), the swordsmanship of the dashing Sgt. Troy (ch. 27), and the hilarious pub scene after the carriage driver for a coffin stops by for a few brews with his friends (ch. 41). In between are moments of stunning descriptions of saving a farm's crops from a powerful storm, a society in conflict between rural and "modern" ways of thinking, and how love and relationships evolve. I had read Hardy's "Jude the Obscure," and his powerful characters and descriptions rewarded me once again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patti | 1/27/2014

    " Some of the best characters in classical literature. I really loved hating Bathsheba, and loved loving Gabriel. It is a fun read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 1/26/2014

    " Started out slow, but became a very good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erica | 1/26/2014

    " Great read! Takes a bit to get used to the long sentences at first. :-) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michele | 1/24/2014

    " Great read! Glad I gave Hardy another try after reading Tess of the Durbervilles. Wordy but worth it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stellypippin | 1/22/2014

    " Least depressing of the Thomas Hardy books, really - I enjoyed it :D "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helynne | 1/21/2014

    " Back in graduate school, I took a course that was entirely on Thomas Hardy--his main novels and some of his short stories. It was interesting to learn that all of his novels ran first as serials--chapter by chapter in newspapers and other periodicals. However, the most interesting thing we learned in that course was that Hardy relies largely on ironies and little coincidencies--some fortuitous, but most of them ill-timed--to move along his stories and bring them to what is usually an unexpected conclusion. We see a lot of these Hardian ironies and happenstances coming together in the story of Far from the Madding Crowd and our heroine Bathsheba Everdene. (Isn't that a great name?) Bathsheba is a beautiful, young, single woman running her own farm. She is doing well on her own, but, obviously, she could use the help--and the love--of a devoted man. There are three men in her life, and, naturally, it is the little ironies and missteps along the way, as well as some innocent, but ill-timed, judgments on her part that will lead her into the unworthy arms of one, then nearly into marriage with another before she will end up with the right one. Bathsheba, for all of her naivete and bad choices, is an admirable character and it is gratifying to observe her personal growth along the way. The 1967 film version of the novel starring Julie Christie, Terrence Stamp, Peter Finch and Alan Bates is nicely done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Giauque | 1/21/2014

    " Read it in high school. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard Epstein | 1/20/2014

    " It's difficult for me to think about this book without picturing Julie Christie. Not that that's a bad thing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbi | 1/18/2014

    " Far from the Madding Crowd was one of my favorite books on tape to listen to. Its the story of spoiled Bathsheba and the 3 men whose lives intersect with hers. The storyline was compelling and the characters believable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sebastian Cosgrove | 1/18/2014

    " Got through it but found it boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny | 1/17/2014

    " slow going but a classic loe story if you like. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Matthew | 1/17/2014

    " I feel generous stretching to 2 stars for this book, I did not enjoy it at all. The whole book is just so inconsequential, aside from the last 20 or so pages the preceding 300 drone on in some romantic whimsy about 4 of the most pathetic central characters you're ever likely to encounter. The farmer is to all intents and purposes a dullard who goes through life never standing up for what he wants. Our heroine is a clueless stupid little girl, and we have the 2 dimensional evil womaniser and the drippy puppy eyed lover boy to join them. The latter, who on the strength of one Valentines card spends his life moping and obsessing over said girl before killing a man. Ridiculous. I refuse to believe that even 150 years ago people were this naieve to just go along with it all. To follow on from Tess of the D'Urbevilles, Hardy adds page after page of boring picture postcard description of English hills and farming sheep...I read enough of that and milking cows in Tess. Crikey, no more Hardy for me! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 1/16/2014

    " "George's son had done his work so thoroughly that he was considered too good a workman to live, and was, in fact, taken and tragically shot at twelve o'clock that same day--another instance of the untoward fate which so often attends dogs and other philosophers who follow out a train of reasoning to it's logical conclusion, and attempt perfectly consistent conduct in a world made up so largely of compromise." A brilliant thought that reminds me of both Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Good book, unexpected ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roane Swindon | 1/16/2014

    " Far From the Madding Crowd reminded me why I love Thomas Hardy's writing so much. His descriptions are so detailed and real, and his characters are not only interesting and realistic, but also likeable because of their little flaws. A highly-recommended novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaye | 1/15/2014

    " Bathsheba's predicament is one that follows young (and not so young) women even today, scorning the staid suitor, and falling for the wrong kind of man. Through it all, I could identify with her confusion in knowing what to do next, and the conclusion is satisfying, rather than tragic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 1/14/2014

    " I just re-read this novel after many many years and found it much more to my liking than when I was younger. I am glad that I had forgotten much of it, although I did remember the ending....Far from the Madding Crowd has everything a reader could desire..Although some have criticized his stereotyping of women one really must consider the times in which he was writing...Bathsheba Everdene and Gabriel Oak will stay with me for some time... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edith Hope Bishop | 1/11/2014

    " Just exactly what I needed when reading while pregnant and then sleep-deprived with a new baby. Fun, trashy, but classic and smart. A perfect romantic comic-tragedy. My only complaint is Hardy's insistent generalizations about women of this kind and that kind, although many have some insight. Altogether fabulous characters and gripping plot. I enjoyed the Colin Firth movie in my mind. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Faye | 1/11/2014

    " I never got interested. Couldn't even get half way through. Too discriptive. I wanted Hardy to get to the point. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Draven | 1/6/2014

    " This is a really interesting interpretation of a femme fatale in a rural setting. I continue to marvel at Hardy's ability to write realistic, fully developed and unbiased female characters. He's one of the masters at it, right up there with Tolstoy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherilyn | 1/6/2014

    " So much better than Jude the Obscure which nearly put me off Hardy for life. A happier tale of love and betrayal with a stronger female lead. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sophia | 1/5/2014

    " This is one of my favorite Hardy novels. If I had to list them in order of affection Far from the Madding Crowd would place third. The imagery is powerful, and its beauty trumps its heavy handedness. Hardy is a tragedian and this novel is no exception, but there is a finesse to it here that is not found in "The Mayor of Casterbridge" or even "'Tess". He does not merely subject the characters to their fates; we watch them lead themselves. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jordan Faux | 1/3/2014

    " I rather enjoyed this book, all the names and such. I like how it shows how love and obsession are different things. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josie | 1/3/2014

    " It was just so longggg it dragged and I found myself not caring what happened to the characters and just wanting to get it over with :L "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kat | 1/2/2014

    " This novel tells the story of Gabriel Oak, a small farmer who is reduced through misfortune to working as a shepherd on the property of Bathsheba Everdene, a woman who had refused his offer of marriage. Two other men become important in Everdene's life, and Hardy writes with conviction about the dangers of passion and the tragedy of irrevocable choices. But his most powerful motivating force is surely his love for the rural life he saw disappearing around him as he wrote. Rereading this novel gave me a chance to remember how much pure story pleasure Hardy offers, and to muse on his contradictory attitudes in matters of gender. He creates a strong and memorable female character in Bathsheba Everdene, but at the same time includes more sexist generalizations in his pages than most of his contemporaries did, and lagged behind them, too, in his sparing use of free indirect style--narrating events through the eyes of his characters (but while using the third person). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tim and Popie Stafford | 12/29/2013

    " Not Hardy's best, but pretty darn good. His grim view of life is somewhat disguised. (He got sadder as he got older.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gloriavirtutisumbra | 12/25/2013

    " I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this one. I kept waiting for Thomas Hardy to put my favorite character through hell, but he must have liked Gabriel Oak as much as I did, and held his hand from the killing blow. Very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frenchy Faith | 12/23/2013

    " Long winded in parts but strangely interesting storyline... at first I thought it would never end but somehow I found myself drawn in by Bathsheba's action and thoughts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janelle Fallan | 12/20/2013

    " The scene where Sgt. Troy demonstrates his prowess with the broadsword to Bathsheba Everdeen ("Don't move! I won't hurt you!") is one of the funniest, most erotic I've come across in 19th Century literature. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melon | 12/17/2013

    " I really liked it alot. At first I hated the main female character, but as the book goes on you end up feeling sorry for her, even though its her own fault she ended up in such a twisted love triangle lol. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kalacolla | 12/16/2013

    " Not that it was the best book ever, but it exactly right for what it was "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Theresa | 12/11/2013

    " I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, as I've tried reading another Hardy book to no avail. I especially appreciated the dry sense of humor throughout. Tremendous book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lbeste1 | 12/4/2013

    " This is probably the only book by Hardy that does not leave me feeling clinically depressed. This book is one of my favorite works of English literature, written with all of Hardy's gifts for character development and social observation but less of his melancholia. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eddie Chapman | 12/3/2013

    " Gripping drama, pulse-racing dialogue and the biggest badass of them all...big up Gabriel Oak. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maxfield | 11/30/2013

    " Enjoyed. Hardy's physical descriptions of farm life have quite the poetic turn. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynda | 11/29/2013

    " Loved this book. Beautifully written. Looking forward to reading more Hardy now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wilde Sky | 11/29/2013

    " Very good - but takes some time to get into. The characters and plot get better as you go through the book so don't be put off by the first 20 to 40 pages. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marielle | 11/26/2013

    " One of my favourite books. Thomas Hardy's characters are amazingly written. I loved this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire Guerin | 11/24/2013

    " Very entertaining and a nice respite from Hardy's usual doom and gloom. Amusing to note how women are the cause of the world's problems. ;) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jes | 11/17/2013

    " Too pastoral for me! My life is too short! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbi | 11/16/2013

    " Far from the Madding Crowd was one of my favorite books on tape to listen to. Its the story of spoiled Bathsheba and the 3 men whose lives intersect with hers. The storyline was compelling and the characters believable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cesar | 11/15/2013

    " Slow and steady rural romance novel, that plods along with cliffhangers and twists, not a fun read, really only recommended to fans of the author or genre. It hasn't put me off wanting to read his later more controversial novels, but I'm in no rush to read them. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jennifer | 11/10/2013

    " This is the book that comes to mind when someone asks me if I've read any books I didn't enjoy. I read the whole thing looking for a redeeming characteristic, and I didn't find one. It was so dull. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becca | 11/8/2013

    " Hardy falls into Victorian conventions in this book, and the plot feels a bit formulaic, but the writing style is beautifully descriptive and worth trudging through the melodrama of the plot. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Aubrey | 11/4/2013

    " I just didn't like the characters of this book. And for me, if I don't like the characters and there really is nothing substantial to the plot, it's just not going to happen. Not impressed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Crystal | 10/26/2013

    " Hardy is just a great writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacie Lindsey | 10/18/2013

    " Thomas Hardy is one of my all-time favorite authors. This is a great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betsy Sieber | 10/17/2013

    " I read this in high school, and really liked it, despite Hardy's flowery language. Something about the story really touched me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rich Banks | 10/14/2013

    " A book of two halves. If you can stick with the first half the second flies by in un-put-downable tension, passion and literary brilliance. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kat Morrison | 10/12/2013

    " Amazing writing. Love Hardy's style and darkness. Read this for the first time when I took English Literature GCSE and it began a life long love of Hardy's work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lundyn | 10/12/2013

    " Beautiful writing and descriptions of the landscapes. The characters are amazing and you really get a feel for their emotions, wants and needs; especially Mr. Boldwood. Well worth the read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eddie Chapman | 10/3/2013

    " Gripping drama, pulse-racing dialogue and the biggest badass of them all...big up Gabriel Oak. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 9/23/2013

    " Read in high school and really liked it. Not so depressing as some of the other Hardy books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Danette | 9/20/2013

    " The language is very 'olde English' but once you get past that the characters are well developed and the story is a good one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jes | 9/19/2013

    " Too pastoral for me! My life is too short! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kat Morrison | 9/7/2013

    " Amazing writing. Love Hardy's style and darkness. Read this for the first time when I took English Literature GCSE and it began a life long love of Hardy's work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ronda Laventure | 8/29/2013

    " One of my very favorit books-Thomas Hardy can write funny too! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerri | 8/9/2013

    " I think I liked it better the first time, but it was still good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Manu | 7/27/2013

    " It took forever, but I loved every word of it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Georganne | 7/20/2013

    " Read all of Thomas Hardy and loved every one as a younger person. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pippa222 | 7/15/2013

    " I think this is one of the best novels ever written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yuna | 7/14/2013

    " Despite what you might expect, given Tess of D'Ubervilles, not entirely a depressing ending. The female character's kind of whiny and selfish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 7/12/2013

    " It's well written but the storyline was too frustrating to be enjoyable to me and the ending was too abrupt. Just didn't terribly enjoy it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlotte Shea | 7/9/2013

    " Nice book. See the Masterpiece Theater movie too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ricardo Lowe | 6/19/2013

    " I could not put this book down. There were so many vignettes into the main and auxiliary characters of the book and there are several sub-plots. They are all self-antagonists; victims of their own hubris. No one learns anything until it is too late. I love this stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennieowen | 6/8/2013

    " This was my second time through, and I enjoyed it again. Hardy is always hard for the first 100 pages for me. Then the plot sweeps me in. This one reminded me of Shakespeare. Seems to be written for the stage almost. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Hale | 6/7/2013

    " Thomas Hardy is such an amazing writer. He is the quintessential story teller--my favorite author. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Simon | 6/2/2013

    " My favourite Hardy. Fell in love with the John Schlesinger film with Alan Bates and Julie Christie when I was a teenager and read the book with it's wonderful descriptive romantic view of rural life in 19th century England. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jennelle | 5/17/2013

    " I couldn't even make it all the way through this book before I finally gave up on reading it altogether. I kept trying to force myself to finish it, but no book is worth that much effort. Don't bother wasting your time with this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 5/11/2013

    " It's well written but the storyline was too frustrating to be enjoyable to me and the ending was too abrupt. Just didn't terribly enjoy it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Irene | 5/6/2013

    " The sheep running over the cliff and the description of Bathsheba picking vegetables out of the frozen ground are very emotive. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samantha Anastasiou | 5/1/2013

    " This is my favorite book by Thomas Hardy. The film is also quite lovely. In my top three all time favorite books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joy-isb Faucher | 4/25/2013

    " A very good read analyzing the importance of connections between man and nature, along with its responsibilities towards it and the role played by chance. An interesting story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anita Wallace | 4/19/2013

    " Am hoping I enjoy it more this time round. Found it a bit tedious when we had to read it for school. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel | 3/29/2013

    " Loved it. I cannot put in to words what Thomas Hardy puts into words. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zuly | 3/29/2013

    " I loved this book and all of Hardy when I read them in my late teens and early 20s. I returned to some of them many years later and couldn't believe the depth of the horrors that his characters face. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachelle | 3/15/2013

    " Talk about a love triangle! Loved the fact that I couldn't predict what would happen next. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maxfield | 2/21/2013

    " Enjoyed. Hardy's physical descriptions of farm life have quite the poetic turn. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Danielle | 1/1/2013

    " My least favorite Hardy novel thus far... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan Cohen | 12/30/2012

    " Not as good as Tess, but still an excellent book which gives a strong sense for the society of the time. Characters are strong and fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerri | 12/2/2012

    " I think I liked it better the first time, but it was still good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Derek Bridge | 10/27/2012

    " A superior kind of melodrama set in mid-nineteenth century rural England - there's much to be learned about country life of the time and a plot that rolls nicely along. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Faye | 10/27/2012

    " I never got interested. Couldn't even get half way through. Too discriptive. I wanted Hardy to get to the point. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 10/20/2012

    " Read as a sophomore at college. Great story. Should re-read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kazi | 9/14/2012

    " Twice I tried to read this. I just can't get past his descriptions of the roles of women. Can't quite stomach it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 8/27/2012

    " An interesting read. Took a little while for me to get into it and to even begin to like any of the characters. But eventually the story got more complicated, thus intriguing. I was fond of the ending as well. Glad I read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Simona | 8/16/2012

    " Simple by comparison to Tess of the d'Urbervilles, but insightful and humorous and beautiful in parts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vikas | 8/4/2012

    " This is one of the wonderful masterpiece of Hardy, depicting the English countryside life, this book even today brings the fragrance of nature and ecstasy of romance. You can read it many a times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tac | 7/26/2012

    " Beautifully written romance, with a strong woman in a believable reLationship (even if some of the situations are less so) . I love it every time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 alibrivoxfan | 7/4/2012

    " There's a public domain audiobook version available here from LibriVox. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Corrijean | 7/2/2012

    " Disagree with the people that thought Hardy's treatment of Bathsheba's character was sexist. Women make bad romantic decisions at times, and this doesn't necessarily mean they are weak. I thought the book was well written and enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob Roy | 6/17/2012

    " This is a love story set in rural England. It has twists and turns, and given Hardy's perchance for tragedy, you don't really know how it will come out until the end. No, I won't tell you. This is a wonderful read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heatherly | 5/17/2012

    " It has been a while since I finished this one. I can't figure out why Hardy wanted to put his female characters through so much strife. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Giauque | 5/16/2012

    " Read it in high school. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lilly | 5/11/2012

    " A tragic and confusing love story with twisted turns and surprising shocks. But this amazing novel ends with a happily ever after. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynne | 4/29/2012

    " saw a PBS version years ago...and finally read the book. love the book. love the characters! I think it's one of the last books I read while in St. Louis. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rick Blevins | 4/26/2012

    " Absolutely loved it..My first Thomas Hardy, and after reading most of his others is still my fav.. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kazi | 2/20/2012

    " Twice I tried to read this. I just can't get past his descriptions of the roles of women. Can't quite stomach it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Drashya | 2/18/2012

    " awesome book!!! great plot.. . greater quality of writing!! enjoyed it thoroughly!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gabe | 1/20/2012

    " This book is my namesake and a good one it is. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Claudia | 1/19/2012

    " Another re-read. I'm so glad I read so many of these books when I was younger and had more patience and empathy with the characters' flaws. Now I find myself wanting to hit them over the head with something. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer Braxton | 11/28/2011

    " I adore this book, and I love anything Hardy writes! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julianne | 11/25/2011

    " I love being reminded why classic literature is classic. So good. The end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michele | 10/25/2011

    " Great read! Glad I gave Hardy another try after reading Tess of the Durbervilles. Wordy but worth it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marcy | 10/17/2011

    " I really enjoyed Hardy's wit and humor, though there was more than a touch of cynicism to the story. Not near as pessimistic as _The Mayor of Casterbridge_, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 8/23/2011

    " I really enjoyed this novel. It is another love story, but I felt like I learned something about life, love, and virtue from having read this. It's one of those books that I read at the exact right time, in the right mood, that impacts me more than I anticipated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erica | 7/27/2011

    " Great read! Takes a bit to get used to the long sentences at first. :-) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa Snyder | 7/21/2011

    " A very good story with a happy ending. In Thomas Hardy's books socail standings play a large part (upper class/low class). I notice one of his themes seems to be lower class becomming upper class "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Segametsi Moumakwa | 7/16/2011

    " Finished the book. Will come back and write proper review. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erykah | 6/18/2011

    " Once the plot finally got going - halfway through - it was brilliant. However, as it was such a struggle getting through the endless pages about bloody sheep I can only give it three stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dennis | 5/22/2011

    " I may not have been ready for this book and so I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have. I remember almost nothing except mky general feeling of finally reading Hardy but not savoring it as much as I should have. I'll be back for this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carole | 5/21/2011

    " Hardy at his best. Loved the movie also from the library...very true to book. Ending is predictable but a true classic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Corri | 5/4/2011

    " Disagree with the people that thought Hardy's treatment of Bathsheba's character was sexist. Women make bad romantic decisions at times, and this doesn't necessarily mean they are weak. I thought the book was well written and enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michele | 5/1/2011

    " Great read! Glad I gave Hardy another try after reading Tess of the Durbervilles. Wordy but worth it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heatherly | 4/22/2011

    " It has been a while since I finished this one. I can't figure out why Hardy wanted to put his female characters through so much strife. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 4/18/2011

    " I think I love Thomas Hardy novels. Tess was good, but this one was even better! I'll definitely be looking for another one soon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eddie | 4/13/2011

    " Gripping drama, pulse-racing dialogue and the biggest badass of them all...big up Gabriel Oak. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fluffy | 3/28/2011

    " We did this for Lit in sec sch. I found it rather long and ponderous at times - very lengthy descriptions that paint a good picture but takes a long time to read. Definitely a better Lit text than pleasure read. "

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About the Author
Author Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy (1840–1928), English poet, dramatist, and novelist, was born on the Egdon Heath in Dorset. He studied in Dorchester and apprenticed to an architect before leaving for London, where he began to write. Unable to find a public for his poetry, which idealized the rural life, he turned to the novel and met with success as well as controversy. The strong public reaction against some of his darker themes turned him back to writing verse. Today several of his novels are considered masterpieces of tragedy.

About the Narrator

Robert Powell has, in addition to playing Richard Hannay on screen in The Thirty-Nine Steps, appeared on television in Marple: The Murder at the Vicarage, Dalziel and Pascoe, and Holby City.