Extended Audio Sample

Download The Mayor of Casterbridge Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Mayor of Casterbridge Audiobook, by Thomas Hardy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (19,386 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Hardy Narrator: Pamela Garelick Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2011 ISBN: 9781455178254
Regular Price: $22.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

From its astonishing opening scene, in which the drunken Michael Henchard sells his wife and daughter at a country fair, to the breathtaking series of discoveries at its conclusion, The Mayor of Casterbridge claims a unique place among Thomas Hardy’s finest and most powerful novels.

Rooted in an actual case of wife selling in early nineteenth-century England, the story builds into an awesome Sophoclean drama of guilt and revenge, in which the strong, willful Henchard rises to a position of wealth and power, only to achieve a most bitter downfall. Proud, obsessed, ultimately committed to his own destruction, Henchard is, as Albert Guerard has said, “Hardy’s Lord Jim...his only tragic hero and one of the greatest tragic heroes in all fiction.”

Download and start listening now!

BK_BLAK_000638

Quotes & Awards

  • “Garelick’s varied accents and superb pacing help capture the bleak landscape.” 

    Booklist

  • “Garelick’s reading embodies the qualities of the best British narrators.” 

    KLIATT

  • “Listeners can’t help liking Henchard, despite his flaws. What adds to these feelings is the able reading by Pamela Garelick, who has a host of memorable characters firmly in her grasp. She enjoys her story, and so will her audience.”

    AudioFile

  • SoundCommentary.com’s The Best of the Best Editors' Choice Audiobook in 2002

Listener Opinions

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

    " ...remains, for me, the saddest story of relationship entanglement I've ever read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathryn Stewart | 2/19/2014

    " Important lesson: If you auction off your wife and baby, this decision may haunt you for the rest of your life. I wish I could have chosen 3.5 stars for this book--I liked it, but I enjoyed Tess of the d'Urbervilles more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirlyn | 2/15/2014

    " Thomas Hardy is one of my all time favorite authors now, after reading many of his books this last year, I truely appreciate a good classic such as this. So many twists, unfairness, sadness and old English drudgery, of just getting through each day and living life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denna | 2/13/2014

    " Really enjoyed this book. Expected it to be a quick read, because the book was so small. Wrong! It is an antique book with paper thin pages. Another of the books I read whilst living in England. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana | 2/10/2014

    " An interesting up and down saga of actions and consequences that begins with a drunken man selling his wife and child to a sailor in old England. An interesting story to listen to - maybe a bit cumbersome and slow to read (ala Les Miserables). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joell | 2/9/2014

    " Hardy's outlook on life was certainly grim. But it doesn't mean that he can't spin one heck of a yarn. Maybe the story is overly contrived, but Hardy's insight into the MC's character reflects our own follies and internal demon fighting. Captivating and timeless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen | 2/9/2014

    " Beautifully written. If only my vocabulary was up to it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phebe | 2/8/2014

    " I was pleased at the beginning of this book, finding the story interesting and the plot moving along nicely. I'm glad I read it, but a warning, it does end kind of on a down note to say the least...something along the lines of happiness is just a brief moment in life which is otherwise all about pain. Oh well...I'll get over it, I guess! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kasie | 2/7/2014

    " Interesting, but in the end I tired of the drama. "

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

    " From poverty to riches to ruin, so is the life of Mr. Henchard after he sells his wife and infant daughter at a fair for five guineas. And the guilt and the lessons that follow are abundant. I love Thomas Hardy and the irony he weaves through his novels, but this novel did not impress me as some of his others--say, Jude the Obscure or Return of the Native. Maybe it was the teeny-tiny font size that got to me, leaving me with a pounding headache whenever I put the book down. Still a decent book, just not as good as expected. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 2/2/2014

    " A tragic masterpiece, this story shows what happens to a hay maker who tries to outreach himself, he becomes the mayor of Casterbridge but things turn bad as his past returns to bring about his ruin. At the beginning of the book in a drunken state Michael Henchard sells his wife and child to a sailor. Nineteen years later having risen to mayor his wife returns and his downfall begins. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rhonda | 2/2/2014

    " More classics from the yard sale. OK, the moral of this story is . . . work hard, be modest, conform to all of society's norms and then maybe you won't go mad and die of an epileptic fit. Wow, victorian England must have been a real fun place. I mean, Thomas Hardy was thought to be sort of controversial author during his time (according to the back cover) yet this novel is so conservative by today's standards. "

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

    " I'm a fan of Thomas Hardy. His characters are so doomed, the storylines are so dark; in some awful way the utter hopelessness of his plots appeal to me. The Mayor of Casterbridge has a lighter feeling to it than, say, Jude the Obscure or Tess of the D'Urbervilles. The plot has a lot of unexpected (except that it's Hardy, so you kind of expect some unhappy surprises) twists and turns. It has the feeling of a 19th century soap opera. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adrienne | 1/31/2014

    " I recently was reminded about this book...read it my senior year of high school. Its a good classic tale. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chichi | 1/31/2014

    " My first Thomas Hardy book...depressed me for while after i read it. Fantastic story! A good one for fans of classic literature "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Thrale | 1/28/2014

    " An intriguing read full of twists and turns, with a rather anti-climatic ending. I enjoyed this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leah | 1/28/2014

    " As it's Hardy, there are of course, tragic elements to this story, some of which are absolutely gut-wrenching. Yet there is some hope to be found from the experiences within. "

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

    " I liked the idead of a man selling his wife and child for the theme of a book and so I thought I'd read it. It's been very good so far. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deanne | 1/27/2014

    " Very easy to read book and hard to put down. The story starts with a young man selling his wife and baby girl to a sailor after he gets drunk. Years later the daughter and her mother turn up. The young man is now the Mayor and very wealthy and the family are reunited. However there are a number of secrets which come out later in the book as well as the main theme of unrequited love and tragic death. However things turn out alright in the end, except maybe for the Mayor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kasie | 1/23/2014

    " Interesting, but in the end I tired of the drama. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Morgan F | 1/23/2014

    " This book was boring for the most part, although there were some odd moments of humor. In a way, I'm looking forward to going over this with my English class. Hopefully, I will get more out of the book that way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kingfan30 | 1/22/2014

    " This is the first Thomas Hardy book I have read and I really enjoyed it. It did make me chuckle at the beginning when Henchard sold his wife, I can imagine there are a few men out there that would like to do that! It is one of those books that makes you realise that what actions you take can have consequences in the future. Henchard is not the most likable of characters at times, and I felt so sorry for Elizabeth also. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leila | 1/21/2014

    " My favorite Hardy novel. No impossible coincidence is too far beyond the realm of conception for Thomas Hardy! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jaclyn | 1/19/2014

    " Thomas Hardy is one of my favorite authors. I just love his style and he tells a story so well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kat | 1/19/2014

    " An interesting story, though tedious at time. Not my favorite Hardy novel. Part of my Masters thesis discussed Lucetta and the Victorian double standard and compared her situation with Tess's from Tess of the d'Urbervilles. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Desiree Koh | 1/18/2014

    " SPOILER: In one of the final scenes, after the Mayor is cast from Casterbridge and he is trying to leave, but cannot... Hardy paints a picture of him walking around the outskirts of town in circles, although he does not truly realise it. Hardy was one of the best screenplay writers of his day -- his settings were always the best mise en scene. "

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

    " I am currently reading this for the 3rd time, Jan, 2008 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra Strange | 1/18/2014

    " My favorite of Hardy's, this novel tells the dire consequences of a drunken peasant's sale of his wife. I liked this novel because I could identify with some of the main characters, and though the protagonist's life ends in tragedy and isolation, others' fates leave more room for hope at the end of the novel. I just reread the book in detail (for the fourth time, at least), taking notes on plot points, imagery, symbol and theme. It is so carefully crafted and will make the reader assess his/her own stance on fate vs character, not to mention "free will." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Iris | 1/16/2014

    " I enjoyed the rich language and captivating story. The plot is surprising and the characters are interesting. I might just re-read this one "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charlie | 1/13/2014

    " I have very little idea when I actually read this. I have a vague recollection of enjoying it though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brittany | 1/11/2014

    " The story is so interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Graham | 1/8/2014

    " A reading that stays in my mind many years later - I think probably influenced my writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 1/6/2014

    " Another wonderful work by Hardy! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristina UK | 1/6/2014

    " This a powerful novel, describing the depths to which one man can sink of his own making. Definitely not to be read if you're having a bad day/week/month/year as it might just tip you over the edge. As most Hardy novels it's about as depressing as writing can get. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Saffron | 1/6/2014

    " Good charcters/themes. Good traditional/modern bridge. Sometimes dry, but richly detailed. Enjoyable, but not essential "

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

    " This was the first book I read as part of a book club I just joined. LOVED this book! Great life lessons to be learned. Michael Henchard is one of the richest characters I've ever read. "

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

    " Once again, it's really hard to settle on a concrete rating. I have moments where I could almost give The Mayor only three stars, and moments where I could give it five. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rannie | 1/4/2014

    " When I read Hardy in middle school, I summed up his work as "pride cometh before the fall." Rereading this classic through adult eyes, I was struck by how often ego and self-involvement interfere with the flow of love and affection in both fiction and life. "

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

    " This book is classic Hardy and it has a strange twist in the plot. If one is embarking on a study of Hardy, this is a good place to start. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lorri | 12/31/2013

    " I am currently reading this for the 3rd time, Jan, 2008 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ilona | 12/30/2013

    " This was the easiest Hardy book to get into -- the main characters were clearly introduced and the storyline was set up in a more straightforward fashion than I've seen in other Hardy books. So I began by really enjoying this book, because for once I felt like I had some idea of where it was going from the start ... but as the book continued, I realized that Hardy actually set up the story TOO much, to the point that it became extremely predictable. In particular, Hardy tended to present a happy occurrence only in order to utterly reverse people's fortunes a couple pages later. These were not set-ups that had been carefully and subtly developed throughout the story, but rather quick jobs inserted directly before the tragedy that Hardy wanted to create -- and he played this little game several times too many for it to be a novelty or surprise when bad things happened. In the end, I was disappointed by the book that had begun so interestingly and ended so predictably. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 12/27/2013

    " A book about the highs and lows of a man driven by his uncontrolled passions of jealousy, deceict and drunkeness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daffy | 12/25/2013

    " Excellent. Thought provoking. A book I've finished 3 years ago, and to this day, think about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert Maier | 12/22/2013

    " I read this book in high school, and for the first time saw beauty in the written word. Hardy is my most favorite literary stylist. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lanre Ogundimu | 12/15/2013

    " The moral of the story. Beware. Your past wild and exuberant action may hunt you later, in the future. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sissi | 12/14/2013

    " Just could not force myself to get through this... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hannah | 12/12/2013

    " A classic classic, story of mistaken identities, mistaken loves, and ... mistakes. Plenty of lovely, flowery language to appreciate (or skim); however the plot was legit and interesting enough to make you want to find out what happened, though you won't be surprised. "

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

    " A nice and straightforward read. A good place to start if you want to get into classics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Magid | 12/9/2013

    " Great story. So Sad. I didn't like the bit where Lucetta and Elizabeth-Jane get chased by an angry bull, though. That was a bit far-fetched. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathryn Donnelly | 12/2/2013

    " Totally depressing. Not as bad as Jude the Obscure, but getting there. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 surfurbian | 12/1/2013

    " Ranks right up there with Great Expectations in terms of painful reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia Kurz | 11/30/2013

    " Loved it. A page turner, some surprises, some humor, pathos, etc. Great writing, great observations of the human heart. The ending is a little "soft" for me. I would like to have had Henchard be a little more decisive in his choices, but it was very good and well worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 11/28/2013

    " Read it a long time ago...can't remember the plot, only that I really enjoyed the read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meagan | 11/13/2013

    " The plot took forever to get through but when you boil it down it was just like a modern day soap opera. The book was very intresting and i was suprized that I enjoyed it as much as I did. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 11/10/2013

    " 'He had no wish to make an arena a second time of a world that had become a mere painted scene to him.' "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeni | 11/1/2013

    " I liked this novel at first. It was the only one in my British Novel course that I actually wanted to read. However, as it progressed, it got worse and more boring and for some reason, I actually got less attached to the characters. I'm glad I read it but let's just say I won't read it again. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stella | 11/1/2013

    " I had to study as non-detailed in College. Maybe thats why i didnt like it. i dont know why. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sameera | 10/30/2013

    " hardy's book is different from rest of his work so far. its a tragedy i really enjoyed. it fits with the quote -aspects are within us & those who appear kingly are king! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hilary | 10/16/2013

    " Very dark - not sure what I was expecting, but not this. I liked it a lot. It actually left me wanting to read more Hardy.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Saffron | 9/21/2013

    " Good charcters/themes. Good traditional/modern bridge. Sometimes dry, but richly detailed. Enjoyable, but not essential "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maureen | 8/26/2013

    " A bit boring for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Saffron | 8/20/2013

    " Good charcters/themes. Good traditional/modern bridge. Sometimes dry, but richly detailed. Enjoyable, but not essential "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristen | 8/6/2013

    " Terribly tragic, but I liked it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 IleneOnWords | 7/31/2013

    " What can I say??? Just read ALL of Thomas Hardy. I won't list all of his books on my list. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lanre Ogundimu | 7/21/2013

    " The moral of the story. Beware. Your past wild and exuberant action may hunt you later, in the future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doris | 7/19/2013

    " A reluctant trip to another time and place, but a rewarding trip, as it turned out. An over-exposure to Hardy in English Lit classes almost made me skip this engrosingly tragic tale, but I found the work a pleasure to read and a welcome contrast to some of the books that are being published today. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Molly | 7/6/2013

    " Excellent, gorgeous writing, but I was disappointed with the ending. The conclusion was unsatisfying and left me annoyed that I had waded through the complex plot-line for that ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill | 5/8/2013

    " Made a bid impression, but dull "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Helen Scott-denness | 4/15/2013

    " My favourite book ever! Unusually explosive from the start which is unusual for Hardy and a thoroughly emotive read from start to finish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hayley | 3/24/2013

    " Makes me wonder what furmity tastes of. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandon | 3/17/2013

    " I'm glad I read this. What strikes me about the novel is how cruel but essential every plot twist became. I can't fathom a way any of it could have played out other than Hardy's masterful technique. Everyone who ever knew Michael Henchard was a helpless bystander of his impulses until the very end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deborah | 11/3/2012

    " A good story as usual from Hardy. One of my favourite novels. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ainsley | 10/26/2012

    " This book is excellent, and there's a surprise at every turn. I adored it and just think Hardy is a masterful writer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James Powell | 10/18/2012

    " I'd never read any of Hardy's novels before this one. I just started Tess of the D'Ubervilles. I'm trying to figure out why Hardy is famous, why his novels are on the many lists of must-read novels. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tahmina | 9/26/2012

    " Fantastic Book. I loved it! The ending is so emotional, that I cried. The Mayor is such a amazingly character. Hardy rocks!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aysha | 9/25/2012

    " Way too many coincidences and ironic plot twists for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason M. | 9/12/2012

    " This has one of the saddest endings ever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina | 8/28/2012

    " i didn't enjoy this as much as other thomas hardy novels, mainly because i didn't read it as thoroughly "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben Richmond | 8/21/2012

    " Like so many British novels, if people could just say what they think and feel, they would all be much happier. But Hardy is a fun and interesting author. The narration is really convivial and fun, and as a very old novel, it had lots of fun vocabulary. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 G | 8/10/2012

    " Thomas Hardy novels are always poignant and there is nothing lighthearted about them. But it is a whole new experience of life and not for light reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sam | 7/3/2012

    " Probably my favorite of his after Tess. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 K. | 6/20/2012

    " I love Thomas Hardy. This is one of his more affirming and less morose works. I really liked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deepti | 6/9/2012

    " I think this is Hardy's best novel. Certainly my favourite. Not as pity-inducing as Tess, but equally riveting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meagan | 5/13/2012

    " The plot took forever to get through but when you boil it down it was just like a modern day soap opera. The book was very intresting and i was suprized that I enjoyed it as much as I did. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bronson | 5/9/2012

    " I picked this up again almost 10 years to the day of when I was first introduced to it in my wee undergrad days as an English major. Still love it. And still holding strong in my #2 all-time spot. (Might have to read #1 again just to make sure it gets to stay there!) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaine | 5/4/2012

    " These characters must always pay the price of rather impulsive mistakes which eventually can tear down their reputations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia Kurz | 4/24/2012

    " Loved it. A page turner, some surprises, some humor, pathos, etc. Great writing, great observations of the human heart. The ending is a little "soft" for me. I would like to have had Henchard be a little more decisive in his choices, but it was very good and well worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 4/22/2012

    " I thought this was a good read. It pulled me, wondering how the story would twist as I turned the page. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelly | 4/16/2012

    " this is my favourite Hardy book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martha Johnson | 4/14/2012

    " The most truly romantic and happy of Hardy novels. I loved the book and the movie. I will never forget the sheep going off the cliff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Casey | 3/27/2012

    " What goes around comes around. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robyn Bryant | 3/9/2012

    " This book was at a fairly unimpressive 5-5.5 on the Thomas Hardy bleak-o-meter...until the last 20 pages when it shot up to a strong 8. It's no Jude, but I could still use a drink. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vickie | 2/12/2012

    " I read this for school a long time ago, but I still remember it well. It was quite a trawl but it left an impression. I can't forget the (symbolic) goldfinch. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melanie | 2/8/2012

    " 3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book more than the other works by Hardy that I've read. His books are all kind of depressing, but I love the way Hardy describes the landscape and makes setting a strong presence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Summer | 2/8/2012

    " I really liked this, its a wonderful classic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alene Sheffield | 2/7/2012

    " One of my favorite books ever. Couldn't put it down. Highly recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill | 12/24/2011

    " Made a bid impression, but dull "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 surfurbian | 12/9/2011

    " Ranks right up there with Great Expectations in terms of painful reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 12/8/2011

    " I liked it somewhat more than The Return of the Native. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 12/6/2011

    " A book about the highs and lows of a man driven by his uncontrolled passions of jealousy, deceict and drunkeness. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carson Andreas | 11/18/2011

    " read this for English at highschool. think it ruined it for me for evermore "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margie | 11/16/2011

    " My favorite Thomas Hardy book. Sometimes it's difficult to get past all of Hardy's descriptive scenery, etc., but this book had me from cover to cover. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kama | 11/7/2011

    " This was adapted as a miniseries, but I can't help but think this would make for a great telenovela. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Noor Iqbal | 11/4/2011

    " alas!!! uff alass!!!that on michel henchard did all good in his way but as sold his own wife and children by a mistake.he was a poor one then he become enough rich as a moyer of the royal but alas!!at the end he has nothing....but alas!!just onle subordinate was kept with him.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gretchen | 10/29/2011

    " O.K. Pretty much I love all of Thomas Hardy's books! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian | 10/22/2011

    " Typical Hardy, which means you either hate it or love it. A sad end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brenda | 10/10/2011

    " I was assigned to read this in college and always loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ed | 10/7/2011

    " Good classic. There's always a new twist in the making. Classics are classics because the author combined imagination with the ability to communicate what he so she imagined. This is a great story about a man who is his own worst enemy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alene | 9/29/2011

    " One of my favorite books ever. Couldn't put it down. Highly recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chichi | 9/29/2011

    " My first Thomas Hardy book...depressed me for while after i read it. Fantastic story! A good one for fans of classic literature "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Penny | 9/29/2011

    " This book is not as depressing as some of Hardy's other novels,but it's still a tragic tale. Tells of a man who sells his wife under the influence of a few meads and then it comes back to haunt him later in life. Well written and gives you that rollercoaster ride that Hardy does so well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 9/29/2011

    " The Mayor of Casterbridge is a story about pride, revenge, and the consequences of one's actions. The story begins with a drunk Michael Henchard selling his wife and daughter to the highest bidder, and the rest of the novel shows how this act influences the rest of his life. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jonathan | 9/21/2011

    " Ranks right up there with Great Expectations in terms of painful reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 9/19/2011

    " Loved it when i read it in high school. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 G | 9/16/2011

    " Thomas Hardy novels are always poignant and there is nothing lighthearted about them. But it is a whole new experience of life and not for light reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Enigma | 9/11/2011

    " I loved this story so much though I had it in college. But a good book is a good book no matter where u read it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy_N | 8/26/2011

    " Good read. Incredibly easy read too. I had been apprehensive about Hardy but raced through this book and will be searching out more Hardy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristina UK | 8/26/2011

    " This a powerful novel, describing the depths to which one man can sink of his own making. Definitely not to be read if you're having a bad day/week/month/year as it might just tip you over the edge. As most Hardy novels it's about as depressing as writing can get. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberly Maloney | 8/3/2011

    " Amazing book. I will definitely be reading this one twice! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alaina Patterson | 7/31/2011

    " For the full review (which, in essence, is the Cliff's Notes version of the plot, because I don't have anything to add at this time), follow the link to That's What She Read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emma Holmes | 6/11/2011

    " I think it is Hardy's best work. He does well creating a tragic character, such as Henchard. Even through all his flaws, you somehow still grow to love his character. Very tragic ending. Well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Landrun01 | 5/23/2011

    " A reading that stays in my mind many years later - I think probably influenced my writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greg | 5/18/2011

    " This is perhaps one of the greatest Victorian novels I have ever read. Hardy is the master of literature. His characters are unforgettable, his storytelling is priceless. More than likely, I will re-read this novel in the near future. A masterful work by a masterful author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deepti | 5/12/2011

    " I think this is Hardy's best novel. Certainly my favourite. Not as pity-inducing as Tess, but equally riveting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Summer | 5/3/2011

    " I really liked this, its a wonderful classic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 4/9/2011

    " After listened to the BBC dramatization, I decided to read this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clive | 3/31/2011

    " I read it at School "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 3/12/2011

    " Rather dark. Tends to lag, but overall an engaging story of a man with great talents and even greater flaws and the havoc he wreaks on those around him. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maureen | 3/1/2011

    " A bit boring for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberly | 2/26/2011

    " Amazing book. I will definitely be reading this one twice! "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
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

Pamela Garelick was born in England. She acted in fringe theater there before coming to the United States, where she has worked as a voice-over artist in television and radio and as an audiobook narrator. Now living and working in Greece, she records, translates, and edits voice-overs from all over the world as well as narrating audiobooks in a small studio in her Mediterranean garden. She also paints silk clothing, bakes for the local cafés, and teaches newcomers the Greek language.