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Extended Audio Sample The Return of the Native, 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 (11,719 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Hardy Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the barren moor of Egdon Heath, a wild tract of country in the southwest of England, one native yearns to escape to city life while another has just returned from that life, unimpressed.

Clym Yeobright, a former diamond merchant in Paris, returns home to become a schoolmaster in Egdon, where he falls passionately in love with the sensuous, free-spirited Eustacia Vye. Infatuated with his seeming glamour, she marries him in hopes of greater adventure—but when her hopes are disappointed, she rekindles an affair with Clym’s reckless cousin, Damon.   

Injured by forces beyond their control, Hardy’s characters struggle vainly in the net of destiny. In the end, only the face of the lonely heath remains untouched by fate. This masterpiece of tragic passion perfectly epitomizes the author’s melancholy genius.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is the quality Hardy shares with the great writers…This setting behind the small action the terrific action of unfathomed nature.”

    D. H. Lawrence

  • “Into the landscape he begins to weave human figures. They are very much alive; have faults and passions, virtues and vices, good luck and tragic mishaps…Hardy arrives at last at the end of his novel…having produced a most charming, original sketch of the lives of quiet people in one nook of England.”

    New York Times

  • The Return of the Native is the most artistically perfect of [Hardy’] novels to date...his style has gained in power and clarity.”

    Graphic (London), 1878

  • The Return of the Native is one of the most remarkable books of the last twenty years.”

    Vanity Fair, 1878

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Christine | 5/23/2011

    " My opinion of this book might be a case of bad timing. I may try it again sometime. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Chris | 5/12/2011

    " Read in prep school and all I remember is Clym Yeobright and Eustacia Vye and a
    pretty depressing tale. Tough to rate of course unless I read it again. Date read is a guess. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Melanie | 4/27/2011

    " I loved it, as I love most classics. Similar to most classic British novels, this book has a somewhat slow start. It does, however, redeem itself in later chapters. It was a spectacular read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Ange | 4/23/2011

    " Takes a long while to get into the story. I didn't care for the people in the story. Nor did I like the story. "

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