Thomas Hardy - which is your favourite novel?

(52 Posts)
MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Thu 21-Feb-13 15:31:20

Just that, really. I'm aiming to re-read them all over the next year or so, can't decide which I love best, possibly The Woodlanders or Far From The Madding Crowd.

moonshine Thu 28-Feb-13 19:14:08

Love Far from the Madding Crowd (and loved the Julie Christie film). Always really loved 'The Withered Arm' - it's the only short story of his which I remember now.

Sometimesiwonder Thu 28-Feb-13 19:18:45

Love al of these, but for a real tearjerker you need The Trumpet Major. Made me sob out loud and I'm normally a hard hearted sort.....

drjohnsonscat Thu 28-Feb-13 21:31:13

Jude. When I got to that bit I thought I had misread it and had to go back and read it again. Just didn't think you could write that sort of thing in books.

Also love a lot of the poems - The Voice is a lovely one.

Campaspe Fri 01-Mar-13 18:56:21

Drjohn - yes, his poems are amazing. I love The Five Students. Such a good metaphor for life in general really.

41notTrendy Fri 01-Mar-13 19:00:08

I recently re-read and enjoyed the Mayor of Casterbridge. Tess is on my list to re-read and FFMC. I once read Two on a tower which I remember loving but that was as a deep teenager. It may not be as good as I remember!

elly67jo Wed 06-Mar-13 21:29:43

I love Thomas Hardy. FFTMC is my favourite but also thought Jude was incredible.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Sat 09-Mar-13 11:12:07

So, have done lots of housework this morning, just about to make a brew and sit down to start Two on a Tower as my reward!

Anyone else reading a Thomas Hardy at the moment?

Linda: I've bought the Tomalin biography, will start it very soon - thank you for the recommendation smile

Teahouse Sat 09-Mar-13 11:15:25

Read lots of Hardy in my late teens and apart from the absolute basics have forgotten almost everything about them. But last weekend picked up 5 at a charity shop for £4.50...total bargain and intend to re-read them after a more than 30 yea gap.

Reading Return of the Native and love it.

Andcake Sat 09-Mar-13 11:21:32

Intellectually Torn between Jude and Tess but in reality if I had to choose the one I love 'return of the native' just for the fabulous description chapters of the main characters. The teenage me just wanted to be the moody petulant mysterious eustacia vye roaming a Heath. Sigh just had to google the 'queen of the night' cheaper and re read it ahh.

threestars Sat 09-Mar-13 18:49:51

Oh I loved Two on a Tower. I also really enjoyed his short stories. For A level we studied The Withered Arm and other stories and I loved reading and rereading and rereading for revision.
Hmm, think I might just pop over to a book website and order it...

CremeEggThief Sat 09-Mar-13 18:54:43

"Tess". Closely followed by "The Mayor of Casterbridge".

ggirl Sat 09-Mar-13 19:07:26

God haven't read a Hardy novel since my twenties , definitely Tess and Jude were my favourites.
Must reread them.

gutrot41 Mon 11-Mar-13 17:09:37

Far from the Madding Crowd is just a stunning piece of work! Oh to be able to write like that. I studied it as part of my OU degree. Loved it so much I have recently finished Jude the Obscure, what a sad sad novel.
happy reading!!!!

cornypony Mon 11-Mar-13 17:10:41

read MOC at school - may try to read it again. Reading books at school always put me off them!
Love Tess.

knackeredmutha Mon 11-Mar-13 19:52:27

We've just done Tess for last book club book, most of us loved it. I read it at school but enjoyed it so much more with a bit of life experience behind me. Jude gave me nightmares. Think my fave is Mayor of Casterbridge, though.

EmpressMaud Tue 12-Mar-13 11:41:25

Tess and Jude the Obscure, a Pair of Blue Eyes and The Woodlanders, then Return of the Native.

The first I ever read (in my teens) was The Trumpet Major. I book I've liked least has been Hand of Ethelberta.

Wallison Tue 12-Mar-13 11:47:07

The Return of the Native. Eustacia Vye is just one of the best characters in literature ever. "I have made a bad bargain with life and I am weary of it" - great stuff.

Jude is just too much for me though - the misery is fucking relentless and Sue Bridehead has to be the most annoying woman ever created - vapid, shallow and obsessed with herself.

Longtime Tue 12-Mar-13 12:33:16

I only ever read Tess and Jude and found them both so depressing so didn't read anymore of his novels. As a lot of you seem to like these best I don't think they are for me.

craftycottontail Tue 12-Mar-13 13:10:58

Tess is my favourite, I read it the summer before 6th form in preparation for studying it. My stridently feminist English teacher ripped it apart with us over the next year but it didn't stop me adoring it!

Sapeke Tue 12-Mar-13 13:46:47

I read Tess aged 18 and loved it so much I didn't want it to end, and it turned out to have one of the worst endings of any book I've ever read. I think if I read it again now (25 years and marriage and kids later) I would want to get stridently feminist with it. I just recently finished Return of the Native, which I wanted to read ever since I saw the film but I'd always struggled to finish the opening chapter. I recommend it, but if you're a bit busy replace chapter one with "Egdon Heath, getting dark" and you're off!

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Tue 12-Mar-13 18:44:06

Sapeke - that really made me laugh! Sometimes I just read the first chapter for the lovely description! Brilliant synopsis, though!

Jude. "done because we are too menny" sad. The saddest moment in English literature. Fact.

thewhistler Thu 21-Mar-13 22:48:40

Wallison, with you in both counts.

I love the beginning of TROR but come from moorland. Do love your descriptive though, Sapeke.

I would find we are too menny even more heart rending if there had not been so many awfulnesses before.

Have to admit I feel Angel Clare should marry Sue as they deserve each other. Hardy does a good line in people I want to slap.

Greenshootsandleeves Thu 21-Mar-13 22:50:07

The Return Of The Native, definitely

TheChaoGoesMu Thu 21-Mar-13 22:52:13

Tess first, Jude second.

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