5.0 out of 5 stars great read
Another Thomas Hardy favorite. Story of a poor young woman and her life in 17th century Britain. Romance, loss and survival. A great glimpse into the past. Also a good movie by the same name starring Natasha Kinskey.
Published 8 months ago by Jackie Livedotte Ohlsen
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
Not finished yet. Love Hardy's style of writing. Wish Tess had more gumption. I guess the timid female was the style in old England
Published 1 month ago by Brenda J. Mcquade
Most Helpful First | Newest First
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Hardcover)Not finished yet. Love Hardy's style of writing. Wish Tess had more gumption. I guess the timid female was the style in old England
5.0 out of 5 stars great read,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for a Book Club,
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best,
5.0 out of 5 stars A book made how books should be,
This review is from: Penguin Classics Tess Of The D'ubervilles (Hardcover)This is a beautiful copy of an old classic, and at an unbeatable price. If you love the story of Tess and her tragic star-crossed life, and you love a good hardcopy that looks like it is from the same era that the story is set in, then this product is perfect!
2.0 out of 5 stars tiring at times,
Tess is enough to want to make you scream-enough of the self pity already!!!
the story is ok but the thousands of descriptive words are tedious and the walking that everyone is constantly doing will send you over the edge--if this is Thomas Hardy i don't care for more
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to read the classics, start with Tess,
Yes, I've studied classic literature, and it isn't the genre I am typically interested in. However, "Tess of the d'urbervilles" is the novel that has inspired me to give this genre another try. I found it to be incredibly moving; dismissing the idea that it was poorly written. I've found English literature too stifled by its own airs and graces, but this is not the case with Thomas Hardy. He paints a picture of great hope in a way that allows us to empathise (unlike some of his contemporaries) with the characters of a different era.
I recommend anyone who wants to start reading classic English literature to begin with "Tess of the d'urbervilles". You will find it an easily accessible read. It is beautiful, hopeful and tragic.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful,
The book is in fact slowly paced - so much so in the first couple of chapters that I was rebuffed the first time I started reading it. However, a little patience will grant you entry into the gorgeous spell Hardy invokes. Yes, it is a "victorian" novel, but the sublimity of the writing and of the plot's tragedy emancipates it from the staidness of the genre.
The upshot is that you shouldn't turn to this book if you want a fast paced thriller or "clever" writing. Read it if you want to cultivate your awareness of exceptional beauty; this book is for the cultured connoisseur, not needy readers.
5.0 out of 5 stars Somber rustic majesty,
The name Durbeyfield is a vulgarization of d'Urberville, a family with a rich history descended from Norman knights and wealthy landowners, but various misfortunes have reduced the lineage to the commoners who presently inhabit the impoverished Durbeyfield household. (We learn later in the novel that the Durbeyfields are not the only local family to have suffered this appellative fall from grace.) Although the d'Urberville nobility is defunct, in the near past an enterprising businessman named Stoke sought to increase the prestige of his own family by appropriating a distinguished name from the county annals, and d'Urberville is the one he chose. Thus when Tess, to aid her family's finances after an unfortunate accident deprives them of their income, takes a job tending the fowl at the nearby d'Urberville estate, she mistakenly believes she is working for her relations.
This ostensibly minor detail is really the basis of the irony which drives the novel. Had Mr. Stoke been honest and not assumed the name of the Durbeyfields' ancestors, Tess would not have been likely to meet the lecherous, skulking Alec d'Urberville, who rapes her after she rebuffs his attempted seduction and impregnates her with a baby that dies in infancy. Of course Hardy, evading the risk of censorship, is decorous enough to suggest in the subtlest manner possible that the rape happened rather than describe it explicitly, but Alec's immoral behavior is clearly implied.
Mortified, heartbroken, Tess then goes to work as a milkmaid at a dairy farm where she and a young man named Angel Clare, the heartthrob of several of the farm girls, fall in love. Angel has defied his father, a vicar, by spurning a career in the clergy for agriculture and marriage with a middle class girl for Tess. He scoffs at his parents' snobbery, but after marrying Tess, he reveals a disturbing hypocrisy when she confesses to him the vicious treatment she had received from Alec and its consequences. Angel's reaction is far from the gentle sympathy one would expect from the magnanimous personality he projects; he is disgusted that she has been robbed of her purity and draws a strange parallel between her violation and the fall of her family's ancestral prestige. He rejects her, they separate, and once again she is mortified, heartbroken, and looking for a job.
Tess is destined to rencounter both Angel and Alec before the end of the novel, and the changes to their characters not only advance the plot in unexpected ways but further emphasize Hardy's utilization of irony. The starkly contrasted images of the novel's penultimate scene at Stonehenge and the last scene, which takes place outside a prison where a black flag flies announcing an execution, raise the question of whether even Hardy knew when he started exactly how this somber story would end.
The novel contains several recurring Hardy elements. Like most of his major work, it takes place in the southwestern part of England he calls Wessex, this time in the fertile Blackmoor Vale, and his evocation of the scenery sets the stage beautifully. Tess's co-workers at the dairy farm are a realistically cheerful lot and provide the continuum of humanity that such a story needs as a reprieve for its tragic mood. An interesting touch which shows that Hardy is not above recycling his own motifs is the similarity between the death of the Durbeyfield horse (a definite foreshadowing for Tess) and the tumbling sheep in "Far from the Madding Crowd," in that both incidents cause their respective protagonists to take distant jobs with fateful results. The incentive to read Hardy lies in his ability to put language at the service of one of the greatest functions of literature: to express the deepest desires and emotions of mankind.
5.0 out of 5 stars boo hoo hoo....!,
While this work may not be to EVERYone's liking, it seems somewhat immature to complain about Hardy's verbosive style (what did you expect from a Victorian novel...MINIMALISM?) and lack of character development. Perhaps Hardy's approach utilizes a foreign paradigm which demands attention to nuance and...oh, never mind.
OK, so you didn't like it. But only ONE out of five stars? Puh-LEASE! Admit that you are out of your element - yes, even YOU mister English Lit major. For the record, I majored in English Lit - couldn't stand certain Jacobean poetry - but still relish my time with Mr Hardy.
My advice to you would be to find a good John Grisham novel and admire his economy of style. Enjoy!
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Penguin Classics Tess Of The D'ubervilles by Thomas Hardy (Hardcover - Oct. 26 2010)
CDN$ 23.00 CDN$ 16.79