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Topic: Jude the Obscure

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Subject: Jude the Obscure
Date Posted: 11/26/2008 4:13 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
Posts: 702
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I recently read this Thomas Hardy classic and really enjoyed it, although it gets somewhat depressing near the end.  Sue Brideshead goes down in my list of unlikable female characters such as Anna Karenina.  Anyone else read this recently?

Date Posted: 11/26/2008 7:58 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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I read it a year ago for school and hated it.  We also read Tess, which I thought was ok, but I guess I'm not a Hardy fan.  I thought Jude was depressing and pointless, the main characters were the cause of half their miseries, but they just wallowed in them instead of doing something about it.  Which I guess is meant to show the futility of human struggle, maybe, but I thought it was just bollocks.

Date Posted: 11/26/2008 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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I haven't read Jude the Obscure but the Hardy novels I have read did tend to get depressing at the end. I still like him though :-)

The best Thomas Hardy novel I listened to was Return of the Native. It was narrated by Alan Rickman. He is a fantastic reader!

Date Posted: 11/26/2008 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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I have to admit that Tess of the D'Urbervilles and The Return of the Native were anything but cheerful books, but, before you all write Thomas Hardy off altogether, maybe you ought to read Far from the Madding Crowd and see what you think of his heroine Bathsheba Everdene.  I stil find Hardy well worthwhile reading, and have plans to read two more of his works, at least.

Date Posted: 11/27/2008 12:48 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 576
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I read this book back when I was in high school. I really liked it! :) but I don't remember a whole lot about it now...I guess I should re-read it. I do remember it being depressing. but I kinda like depressing books that make you think. And I loved loved loved Tess (which I read prior to Jude).

I think Hardy you either love or you hate. at least in my experience. He is def an aquired taste!

Date Posted: 12/3/2008 1:43 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2005
Posts: 810
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I haven't read Jude the Obscure, but  really liked Tess of the D'urbervilles and The Mayor of Castorbridge, even though they are very depressing. I think I like them because Hardy seems to be tryng to champion the rights of the downtrodden by showing their struggles and how miserable their lives can be.

Date Posted: 12/4/2008 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Just received this in a newsletter:

Thomas Hardy's classic Tess of the D'Urbervilles will air in a two-part series as a PBS Masterpiece™ Classic on January 4th and 11th.  Starring Gemma Arterton, Ruth Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Donald Sumpter and Hans Matheson; directed by David Blair; and hosted by Laura Linney, it boasts, in the words of The Mirror (UK), "Terrific-Well-paced, gorgeous photography and scenery, cracking performances." 
 
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas HardyThe chance discovery by a young peasant woman that she is a descendant of the noble family of d'Urbervilles is to change the course of her life. Tess Durbeyfield leaves home on the first of her fateful journeys, and meets the ruthless Alec d'Urberville. Thomas Hardy's impassioned story tells of hope and disappointment, rejection and enduring love.

I plan to watch it, I've enjoyed many PBS Masterpiece shows.



Last Edited on: 12/4/08 8:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/4/2008 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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Is this a new adaptation?

Date Posted: 12/5/2008 12:12 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 576
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OMG I'm so there! Thanks for sharing :)

Date Posted: 12/5/2008 8:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Good question Vanessa. I assumed it was and it is. There is not much info on the PBS website yet but here is a link introducing Laura Linney as the new host: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/classic/host.html

They are also doing Wuthering Heights and a new Charles Dickens! Maybe we could work one of these into a group read :-)

I loved Tess. I almost want to re-read it before I watch.