19 Answers

  • I love Thomas Hardy so it’s hard to decide. There’s something about “The Mayor of Casterbridge,” though. A man remakes his life after committing a thoughtless act in his youth and history comes back to haunt him. So sad.

    • For some reason, ‘Jude the Obscure’ always resonates with me. ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ is also incredibly poignant and heart-wrenching. I also enjoyed ‘Return of the Native’.

    • The Mayor of Casterbridge but I can’t remember why. It was many years ago but I remember being left with a feeling that I had just read something beautiful and amazing.

  • Jude the Obscure is my favorite Hardy novel. In fact, it’s almost time for a re-read. Something about Jude’s striving is poignant and rings true to me. I love this book.

    • I read it about a year ago. It was good, but it doesn’t live up to Tess, Return of the Native or Mayor of Casterbridge in my opinion. But ‘ A Laodicean’ and ‘The Woodlanders’ don’t get nearly enough love in my opinion

  • I like The Mayor Of Casterbridge – it’s as tragic as Tess or Jude, but less bleak, which paradoxically makes the sense of tragedy cut all the deeper. I may be revealing a worrying lack of empathy here, but I have to admit that I end up losing sympathy for Jude, as his story is such a relentless trudge that I just lose my ability to care.

    • Agree about Jude being a slog. Probably would go with either Tess or Far From the Madding Crowd. But now I want to read The Mayor of Casterbridge

  • I adore Far from the Madding Crowd but there’s something about Tess that breaks my heart every time.

  • Right now it’s a toss up between Jude the Obscure and Far From the Madding Crowd. I need to read them again.

  • Tess of the Dubervilles was a reread for me. Enjoyed it but found it one of the most depressing books I have read since “A Thousand Splendid Suns”. However, I think Hardy is a product of his times which makes “Tess” remind me of Sister Carrie.

  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles is such a powerful and passionate book, I threw it across the room and cried the first time I read it – it just wasn’t fair. She was a good, pure woman whose life was ruined by the impurities and perversions of the people around her. But then again, that’s the point of most of his novels

  • Madding Crowd or Tess… or Jude… or Native… or Mayor…or…. 🙂

  • I took a class solely on Thomas Hardy in college. My favorites (in no particular order) were The Return of the Native, Far From the Madding Crowd, Jude the Obscure, and Tess of the D’Urbervilles. As for why: all four of these have good characters with engaging plots.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *