Far from the Madding Crowd invites tough comparisons to Thomas Hardy's classic novel -- and its previous adaptation -- but stands on its own thanks to strong direction and a talented cast.
Far From the Madding Crowd
The movie places the swoonier love story aspects of Far From the Madding Crowd in the forefront, but it also, more interestingly, surfaces its coming-of-age qualities. Alison Willmore. A film that is both highly controlled on the surface, and molten with lust underneath. Paul Byrnes. It's a classy and seductive example of the art of the intimate epic. Sandra Hall. Moviegoers often say, "Forget about the book, even if it's a 'classic. David Edelstein. A good, solid version of this novel, guided by Mulligan, is still an achievement.
Michael Phillips. Vinterberg's classical, pastoral aesthetic recalls the heyday of the Merchant Ivory films, without the corny sentimentality of their lesser imitators. Lindsey Bahr. Conventionality is almost surpassed by fine performances and some technical flair, yet the emphatically romance-driven conclusion is all the more disappointing alongside such winning translation of Hardy's rural verisimilitude. Rachel Brook. The cinematography from Charlotte Bruus Christensen is earthy and beautiful. Rachel Wagner. This is a beautiful and enchanting period drama, but lovers of the novel or film should prepare themselves for a Reader's Digest version of the plot.
Rachael Mead. Vinterberg's strength behind the camera is creating a lush and atmospheric look that serves the story well, thanks largely to his frequent collaborator Charlotte Bruus Christensen. Ruth Maramis. Troy's attractive free-spiritedness and the obvious connection she has with Oak, Mulligan, nails her every attribute with charm, humor, warmth and poignancy, fast cementing her reputation as one of the greatest actresses of her generation.
Paula Fleri-Soler. Vinterberg's adaptation may seem like Masterpiece Theater fodder, but he inflicts a socially resonant tone that quietly screams the determination of literature's best heroines. James Clay. Top Box Office. More Top Movies Trailers. Certified Fresh Picks. Castle Rock: Season 2. Fear the Walking Dead: Season 5. Into The Dark: Season 1. Robot: Season 4.
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Cancel Resend Email. Far From the Madding Crowd A diverse selection you might think. Yes indeed, diverse but with one key element in common. They all possess the correctly ordered group of elements required to send a class of teenagers into a coma. OK yes maybe that was a bit unfair. Not all teenagers, but certainly the clump of hormonally driven monsters that I shared my school years with anyway. A Winters Tale by Bill the Bard was my least favourite of all of these - frankly I thought it was a badly cobbled together parody, a poor imitation of his previous work.
Yes that was what I thought at thirteen. Far from the Madding Crowd was second least favourite because it was set in a time where a man was judged on the number of sheep he owned which basically just spelled D-U-L-L to my uncomprehending eyes.
However, looking at it now with the perception and clarity of an adult mind hahahaha I can see the merits of this text particularly some of its themes which are quite modern if you squint a bit and overlook the references to sheep and horse and carts. Bathsheba Everdene great name! While she thinks Gabriel is alright, he's not exactly romantic dynamite and his offer of marriage is rebuffed in the hope of better things. Nowadays she could have married him, serialised the wedding as part of a reality TV show and then divorced straight after while still up to her arse in the detritus of plundered wrapping and opened gift boxes.
But, this was days of yore so Bathsheba didn't have those kind of opportunities. Luckily for her in lieu of reality TV, a wealthy relative dies and she inherits a fortune. Gabriels fortunes on the other hand go rapidly down hill, or more to the point, over the edge of the hill. He unleashes a sheep dog with ADHD and it drives his flock over a cliff swap Dodos "doom on you scene" in Iceage the Movie for sheep to obtain correct comedy effect.
While luckless Gabriel ponders what to do with his sheep puree, Bathsheba acquires a few new admirers; the prosperous Boldwood and the dashing Troy. Boldwood is not really her cup of tea and the erroneous valentine was a big mistake - the 19th century equivalent of a drunken text message. Troy on the other hand has got the sort of allure possessed by Sean Bean in his Sharpe uniform and Bathsheba's head is turned by a spot of private sword play dirty girl!
From here on in it is a comedy of errors, spurned lovers, missing persons and during this time Bathsheba racks up a rapid turnover of husbands which would have earned a round of applause from Liz Taylor. In the end, patient sheep-doctor Gabriel wins out and gets the girl. Not baaaa-d Gabriel! View all 26 comments. Abstract: Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Each, in contrast The first of his works set in Wessex, Hardy's novel of swiftpassion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about relationships.
View all 6 comments. May 06, Susan's Reviews rated it it was amazing.
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
They say all good tropes have a literary ancestry. Bathsheba Everdene was a nowadays "badass" heroine who inherited her late uncle's farm and made it thrive, with the help of Gabriel Oak. Gabriel has always loved Bathsheba, but the strong-willed Bathsheba rejects his marriage proposal. Indeed, she rejects all potential suitors - until she is bedazzled by the handsome but secretly They say all good tropes have a literary ancestry.
Indeed, she rejects all potential suitors - until she is bedazzled by the handsome but secretly nefarious! After a whirlwind courtship, the two are married and Bathsheba begins to repent in leisure, as the saying goes, slowly realizing that Francis Troy is nowhere near half the man that Gabriel Oak is. Things go from bad to worse when Troy's former lover seeks him out see, love triangles existed even in literary fiction!
Troy is heartbroken by his former lover's death, disappears and is presumed dead. But Bathsheba is never short of a love triangle: her older neighbour, Mr. Boldwood, is also in love with her and pesters her to marry him as well. Poor girl can barely set foot out the door without someone harassing her to marry him! Suffice it to say that things do not end well with poor Mr. Boldwood's suit. It becomes a nail-biting melodrama at this point! Apr 02, Graham Herrli rated it did not like it. The only emotions that this book evoked for me were boredom and annoyance.
The boredom stemmed largely from its predictable plotline and its verbose narrative style and its utter failure to engage me intellectually, which may have made this verbosity pardonable. The annoyance stemmed from Hardy's method of creating the protagonist, Bathsheba. He repeatedly describes Bathsheba as being self-willed, confident, independent, and poised; but he only tells us this about her, while her actions demons The only emotions that this book evoked for me were boredom and annoyance.
He repeatedly describes Bathsheba as being self-willed, confident, independent, and poised; but he only tells us this about her, while her actions demonstrate a considerable lack of these characteristics. He has a habit of writing in sweeping generalizations about the nature of "women," often describing such nature in its supposed relation to Bathsheba.
Each time he tells us of her supposed independence, he does so with the implicit, and often explicit, assumption that what he is saying about her sets her apart from that which defines women in general, yet his negative stereotypes about women later manifest themselves in the actions which he gives to Bathsheba. Nov 13, Luffy rated it really liked it Shelves: superb-characterization , classic. For my O Level year, I had to make a choice. Either take English literature as my option, or take Hindi. I took the latter.
Now I'm in my late thirties. The mistake of passing over English Lit has been rectified, if only partly. I remember noticing my friends taking a hefty paperback tome to read their book assigned to them. How would I know that one day I'll be reading the book on a device that's so light, regardle For my O Level year, I had to make a choice.
How would I know that one day I'll be reading the book on a device that's so light, regardless of how long or chunky a book should be. I would lie if I said that I was connected as one with the book. Or that I understood every single word among its pages. Yet I have a feeling of satiety, of wholeness and accomplishment. Far From the Madding Crowd has a pastoral setting. The characters are immortal. The writing style is confident. Never shaky. The denouement of the plot is like a set of fast exchanges on a chess board.
How does Gabriel Oak fare? How strong is the love of the main female character - Bathsheba - for her first flame? The loose ends are tied. There's a happy ending. Most of the book points to one direction. The resolution is a twist in itself, confounding the previous indications. Though some chapters of the book are slow as hell, and the pacing grinds to a still-life halt, the sands of time make themselves felt.
You know that you are reading a Classic. This classic is indeed, a page turner, and a crowd pleaser, especially when compared to the author, Thomas Hardy's other books. I almost didn't read this book, the February selection for my real-life book club. It seemed rather dull and there's a huge stack of yummier-looking books calling my name, saying "Read ME next! And, I'm glad I read it. Even though Hardy's writing style took some getting used to. It's sort of wordy.
Okay, it's really wordy. Near the beginning, I almost didn't read this book, the February selection for my real-life book club. Near the beginning, there are two entire pages that could easily be summed up as: It was night. The stars were bright. Farmer Oak played his flute.
Even though bad things happen to lots of sheep and a dog. Even though Bathsheba Everdene, due to her wishy-washy dithering, is way, WAY up there on the list of characters I'd like to punch, sharing the company of Holden Caulfield and Adela Quested. Once again - glad I read it, but equally glad it's over.
I doubt I'll ever read it again. It didn't rock my world, but I didn't hate it. View all 9 comments. Far From the Madding Crowd has Thomas Hardy's trademark of romance, love, the pain that accompanies deep love and betrayal. At the same time it is laced with warmth and humor. What did I like in this book? The story of course but especially the protagonists.
The heroine above all, sensitive, courageous, emancipated, Bathsheba is a woman of rare beauty, who turns all men's heads. In my opinion, Thomas Hardy is one of the most endearing figures in literature. The male characters, though d Far From the Madding Crowd has Thomas Hardy's trademark of romance, love, the pain that accompanies deep love and betrayal. The male characters, though duller are not devoid of interest. It is clear that in addition to his talent as a writer Thomas Hardy is a fine psychologist who dissects the smallest character traits of his heroes and manages to make them endearing despite their shortcomings.
Far from the Madding Crowd is one of those rare books that mark a lifetime of readers so, let yourself be convinced, do not miss this masterpiece! I was inspired to read Thomas Hardy's Victorian novel after reading Roger Brunyate's excellent review. Published in for the first time as a novel, it depicted the social upheaval resulting from the changes in rural life in the industrial era. Customs and traditions disintegrated, and with that the security, stability and dignity it brought for the inhabitants. It was a period in which religious, political, scientific, and social values entered the age of modernism.
Thomas Hardy used the weather as character in the plot, and added Fate as the driving force behind the events. Man was not in control of his own destiny, and women acted as Fate's power over men.
But Fate was also nestled in the weather. Well, that's how I saw it. Three men's fate changed when they met the beautiful, unconventional, independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene. She became a farmer on the largest estate in Weatherbury note the name and drew three very different suitors into her parlor - like the spider and the flies. The mating rituals disrupted the community and lead to tragedy. Everdene made inroads upon the emotional constitution of all three men, and that's mildly stated :- The story line is as strong as the plot, and above all, the author's philosophical view points is shared with the reader about the devastating effect of the industrial revolution on agriculture and the lives of everyone involved.
The fundamental beliefs were shaken to their core. The novel raises the moral question of what is a good life and what is the reward.
The story was so atmospheric, like most Victorian novels, but had the surprising for me addition of sexuality as an condiment to a social salad. Done tastefully and very dignified, I must add. It is perhaps the reason why I so enjoyed it. One cannot be unaware of Hardy's sense of the unity of man with nature: the eternal hills of his Wessex, the sounds of wind and weather, the ever-circling constellations, the light at different times of day and different seasons, the growth of vegetation, and the behavior of living creatures.
His characters convey a general feeling of being a part of the universe; his narrative captures its rhythms. Far from the madding crowd, he seems to say, man comes into his own. Thomas Hardy though, had a unique way of blending a social and historical background with his personal philosophy, without being fanatical or overpowering, and created characters that would forever stand out from the crowd.
A brilliant novel which withstood the test of time. View all 22 comments. Nov 11, Alok Mishra rated it it was amazing. I don't yet understand why Hary is put in the box of pessimists when he has always been a 'lover' who never wishes to lose the 'love'. Far from the Madding Crowd was prescribed in our syllabus for graduation and I enjoyed the book, no doubt.
Hardy is a little detailed author, of course, but there is joy in reading the way he gives the details - whether be it of the Oak's smile or Bathsheba's misfortune or Oak's loyalty in love Hardy is a classic - a classic in true sense! Jun 22, Alex rated it it was amazing Shelves: novel-a-biography , , rth-lifetime. Thomas Hardy writes often about women, with a sympathy that looks a little like contempt. In Far From the Madding Crowd he lays out the options available to Bathsheba Everdene yes, Katniss is named after her : Frank Troy is the dashing adventurer, charming and dissipated.
He ensnares her in a ferny grove, showing off his swordplay. Boldwood is the older, stolid man, a rural Casaubon, representing security and the abdic Thomas Hardy writes often about women, with a sympathy that looks a little like contempt.
Boldwood is the older, stolid man, a rural Casaubon, representing security and the abdication of passion. And right in between them is Gabriel Oak, "only an every-day sort of man," the Goldilocks middle. But Bathsheba doesn't seem well-suited to any of them; even Oak doesn't really attract her. So the question isn't just which man will Bathsheba choose, but why should she choose anyone at all?
It's all serious business, of course, but people forget that Hardy can be funny. He throws out phrases like "rather deathy," and there are cracks like this: "There is no regular path for getting out of love as there is for getting in. He's second to none in describing nature. He can set a scene like no one else. Here he describes the countryside in an impending storm: The moon The fields were sallow with impure light, and all were tinged with monochrome, as if beheld through stained glass.
And the scenes he sets in these vivid landscapes are infinitely memorable, too. His books always contain a few gloriously melodramatic setpieces: the audacious climax of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, the "too menny" of Jude the Obscure. Here, in addition to the sexy swordplay with Troy, there's a decisive midnight lightning storm, and the long walk of Fanny Robin. This is one of the two reasons I love Hardy: in each book, I know I'll get a few scenes I'll never forget. The other is the schadenfreude.
His books would get glummer as he grew, culminating in the misery porn of Jude the Obscure; Madding Crowd is by comparison light reading. But he's still going to trample your heart. Earlier authors like Dickens and even Eliot wrote books where every plot development followed inevitably from the actions of their characters. But for Hardy, again and again, despite the best intentions and noblest natures of his characters, fate throws a wrench in. This Murphy's Law is one of the reasons Hardy seems like such a pessimist. The other is that everybody dies miserable and alone. The action in Madding Crowd is kicked off by the chance destruction of most of Oak's sheep discovered in a bloody heap at the base of a cliff, in another of Hardy's vivid images.
Boldwood's storyline begins with a nonchalant prank. Which, btw, I didn't really buy; that's a rare case where Hardy's plot manipulation shows. So vicissitudes prey on our characters; fate slaps them around. I mean, compared to Hardy's later work it's ecstatic - only some people die miserable and alone! View all 5 comments. The others were Tess of the Durbervilles and Jude the Obscure. However, this novel had a few laughs and a conventionally happy ending, so even though it also has its fair share of madness, depression, despair and death, I was content to say that I liked it.
But for whatever reason, I now respond emotionally and not just intellectually to their elements of Greek and Shakespearean tragedy. I particularly love the painterly way in which Hardy describes the location of his novels: the geography, the nature, the architecture — all are rendered in colour, light and shade. And so to Far from the Madding Crowd. That reputation is, I think, undeserved. The narrative is straightforward enough.
The heroine, Bathsheba Everdene, is courted by three very different men: the steady, reliable and aptly named Gabriel Oak, the repressed and stalkerish William Boldwood and the dashing Bad Boy, Frank Troy. In dealing with these three relationships, Hardy explores themes including the relationship between chance and moral responsibility and the inherent danger of romantic love. The three central characters are supplemented by a chorus of farmworkers and the tragic Fanny Robin, whose fate is central to the plot.
Bathsheba Everdene is no exception. Early on this time around, my reaction to her was similar to my reaction to the character played by Andie MacDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral. However, Bathsheba won me over, up to a point anyway. I listened to an audiobook edition narrated by English actor Jamie Parker.
He does an excellent job, including with the female voices. This is no mean feat for a male narrator. All in all, this was a worthwhile literary experience. My year-old self feels validated. With how long this has been sitting on my currently reading shelf a little over 4 months, I do believe I'm sure you all were expecting me to come back with a scathing review.
But it's quite the contrary - I'm happy to report that this was wonderful. It's just that I was in the mood to read this and then I wasn't and then I was again, and that's that mystery solved. This was my first Thomas Hardy, and I chose it because I'd already seen the Carey Mulligan film and fell very much in love with th With how long this has been sitting on my currently reading shelf a little over 4 months, I do believe I'm sure you all were expecting me to come back with a scathing review. This was my first Thomas Hardy, and I chose it because I'd already seen the Carey Mulligan film and fell very much in love with the elaborate soap opera that is Bathsheba Everdene's life.
Sorry if this is slanderous, but the frankly elaborate ways in which she and Oak are pushed together and pulled apart throughout this book are something straight out of EastEnders, and it was delightful. But even though I already knew the story, I enjoyed watching it all unfold again. I also found Bathsheba to be one of the most complex heroines from any classic novel I've read, and her thoroughly compelling journey for peace and love as she came to better understand herself was just a constant source of joy to read.
It goes without saying that this male-authored work from is not a Feminist Novel, but the sheer compassion with which Bathsheba's character arc is crafted was something of a surprise to me, in a good way. I certainly wasn't expecting lines like this: "It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs. But since a woman can't show off in that way by herself, I shan't marry — at least yet. I occasionally found Hardy's writing a bit overwrought, but the dialogue was lively and the pastoral setting was brought to life spectacularly.
Despite the fact that this is a book filled with vibrant characters and dramatic plot twists, it's ultimately rather slow-paced, so I don't really regret the excessively languid pace at which I read it. View all 4 comments. This is my first read of Thomas Hardy and what a reward it was. Simply brilliant! I'm absolutely in love with his style of writing: the poetic language and phrasing and his sense in detail to description. What a power of observation Hardy had possessed? Whether it is to human emotions, human psychology, the rural set up of the story, the structures, fixtures, weather or anything, his eye for observance and accuracy in detail throughout the book was simply amazing.
With reference to characters, I This is my first read of Thomas Hardy and what a reward it was. With reference to characters, I loved Gabriel Oak the most. His steadfastness, his strength and courage, his honesty and loyalty and above all his unconditional love towards Bathsheba bounded me deep to him. As to Bathsheba, I liked her too.
She was strong-willed and independent and her life circumstances have made her guarded. Her pride is not injurious but it is rather a cloak of protection she uses. But young as she is, she is not free of fault; her impetuous nature and a little insensitivity for others feelings can be accounted for in that light. The only fault that I could allude was her failure to understand her own heart! However with all her wild ways and her recklessness at times, her strength and courage to undergo so many heartaches was admirable.
I have always loved such courageous female protagonists and Bathsheba is definitely a one. Rest of the characters were appropriately chosen and placed. I liked Mr. His obsession with Bathsheba and his conduct added a little humor to the story. And as customary in any story, there is a villain and he is none other than sergeant Troy.
He was so well portrayed by Hardy, for I killed him numerous times before it was actually done by Boldwood. Overall, it was a beautiful story, wonderfully written. I enjoyed it so much and was loath to see it ended. Another brilliant masterpiece I read back to back. Definitely one of my favourite classics of the year so far! This novel centres around a female character name Bathsheba Everdene and the events that befall her as she tries to make her way in the world. When she takes ownership of a family farm she is quickly picked out by many men in the village and soon has a fair few marriage proposals.
She must make up her mind as to who she is and what she plans on doing. Once she has made her choice she must make her bed and lie in it! I found this to be su Definitely one of my favourite classics of the year so far! I found this to be such an enjoyable read - I really love books set in this time period, I find the characters and the decisions they make to be rather amusing!
My favourite character by far was Gabriel Oak - what a top bloke! I would highly recommend this one to all! Dec 19, Ted rated it really liked it Shelves: lit-british , beach-fun-fiction , re-read , classics. Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife, Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray; Along the cool sequester'd vale of life They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. Thomas Gray, Elegy written in a Country Churchyard - Hopefully by the end of the review, the reader will have an idea of how Hardy was inspired by these lines.
Let's look at a discourse in chapter XXII of this book short chapters, the words are on page in which Hardy is talking about the rather staid subject of th Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife, Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray; Along the cool sequester'd vale of life They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. Let's look at a discourse in chapter XXII of this book short chapters, the words are on page in which Hardy is talking about the rather staid subject of the chapter, that being "The Great Barn and the Sheep Shearers".
Actually, that chapter title is itself the sort of writing I loved about this book. How can a novel have a chapter title like that, unless it tells about a conflagration, or a violent gang called the sheep shearers … something like that. But this is a gentle story. It's gentle like the Wessex countryside that it's set in more on Wessex later.
But first, to diverge down a side-track or three you'll likely gain very little by reading this view spoiler [ … The edition pictured with this review was thought by the reviewer to be the one he read a few years ago. So when he determined to enlarge his review — that is, make it sort of a review instead of a non-review - he went looking for the Penguin book. He delved into the bottom of his world the basement looking for that Penguin, but found a quite different species on the shelf holding a few books by Hardy. And upon looking very carefully for the marks were light, and few he realized that this different species really was the one that had brought the story to him.
He had thought that he could quickly select a couple passages that had amused him, from those he had surely underlined, commented upon, made squiggles and stars and!!!! But no. Due to the actual paucity of markings, he felt fortunate to even find those few in the chapter mentioned.
It contains a Preface written by Hardy himself "T. One could say about this barn, what could hardly be said of either the church or the castle, akin to it in age and style, that the purpose which had dictated its original erection was the same with that to which it was still applied.
Unlike and superior to either of those two typical remnants of medievalism, the old barn embodied practices which had suffered no mutilation at the hands of time. Reddick illustrated more than 50 books during his career, including 18 volumes of Thomas Hardy works.
He was a founder of the Spike Island art space in Bristol, a hub for contemporary art and design which showcases new and established artists. Reddick was a chairman of the studio until and he died in This stunning new Folio Society edition is part of our Wessex novels collection. New Fiction. Classic Fiction. Classical Texts. Historical Fiction. Modern Fiction. Science Fiction. War in Fiction. Other Publishers. Featured Titles. A Game of Thrones. Illustrated by Jonathan Burton.
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