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5.0 von 5 Sternen I'm from India:
I remember having read this book in high school. I immediately fell in love with Hardy. (I was also fond of Hardy Boys at that time, so in my opinion the name Hardy acquired a special significance.) Unfortunately, though, I never liked another book by him quite so much. I've read Tess of the d'Urbvilles, Under the Greenwood Tree, Far from the Madding Crowd(which was...
Veröffentlicht am 12. Februar 1999 von M. Bachan

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1.0 von 5 Sternen The Mayor of Casterbridge - Men without characters
"The Story of a Man of Character" as described by Thomas Hardy is somewhat flaccidly applied to this novel. In fact, a better description of this novel comes from a colleague of mine, Professor Neale Scott of the Baltimore University, who remarked "I realise now I had mistaken the dullness of Henchard's character for the dullness of the whole...
Veröffentlicht am 27. Januar 2000 von Dr J. Evans Pritchard


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1.0 von 5 Sternen The Mayor of Casterbridge - Men without characters, 27. Januar 2000
"The Story of a Man of Character" as described by Thomas Hardy is somewhat flaccidly applied to this novel. In fact, a better description of this novel comes from a colleague of mine, Professor Neale Scott of the Baltimore University, who remarked "I realise now I had mistaken the dullness of Henchard's character for the dullness of the whole novel.". Ultimately, Prof. Scott is quite accurate in his assessment of the text. The characters bumble around, waiting for circumstance to attach itself to their groins, and do very little of plausible importance at all. Henchard himself is, without doubt, one of the most irritating characters to be placed in 'classic' fiction, and one can't help but wish that the death of our tragic hero had happened an awful lot sooner, such as before the novel started. The character of Elizabeth-Jane, wonderfully parodied by Helli Kitchin, of the Moscow State University, is so blase towards her constantly changing parenthood that it completely ruins any sense of empathy that the audience may have for her. The least convincing Scotsman ever can also be found in this text, in the form of Donald Farfrae, and I am inclined to agree with Dr Daniel Greenfeld, whose thesis, "Hardy makes the heart grow colder", points out that the author would not know a Scotsman if one jumped up and bit him, a way that most of us admittedly meet them. To sum up - I discourage my students from reading this shambolic text. Avoid this novel like the plague - it is so soggy, you couldn't even burn it to stay warm. Attempt, perhaps, to read something a little more plausible with something other that a praetorian wanderer and an intransigent hay-trusser to tantalise the imagination, something that the author was obviously lacking - Wessex indeed.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen The Mayor of Casterbridge - Men without characters, 27. Januar 2000
"The Story of a Man of Character" as described by Thomas Hardy is somewhat flaccidly applied to this novel. In fact, a better description of this novel comes from a colleague of mine, Professor Neale Scott of the Baltimore University, who remarked "I realise now I had mistaken the dullness of Henchard's character for the dullness of the whole novel.". Ultimately, Prof. Scott is quite accurate in his assessment of the text. The characters bumble around, waiting for circumstance to attach itself to their groins, and do very little of plausible importance at all. Henchard himself is, without doubt, one of the most irritating characters to be placed in 'classic' fiction, and one can't help but wish that the death of our tragic hero had happened an awful lot sooner, such as before the novel started. The character of Elizabeth-Jane, wonderfully parodied by Helli Kitchin, of the Moscow State University, is so blase towards her constantly changing parenthood that it completely ruins any sense of empathy that the audience may have for her. The least convincing Scotsman ever can also be found in this text, in the form of Donald Farfrae, and I am inclined to agree with Dr Daniel Greenfeld, whose thesis, "Hardy makes the heart grow colder", points out that the author would not know a Scotsman if one jumped up and bit him, a way that most of us admittedly meet them. To sum up - I discourage my students from reading this shambolic text. Avoid this novel like the plague - it is so soggy, you couldn't even burn it to stay warm. Attempt, perhaps, to read something a little more plausible with something other that a praetorian wanderer and an intransigent hay-trusser to tantalise the imagination, something that the author was obviously lacking - Wessex indeed.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen I'm from India:, 12. Februar 1999
Von 
M. Bachan (Ames, U.S.A.) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Mayor of Casterbridge (Wordsworth Collection) (Wordsworth Collection) (Taschenbuch)
I remember having read this book in high school. I immediately fell in love with Hardy. (I was also fond of Hardy Boys at that time, so in my opinion the name Hardy acquired a special significance.) Unfortunately, though, I never liked another book by him quite so much. I've read Tess of the d'Urbvilles, Under the Greenwood Tree, Far from the Madding Crowd(which was perhaps his second best novel, as others here have affirmed), and perhaps a few others. It is strange, or perhaps significant that I remember the exact circumstance when I was reading this book. It must have been about ten in the night. I had cleared my study desk, and unlike my common practice of lying on my stomach on my bed to enjoy a book into the night, I sat down on the straight-backed chair at the desk to read it. Very soon, I was overwhelmed by the narrative of Mr. Hardy. My father came in to see what I was up to, saw the tears streaming down my face as I turned the pages of my book, and quietly went away. I have never before owned any story books- my parents told me to read out of libraries. But now I am 22, and have started earning some money of my own, and I'm going to start a little collection of my most beloved books, to pass on to my children, perhaps? And this is among my very best.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A powerful tragedy, 8. September 1999
Von Ein Kunde
The notes on the back of my copy of this book describe it as a "Sophoclean" tragedy. This is a very apt description. Like the plays of Sophocles, Hardy's novel proceeds directly from one mistake and misunderstanding to the next with very little padding in between. As a result, the plot can seem unlikely (as several below have commented). It's sad, however, if people reject it for that reason.
This novel contains one of the more fascinating characters in literature. Michael Henchard is a man of the "old school" who conducts business on a hand shake and who constantly acts and reacts to the visible world. Despite this, he is often aware of his mistakes after the fact, yet is unable to use this knowledge to avoid future pitfalls.
He's contrasted brilliantly with Donald Farfrae, who is a "new man" who trusts in the future. Ironically (and I suspect intentionally) Hardy make Farfrae seem a far shallower man than Henchard. Yet, the "new man" ends up on top.
The end of this novel is one of the bitterest in all of literature. Henchard's will being an almost total negation of his existance. What could be more tragic than that for a flawed, but essentially good man?
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A classic read, 27. Mai 2000
Von Ein Kunde
A question about the source of human tragedy lies at the heart of The Mayor of Casterbridge. Characters frequently mention fate and providence as causes for tragedy (and joy), but Hardy offers more subtle and complex explanations for individual tragedy. At times, Hardy seems to indicate that circumstance and timing play a more important role than Providence in shaping the course of human destiny. Can people survive without the aid of luck or providence by pure force of will? Henchard (the Mayor) is a man whose loneliness, egoism, and pride cause him to make bad decisions. His faulty judgement certainly do not help him in his quest for fulfillment, either. Hardy's depiction of an ultimately unknowable universe is achieved partly through his characters' false assignment of meaning to meaningless incidents. Fate, human will, and faulty perceptions are central issues in much of Hardy's writing. Though not as moving and intense as Hardy's masterpiece Tess of the d'Urbervilles, The Mayor is not to be missed. Hardy's complex rendering of Henchard's multi-faceted personality is remarkable. In addition, The Norton Critical Addition provides excellent commentary and background information from noteworthy critics.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen I liked this book., 16. Juli 2000
Von 
J. Peterson "jenpeterson" (United States) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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At first, I was a little confused as to how Hardy could stretch what seemed to be a simple plot into such a long novel--especially because the story in blurb on the back cover happened within the first 50 pages. But the story is more than the blurb on the back cover. It is about betrayal, last wishes, the "evils" of drink, and how one mistake can affect you 21 years down the road. Hardy's fatalistic view, seen through Henchard, is, at times, enough to drive the reader crazy.
Like many of the other reviewers here, I cried throughout the book. There are constant turns in the story line that at times uplift your soul, and then crash it into the depths of depression. This book is not an easy read though. There are sections that you will struggle to get through because it is dry, but then there are others that will keep you up at night rushing to finish.
I liked this book slightly less than I liked _Tess_, but it was _Tess_ that made me buy this book. Enjoy!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Classic Tragedy, 16. Juni 2000
Von 
Susan S. Platt (Long Beach, CA USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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This is truly a classic tragedy, and perhaps Hardy's very best. The opening is one of the most memorable I've ever read; Michael Henchard gets drunk and auctions off his family. The tale spins off from there, boldly and without restraint. Though Hardy is a pessimist, he knows how to craft a story of unforgettable characters inspired by all sorts of passions- some taking whatever they can find for themselves, and some giving generously and unconditionally. Wait until you meet and get to know Elizabeth; she is a beautiful human being! I always learn so much from Hardy. I'm grateful that he wrote the novels he did before turning exclusively to poetry. This one in particular is so well done that I don't know how anyone can fail to be impacted and changed by it.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A truly tragic novel, 18. Dezember 1999
I began reading The Mayor of Casterbridge as an ISP (Independant Study Project) novel, as it was reccommended to me by my English teacher. At first, I found the book to be unbearably boring, but beautifully written. The language is something to be admired. But I soon became absorbed in the story, and I have to say it was one of the most compelling ones I've ever read. I might just say it's the best book I ever have read. And it's sad. I'm a 16 year old guy, and I cried at the end. I don't want to sound prissy, but it's true. And you will cry too, I'm sure. If there is one thing I can say to you, it's this: read The Mayor of Casterbridge. It would be a great injustice to one of the most profound stories of our time.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Classic Work, 25. Januar 2000
The story twists and turns and Hardy takes the reader on a journey exploring the hopes and shattered dreams of the book's central characters.
This is a masterpiece.
I, like many reviewers above, had to study this text aged 16 for school exams. At the time, I remeber thinking that the long winded descriptions of the countryside irritated me. Perhaps now, aged 28, I would appreciate this book more. I feel that those who criticise it are entitled to do so - but the criticisms (if genuine) ought to be more constructive than those above - which are just bitter and inmature!
As a story, this is first class and a must. Read it and savour it.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Mayor of Casterbridge--a masterpiece, 8. April 1998
Von Ein Kunde
In this book, Thomas Hardy manages to cut deep into the human soul, and uncover to us a part of our makeup that though inacceptable in some cases, yet, very real. He talks of man's selfishness and desires. He presents his theory, which states that man's destiny is no more than the product of his character and fate. In the wake of the industrial and intellectual revolutions, he gives us an idea of what man's guidelines would become. It such a wondeful novel, that is full of insight and wisdom. (check the death scene, page 123; it might be as well, the most elegant description of a human being passing away!)
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