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Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Tess of the d'Urbervilles [Kindle Edition]

Thomas Hardy
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)

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Product Description


""Audie Award winner Simon Vance's reading is straightforward, well paced, and clear."" ---Library Journal Audio Review

Book Description

OCR-endorsed edition of this popular classic text, for use with the new OCR English GCE specifications

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 520 KB
  • Print Length: 411 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1619492725
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Public Domain Books (1 Feb 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000JML1LQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #166,243 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a novel so saturated with emotion it is almost too much just to read it. The plot revolves around the eponymous heroine, Tess Durbeyfield, a young and innocent girl who plunges headfirst into adulthood by giving birth to an illegitimate child. Tess is immediately condemned by a cruel society and her unavoidable fate is dragged out in heart wrenching detail by Hardy. What is most interesting about the novel is the author's obvious love for his character, and it is fascinating to imagine Hardy wishing for a happy ending just like the reader, yet at the same time knowing that he is unable to help Tess, his own creation. Everyone should read this novel, it has romance, murder, tragedy, injustice, intricate social commentary, and an intoxicating melancholia. The character of Tess is so well conceived by Hardy, she appears so realistic that the reader finds themselves weeping tears for her as if she were a loved one. Persevere with Hardy's somewhat lengthy descriptions of the surrounding landscape and you will find this novel to be as beautifully perfect as I did.
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56 of 63 people found the following review helpful
I have to give Tess five stars because no book I have read before or since has moved me to such a degree. Thirty years later I still have my original copy, entirely disintegrated, the glue dissolved, in part I'm sure by my hot adolescent tears. It simply tore me apart - I remember in particular strugggling to finish Tess's letter from Flintcomb-Ash through eyes fogged with grief and that after finishing the book I was well-nigh inconsolable for days. I spent the following summer touring the Dorset locations on my bicycle as a kind of pilgrimage, and remember those cruel hills pretty well too.

But having said that, I was sixteen at the time and emotionally wide open. Reading it five years later, I could hardly get past the clumsiness and infelicities in the writing and the crude manipulation and melodrama of the plot. How could I have fallen for this? Reading it again another ten years further on I better understood the theatricality of it - it should be read in some ways like the old ballads with which Hardy was very familiar, with their highly exaggerated representations of good and evil - but the magic had gone.

Maybe the key is that Tess is a book written by an emotional adolescent - Hardy was a writer who arguably never really grew up, and his own relationships seem to bear this out - which speaks most forcefully to other adolescents. The melodrama and the suffering, the torment and the injustice which Tess is put through really are meat and drink to the average sensitive sixteen year old, but seem perhaps a bit foolish in retrospect.

But this isn't really a criticism.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Tess of the D'Urbevilles, by Thomas Hardy, is a wonderful novel, which tragically and poignantly follows the ill-fated life of its heroine, Tess Durbeyfield. Through his exquisite use of imagery, his reflection of Tess in nature, and the continuing thread of tragedy which he weaves throughout the novel, Hardy is able to present to us one of the most memorable figures in English literature. Despite her sincerity and integrity, Tess is forever destined for disappointment, and Hardy's immensely lucid and descriptive writing allows the reader to appreciate this. I would recommend this tremendous piece of fiction to any readers interested in reading the work of a brilliant Victorian author, or for those who appreciate the paradox of sadness and beauty represented in the figure of a strong protagonist.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tragic force 8 Mar 1999
By A Customer
'Tess' is a tragedy of sheer power - the reader at once becomes a companion to her plight and a friend in her solitude. A powerful emotional bond is created by Hardy; he leaves the reader totally alone at the end of the novel, sparing no emotion. The clarity, at times, is disturbed by the time period and slight linguistic idiosyncrasies, but the story remains completely unscathed: a tale of a young woman, corrupted, ruined, and left with nothing by fate.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
It'd been a while since I read a truly magnificent book. My last "#1 in drama" held its position firmly for about 10 years (Het oog van de engel by Nelleke Noordervliet - in Dutch, that is), despite the fact that quite a few books have passed (most notably the books by Yoko Ogawa, unfortunately only translated in French). Douglas Adams' books, Catch 22 and Stephen Fry's The Liar were supreme, but in an entirely different category. But now there's Tess, which, as far a drama goes, is a non sequitur.
Of course there's the top layer of romantic/pastoral drama, but that's just the surface. The real bliss here lies in the fact that is doesn't classify as a classic story in the romantic tradition at all, a fact which expresses itself in the way the story is told. The switching between romantic musings suddenly shattered by harsh commentaries or switched to an almost documentary description of the surroundings keeps you alert to the story, which might be drawn out, but that's the point - you've got to live with Tess. That's the only way to get into her character, because Hardy simply never takes a stand, and that's one of the secrets of the book. Ok, difficult now to imagine people acting so stupid because of moral conventions, but that's the only hurdle to take (however - look around you). Despite the fact that there's this really romantic "back to nature" message in it all (which strangly does not convey itself in the depiction of the life of Tess, but rather, in de description of the Dorset countryside), there's simply no denying that Hardy's way of writing has one foot firmly in de industrial era, delivering a comment on it - attacking it with its own weapons, mixing his anger with his (o so clear between the lines) love for the main character, with her with qualities and her flaws. Don't miss out on this one.
Stupid that it's been waiting for me for more than a century. Hands down 5 stars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great service
Just what I wanted
Published 18 days ago by A W Brotchie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very prompr delivery. As described
Published 20 days ago by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars Tess of the D'urbervilles (Penguin Popular Classics)
I never get tired of reading Thomas Hardy whatever the story. Although taking place in the past it has relevance todaay
Published 24 days ago by Mr. R. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good book. good value
Published 29 days ago by caatlady
4.0 out of 5 stars persevere, but no book has captured the essence of romantic love as...
I would give this novel between 4 and 5 stars. Hardy was a poet, but also a writer. This novel therefore explores everything about love, from the intoxicating highs to the brutal... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Creaker
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection
Arguably my favourite book ever.

It's as dark and as wrenchingly tragic as you'd expect from Thomas Hardy.

The final chapters are unbelievably poignant. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jonathan
5.0 out of 5 stars A tragedy in love.
Tess of the D'Ubervilles is very much a tale of tragic romance. Having been raped as a young girl by the evil Mr D'Uberville and having given birth to, and buried his illegitimate... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Miss H
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I read this book on my Kindle and it gives me so many memories of the first time I read it.
Published 4 months ago by Country Music Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Bought this for my English course. It was in perfect condition. Perfect for what I needed to use it for.
Published 4 months ago by Kimberley xx
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
Only a chapter in but it's already great. Plus the book came in really good time and looks perfect, would definitely recommend :)
Published 5 months ago by Asha Carsmith
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Popular Highlights

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The beauty or ugliness of a character lay not only in its achievements, but in its aims and impulses; its true history lay, not among things done, but among things willed. &quote;
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In considering what Tess was not, he overlooked what she was, and forgot that the defective can be more than the entire. &quote;
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Beauty to her, as to all who have felt, lay not in the thing, but in what the thing symbolized. &quote;
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