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40 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very fine novel
I had to read this one at university, ten years ago, and it was my first taste of Hardy. I found it quite difficult to get though at first, mainly due to those long Hardy sentences, but undoubtedly it is a very fine novel, full of haunting and powerful images. I love, in particular, the way that Egdon Heath becomes almost a living, breathing entity.

The...
Published on 29 May 2008 by Greshon

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear!
I reluctantly read this book for a Book Club meeting, expecting it, as one of Thomas Hardy's books, to be tedious and it was! It was an interesting look into social conventions of the time, but the story was dull, descriptions of the countryside were overly long and the relationships were not very believable.
Published 6 months ago by Mrs S Rickerby


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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great novel, 3 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Coming back to this novel after several years, I am surprised as to how much it moved me. Great writing [most of the time]. Notes are very helpful in this new Penguin edition.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It was a dark and stormy night on purple prose heath..., 13 July 2012
Let's not kid ourselves, the great man wrote a turkey here. There weren't any scenes involving villains twirling their black mustaches and fair laydees swooning at cruel fate, but there may as well have been. This ranks among the worst melodramatic nonsense ever written. The worst character? Diggory Venn: so solid, so dependable, such a "I told you so" mature, dull git of about 25 - I just wanted to lamp him.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a great book, 23 Feb 2004
By 
The Return of the Native is slow going, i read the book at A level and i barely made it through the first chapter, but once you get into the swing of the action it's hard to put down.
Eustacia Vye has her flaws but i think Hardy meant to portray her as a naive but capable woman who has been trapped by th narrowness of society's expectations of women she's looking for self-fulfillment but believes she wants Clym and Paris and that she can validate herself by being desired by men.
Clym is an annoying mammas boy and his self-righteous attitude is aggravating and i occaisionally wanted to give thomasine a good slap but the main characters were anything but two dimensional, i believed them and had real feelings about them and their fate.
i didnt mean to start some kind of esssay herebut ROTN is a worthwhile read which provides a view into a time that has disappeared and issues which are still valid today (the mismatched couple, rural v. urban lifestyle and class)
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to read... But, 4 Feb 2005
By 
I am currently studying this book as part of my A-Level English Course, and when i first started reading it, i could Not get into it, i found it impossible! However at the arrival of Clym (I'll try and not wreck the story for you) The book became much more enjoyable. I would reccomend this book to someone that can understand English properly, and appriciates Hardy's works.
It has a sloowwww start, so if you can bear with it, it does beome much more interesting!
A good book to study at A-level, but i dont know if it is sutiable for 'light' reading!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good service, 15 Jun 2009
By 
Mrs. Ju Koralambe (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
the book arrived on time and in good condition. I was very happy with the service provided.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst book I have ever read, 30 Sep 2011
I read this book years ago and I was stunned, initally by the powerful poetry of the first chapter and then by how awful the rest of the book is. The characters are cliched nonsense and the whole novel turns on a series of the worst type of deus ex machina imaginable.

Read the first chapter and then read Proust - that is good.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An uphill struggle to enter Hardy's world, 13 Sep 1999
By A Customer
Studying 'The Return of the Native' for A level was perhaps in my own personal opinion an 'uphill struggle' in the crusade to explore the thoughts and concepts within the world of Hardy. The idea of being locked into a single setting, using the heath as the singular backdrop for the story added to the intensity of the novel. Though appreciative of the poetic vision of Thomas Hardy, I never felt like part of this world which he was portraying, I felt like a mere outsider, struggling to capture the pathos of the storyline.
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An unrealistic Gothic melodrama; Hardy at his worst, 5 Jan 2000
Hardy tries to establish 'The Return of the native' as an epic novel dealing not only with the tragic plight of the characters he describes but that of mankind. Unsurprisingly he is unsuccessful. Eustacia Vye who he tries to make the reader feel is some kind of tragic heroine cum goddess is at her most believable when we see her as a young naieve girl and not when she is majestically patrolling the heath. As for Clym the returning native after a while he becomes downright annoying with his self righteous moral values. However the part of this novel which falls most flat is Hardy's attempt to show the heath, the only setting used, as not simply a peice of land but as a malevolent force. The First chapter is solely dedicated to this and were it up to me this boring peice of description would be all I read of this uninspiring novel, howver whilst I am forced to study it some of you may not be.My advice to you is don't bother with it it's not worth the hassle.
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Word of Advice, 5 April 2005
By 
Angie (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Im currently studying this book as a set A-Level text and the best advice I can give to anyone reading it for the first time is not to read the first chapter initially. It's much easier to get into the book without being daunted by the wordy opening and the book makes sence withought it. Once you've read the rest of the book and then read the 1st chaper it makes a lot more sence and its much easier to understand.
Tough going at times but a great book once you get into it!
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A book of Parallels, 4 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Hardy has in my view written a story that has already been told.The similarity between the book and Oedipus-the greek myth for me is just too great.In the myth a returning hero(Oedipus)is at first greeted and and given the hand of the princess.Clym greeted as a hero returning from Paris and attracts Eustacia the most desirable woman of the area.His presence then leads to the downfall of Mrs Yeobright,Eustacia and Wildeve.So to in Oedipus the downfall of characters follows the presence of the returning hero as it is found that Oedipus has infact married his mother.Also Hardys ability at making descriptions actually boring and long winded do not make this a book that you can`t put down.
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The Return of the Native (Cover to Cover Classics)
The Return of the Native (Cover to Cover Classics) by Thomas Hardy (Audio CD - 13 Oct 2007)
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