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181 Reviews
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Human Nature Hardy Style and it Never Changes
Loved this book - what a great story showing all the various elements of the human character - greed, love, hate, struggles for power..... I could go on.

It is also a human tragedy, explained at its best by the inimitable Hardy and although it was written many years ago, it does show that human nature remains very much the same as it always was and you could...
Published on 22 Aug. 2009 by Mrs. Judith Lugg

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not a patch on either Tess or Madding Crowd
The Mayor Of Casterbridge, if you include one unpublished, destroyed work, was Thomas Hardy's seventh novel and the third of his novels that I have read after Tess Of The D'Urbervilles and Far From The Madding Crowd, both of which I read in 2010.

It is the story of one Michael Henchard, the eponymous Mayor in question. At the opening of the novel he is a drunk,...
Published 23 months ago by R. A. Davison


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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and heart rending, 6 Mar. 2015
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Thomas Hardy at his zenith. Wonderful and heart rending. Thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent descriptions, intriguing story, 6 Aug. 2014
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Typical Thomas Hardy, excellent descriptions, intriguing story line
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5.0 out of 5 stars the classics are the best, 23 Feb. 2015
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My first thomas hardy. It wont be my last. I cried at the end
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 15 Nov. 2014
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A wonderful, classic read by one of our greatest authors
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 27 Aug. 2014
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Another super book remembered from school days.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Mayor of Casterbridge (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Arrived on time no problems, would use again
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Missing section., 22 Oct. 2013
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There's nothing wrong with the story, I've enjoyed reading it, but there's a big chunk of text missing from the end of chapter 20. The next chapter doesn't quite make sense without it. I ended up downloading the book from another source.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 Oct. 2014
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cleapatra (Lichfield, England) - See all my reviews
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gripping story I love Thomas hardy books
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 Feb. 2015
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Great to re-read this after many years.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a classic, 6 Dec. 2014
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Mr. J. J. Maughan "Jeff Maughan" (Newcastle UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Mayor of Casterbridge (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
This is not a classic novel and I am surprised it is included in the canon as such. It reads like an overly-melodramatic soap opera.

A particular issue I have with this work is that having read and enjoyed Far From the Madding Crowd, quite frankly I have some difficulty believing this was written by the same author. It has certainly put me off persevering with Hardy's later work.

The quality of writing is execrable in parts, the characters remain poorly developed and generally unbelievable throughout, and the plot manages to be both entirely predictable as a whole whilst being randomly capricious in part.

The saving grace is perhaps the period detail, which was Hardy's stock-in-trade, but this is often overwrought. You get a bit tired of his narrative device of reverting to arcane elaboration of period detail when explaining some minor comment or event which has just taken place. It does seem like Hardy's work served as cod-social anthropology to a leisured class to whom the world of Wessex obviously seemed almost as remote as to the reader of the early 21st Century.

However, where Hardy's rich depiction of Wessex lay as a muted background to the plot in FFTMC, here it seems more like the description of Casterbridge is the real subject of the novel, whilst the characters and plot merely serve to pad out the scenery. Given Casterbridge was modelled on Hardy's native Dorchester, you sense Hardy was much more interested in Casterbridge than in Michael Henchard, Elizabeth-Jane or the preposterously synthetic Farfrae.

Thomas Hardy was a prolific writer, but the lack of quality control on show here suggests that this work was knocked out to be read by a certain audience, in order to provide him with some ready income.

--

One other point - JK Rowling has clearly used a paragraph in the novel to give names to some of her Harry Potter characters. This was probably the most interesting thing about the novel, and I'm not even a Harry Potter fan.
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The Mayor of Casterbridge (Wordsworth Classics)
The Mayor of Casterbridge (Wordsworth Classics) by Thomas Hardy (Paperback - 5 April 1994)
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