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Publisher's Summary

Far from the Madding Crowd is Thomas Hardy's fourth novel and his first major literary success.

Published in 1874, it tells the tale of Gabriel Oak, one of three suitors for the hand of the beautiful and spirited Bathsheba Everdene. He must compete with the dashing young soldier Sergeant Troy and the respectable, middle-aged Farmer Boldwood. And while their fates depend upon the choice Bathsheba makes, she discovers the terrible consequences of an inconstant heart.

Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928) was an English novelist and poet of the naturalist movement.

Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.

Public Domain (P)2009 RNIB

What listeners say about Far from the Madding Crowd

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kenneth
  • 10-03-2011

Took a while to get going but worth it.

In my opinion, and I'm by no means a literary genius, Thomas Hardy's writing style is similar to Dickens' in that it tends to ramble a bit on things that never have any further significance but in general is pleasing. The first 5 hours or so of this book were a bit slow but were building the back story so most of it was necessary. I really enjoyed the look at the lives of the servants and how the country people lived. So much during this time period focused almost exclusively on the aristocracy, it was refreshing to see how normal people lived. The last half of the book was wonderful. I fully enjoyed it.

I must warn you however, to listen to the sample before you buy it. The production quality is VERY LOW! The entire thing has a low hiss to it and the reading was not as professionally done as most of the books you get at Audible. While the narrator's voice is lovely to listen to, he stumbles on words more and more often as the book goes along. He occasionally mispronounces a word, you can hear pages turning and occasionally it sounds like children are playing in the next room and you can hear them laughing. I bought this way on sale so I didn't really care it was so cheap and I can overlook a lot so it didn't bother me. Given the rural setting of this book, I felt it added to the rustic charm of it but some may find it distracting.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 16-04-2015

Top class in every respect

Top class in every respect. Great story. Great narrator! I enjoyed every minute of the story. I loved it . To

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  • Nic W.
  • 04-06-2020

delightful

this audiobook has been absolutely delightful . it isn't just narrated it is acted, with each character being bought to life ways both wonderful and expressive, with different voices and the use of dialect. this gives greater depth to the overall experience. it reminded me of stories on the radio or recordings I would listen to on a playtime record player as a little girl. hardy's tale will always be one of my favourites and this will be my absolute favourite way of encountering it. I loved loved loved this recording, it just carried me along gently to a conclusion that I already knew but couldn't wait for. I didn't want it to be over either and I am going to do something now that I never do...I am going to listen to it all over again straight away. I cannot recommend this audio book highly enough, thank you Audible for bringing it to me

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  • PhilipVince
  • 03-10-2020

Decided to listen to more classics!

Written in 1874, this, although maybe slow to start by modern standards, proved interesting and entertaining.

Follow Gabriel Oak and Bathsheba Everdene on their paths, and revel in the detail.

Marvellously well read, and the short cameos - such as the sword routine are truly memorable.

Excellent.

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  • Gillian
  • 02-10-2017

A great classics story

This book with George Hagan's narration is my all time favourite listen. His characterisations are so perfect and individual that they come alive for you. As a lover of all Thomas Hardy books I may be biased but this one has to be his best.


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  • Kay
  • 24-08-2015

Brilliant Classic

This is a great way to tick some classic literature off your 'books to read' list. It was beautifully narrated and an enchanting listen that whisks you away to a bygone era of romance and drama.

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  • Lanny 32
  • 31-10-2020

Saw the funny side as opposed to the romantic of the 2015 film!

Loved the 2015 film & it inspired me to read the book again as I’d forgotten almost all of it when I read it about 30 years ago: only remembered the long descriptive prose, the unusual name Bathsheba, the shepherd & the fire in the haystacks! I remembered that I only managed to finish the book in the end but, it was tough going!

Seeing the wonderful 2015 film the romance of the story was highlighted but, I didn’t really notice the humour that’s in the book.

This humour is really brought to life in the performance & acting by the reader in this audiobook! I found myself laughing quite a bit!

There is only 1 thing really that stops me from giving this the full 5 stars & that is the lack of editing as the reader quite noticeably numerous times stumbles a bit while reading aloud & that could have been edited out or redone in another take, as it were. Also, the sound quality dips a bit in places!

Otherwise this is a really good audiobook that’s well performed & helped me to revive a book that I could only say I read but, had actually forgotten most of it! I appreciate the book much more now as I can really see why it’s a classic that’s stood the test of time! It’s romantic, funny & vividly descriptive of an England that has gone but, is still how most people around the world sees it: highlighted by Danny Boyle’s 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony; lovely to see in the film but, can get a bit tedious reading the long descriptions in the book & hearing it isn’t!

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