Ever since I read and loved Tess of the D’Urbevilles last January, I’ve been meaning to check out some of Thomas Hardy’s other work. Unfortunately I found Far from the Madding Crowd nowhere near as enjoyable as Tess.
The plot revolves around the beautiful and flighty Bathsheba Everdene, who must choose between three suitors: the lovely, constant and only likeable character in the entire book Gabriel Oak, the heart-breaker Sergeant Troy or the middle-aged farmer Boldwood.
Hardy starts out lavishing the reader with the same gorgeous prose about country life that I loved in Tess, but as he gathers speed with the story this falls away.
In terms of the books plot, I disagreed with all of the choices Bathsheba made and found her annoying rather than endearing, I didn’t like the way any of the action played out and the only character that I even remotely cared about was Gabriel Oak. I also found it to be a very slow moving novel.
It seems reading Tess of the D’Urbevilles first may have been a mistake, it’s possible everything I read from now on will pale in comparison.