Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy audiobook

Jude the Obscure

By Thomas Hardy
Read by Frederick Davidson

Blackstone Publishing
14.60 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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His last and most controversial novel, Jude the Obscure provoked such widespread and bitter attacks that Hardy claimed it caused him to stop writing novels. The primary causes of the uproar involved Hardy’s frank treatment of sexual themes and his unconventional portrayal of the pillars of Victorian society: the British university system, marriage, and religion. Today, many consider this to be Hardy’s finest work. The story involves the tragic relationship between Jude Fawley, a village stonemason who is thwarted in his aspirations to the ministry, and Sue Bridehead, a freethinking cousin who is shunned by society for her social and sexual rebellion. Concerned with the annihilation of innocence, Jude the Obscure is powerful in its portrayal of suffering, rich in its evocation of nature, and tragic in its vision of life.

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Summary

Summary

His last and most controversial novel, Jude the Obscure provoked such widespread and bitter attacks that Hardy claimed it caused him to stop writing novels. The primary causes of the uproar involved Hardy’s frank treatment of sexual themes and his unconventional portrayal of the pillars of Victorian society: the British university system, marriage, and religion. Today, many consider this to be Hardy’s finest work.

The story involves the tragic relationship between Jude Fawley, a village stonemason who is thwarted in his aspirations to the ministry, and Sue Bridehead, a freethinking cousin who is shunned by society for her social and sexual rebellion. Concerned with the annihilation of innocence, Jude the Obscure is powerful in its portrayal of suffering, rich in its evocation of nature, and tragic in its vision of life.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A compelling novel is made more so in this audio version by the outstanding work of Frederick Davidson. Always dependable, Davidson here excels in his use of measured dramatics; his consistent differentiation of a large cast of characters from varying social, educational and, therefore, dialectal groups; and his obvious personal involvement in the miseries of the two main characters.” AudioFile
“[Hardy's] style touches sublimity” T. S. Eliot
“The greatest tragic writer among English Novelists” Virginia Woolf

Reviews

Reviews

by Kenneth 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

This is a strange story

After Hardy published this book, he felt compelled to stop writing novels. It is a truly the strange story of a man, Jude Fawley, who is an honest, kind and intelligent man born in poverty whose only ambition is to study at an exclusive university. He studies and masters classic languages on his own, but never gets past the class prejudices that keep men born in poverty away from academic achievements. He is tricked into a loveless marriage by Arabella, who, as it turns out, is one of the master schemers in literature. Jude gets rid of her and turns to a cousin, Sue. Sue, as it happens, is also in a loveless marriage. Sue's husband gives her up to Jude, but social pressure keeps them virtual outcasts. They have two children whose lives are ended by Jude's son (supposed son) from his marriage to Arabella. This act is gratuitous, unnecessary and totally unexpected violence. It would be disturbing in a work by one of the current crop of mystery or espionage writers, let alone in the work of one of the so-called masters of the novel. It seems a clumsy, unimaginative way to end a story. Still, good fiction should be entertainment we react to, even if that reaction is disgust.
Frederick Davidson is a very familiar narrator. I find his repertory of voices, especially female voices, very limited, but he is always able to make the listener forget the sound of his voice and focus on the story being read. Like the author being read, in Davidson we see a master at work.
Finally, it is the quality of the writing and the masterly way characters are woven in and out of the plot that make this a book that should be read and/or listened to.

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 14.60
Audience: Adult
Language: English