The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My very first Hardy. I've always had this impression of Hardy but I've never had an actual OCCASION to actually read him!
Naturally, I have been mortified at my neglect. So many people have been required to read his works and yet I have gracelessly skipped on by. For shame!
So what do I think of this Master of the English Novel?
OMG he writes such TORRID SOAP OPERAS!
I mean, let me be clear here: his writing from the very first passages was GORGEOUS, flowing, evocative, and darkly humorous. And that's just the description of the fictional town. I LOVED IT.
And then we were introduced to the people.
Young people, all of them. Stupid young people. With not a lick of sense, amazing passions, blinded perceptions, wild imaginations, and almost guaranteed spots on any daytime tv serial designed to spark emotion but not even two brain cells.
For all that, I loved the characterizations and the build-up before the first of the marriages... and then things took a dark turn. Things went from Wuthering Heights DRAMA to Wuthering Heights tragic. Ish. I mean, nothing gets THAT tragic. Or drenched in pathos.
But this does come close. :)
Oh, woe! Woe! Woe! Whoah.
Recommend? Well, let me put it this way. I would knock on every door and pound on any window if I read a writer with this much talent putting his skills to a much worthier topic than the stupidities and tragedies of kids with their heads firmly ensconced in their backsides. To imagine this as a fantasy title would have me jittering with enough pent-up excitement to power a city block for a week.
But alas. Alak. This is just a torrid soap opera.
A good one, mind you, and it even ends on a solid moral foundation for the edification of the gentle reader too scared to be scandalized by a whiff of IMMORALITY. But then, we must make some adjustments for the time in which this was written.
It really is a classic of wonderful WRITING. Too bad about the ideas. Alas. :)
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