One of the greatest novels in the English language, The Mayor of Casterbridge sees Thomas Hardy at his best, bringing landscape and richly imagined characters to life, and setting the hope of love against the forces of Providence.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Felix on 04-09-12
The Mayor of Casterbridge
This was a very pleasant surprise. I have never read Hardy and was expecting a stodgy Victorian sermon. What I got was a powerful, at times overwhelming book. The character of Henchard must be one of the strongest in literature and his fall, rise and fall again is related in a fast moving and sometimes very modern way. The narration of Anton Lesser is as always superb and add's greatly to the enjoyment of this great book. Highly recommended and I will be keen to try more Thomas Hardy.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Tad Davis on 17-12-10
If Anton Lesser ever gets tired of narrating Dickens, he can always do Thomas Hardy. His reading of this (very) sad book is superb: well-paced, resonant, and brimming with voices. He even manages to get some humor in -- not over Hardy's head or behind his back, just bringing out a quality in some of the dialogue that I totally missed when I first read this book many years ago.
Of course, this being Hardy, nothing works out the way you want for the characters you care about. His main character, Henchard -- the Mayor of the title (or one of them, at any rate) -- is a morally complex man, someone who really wants to do the right thing but is often overtaken by his own passions, coincidence, or bad luck. (At one point near the end of the story, he starts out to do something really nasty, then changes his mind and decides to the right thing, but by sheer accident the nasty thing happens anyway.)
You either like Hardy or you don't. If you like him, you'll probably like Anton Lesser's interpretation as well. I really do hope Lesser takes on a few more of Hardy's books.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By Bonny on 03-12-15
Continuing the Hardy Binge, Happily
Okay, Hardy #2 down, another lovely idyll of beautiful writing and narration. As with Far From the Madding Crowd, this book kept me engaged and engrossed, sort of floating along on the lyrical writing, the interesting plot, and Anton Lesser's narration. This is the portrait of a deeply flawed man, an inherently selfish and boorish businessman and politician (can you say Republican field 2016? There are parallels) who is not without his redemptive qualities. I enjoyed it tremendously. Lesser's narration is marvelous . . . as with the works of Dickens, there is an embarrassment of narrative riches, but you certainly can't go wrong with this one. With the "get the narration for $2.99 when you buy the Kindle book" deal, and the Kindle book costs 99 cents, there really is no excuse for not giving it a try!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful