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FREE: Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (classic) kindle ebook download and review

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"This edition of Hardy's most famous novel provides a forceful introduction and excellent supporting material."

Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Classic)
Thomas Hardy (Author)
customer reviews (Yes)
Kindle Price: £0.00 includes VAT & free wireless delivery
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Reviews from Amazon:

I have to give Tess five stars because no book I have read before or since has moved me to such a degree. Thirty years later I still have my original copy, entirely disintegrated, the glue dissolved, in part I'm sure by my hot adolescent tears. It simply tore me apart - I remember in particular strugggling to finish Tess's letter from Flintcomb-Ash through eyes fogged with grief and that after finishing the book I was well-nigh inconsolable for days. I spent the following summer touring the Dorset locations on my bicycle as a kind of pilgrimage, and remember those cruel hills pretty well too.

But having said that, I was sixteen at the time and emotionally wide open. Reading it five years later, I could hardly get past the clumsiness and infelicities in the writing and the crude manipulation and melodrama of the plot. How could I have fallen for this? Reading it again another ten years further on I better understood the theatricality of it - it should be read in some ways like the old ballads with which Hardy was very familiar, with their highly exaggerated representations of good and evil - but the magic had gone.

Maybe the key is that Tess is a book written by an emotional adolescent - Hardy was a writer who arguably never really grew up, and his own relationships seem to bear this out - which speaks most forcefully to other adolescents. The melodrama and the suffering, the torment and the injustice which Tess is put through really are meat and drink to the average sensitive sixteen year old, but seem perhaps a bit foolish in retrospect.

But this isn't really a criticism. 'Tess' is by far the greatest of Hardy's novels and the high point of his career as a novelist (Jude the Obscure would tip over into self parody) and is written with a rare passion - Hardy said that he loved Tess and, although he perhaps had a funny way of showing it, his depth of feeling for his creation really comes through. Like 'The Catcher in the Rye', if you're in the right demographic - a sixteen year old or someone who still feels like one - you're going to love it. If not, you may wonder what all the fuss is about and should perhaps move straight on to Dickens.