Far from Being a Good Read
I would like to make one thing clear: I love classical books. I have read several from different genres. I have read the scarier classics (such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) and the lighter classics (Pride and Prejudice anyone?). Besides Pride and Prejudice (I’m not one for romance novels), I have thoroughly enjoyed the classics. When I found out that Far from the Madding Crowd was going to be made into a movie (that included my favorite actor), I knew I wanted to read the book first. Well, that decision was made a little over a month ago. It usually takes me no time at all to finish a book, but I could not get into this one. I decided, as part of my book discussions, to give my honest opinion on Far from the Madding Crowd and why I did not enjoy it that much.
1. Stock characters. One thing about a book that will get me hooked is the characters. I love a fully developed character that has emotions and struggles, as well as triumphs. It also helps if I can relate to the character, but this is not necessary. Far from the Madding Crowd, with the exception of some of the townspeople, did not have personable characters. The main character, Bathsheba Everdene, is a character that you just hate. She is rude to anyone and everyone around them (she is an 18th century Regina George). One of her love interests, Gabriel Oak, is the common friend that is in love with the girl but puts his feelings to the side to help her. Another love interest, Sergeant Troy, is the typical suave bully who wins the girl (this is not really a spoiler, just read the book). As for her other interest, Farmer Boldwood (I admit, I was biased toward him because my favorite actor plays him in the movie) is the shy, naïve nerd who fawns and obsesses over the girl.
2. Tons of description. A lot of description in a book can be a good thing or a bad thing. When Stephen King does it, it is a good thing as it sets the scene and suspense of the novel. In this novel, however, the descriptions just go on and on in a way where you have to re-read the section again in order to understand what is going on. There is more descriptions in this book than is necessary; I like more dialogue than descriptions in my reading.
3. The overall plot. There is not really a plot in this story. Everdene has to choose between three men to marry and all three men want to marry her. End of story. Okay, there is some extra plot sequences that occur, but I cannot discuss them as they would be spoilers. The plot of this book was seriously lacking.
I hope this review has given you an idea of what Far from the Madding Crowd is all about. Let me know if you have read it and what your opinions of the story are.