My Mother recommended this 1895 novel to me in June as I was embarking for Europe. I began on my plane ride over there, but her ultimate plan of raising me without a television backfired because there was a movie showing that I chose to watch instead of reading (seeing as I have 23 years of rotting to catch up with). Anywho, I dragged this novel around three nations, hardly dipping into its majesty until I came full circle back home. I decided to really give this book a chance since the author and my brother share a first given name. I was not disappointed.
- It has endnotes- a guarantee that you are smart if you are reading it. Footnotes would be one thing, but endnotes are the ultimate sign of intellegentsia. I actually read them, and they taught me about many desultory items that you too could learn if you read them. I would recommed reading the endnotes in the context of the novel, however. They are a little dry when naked.
- Several times as I was reading I would stop in severe amazement at a sentence and think to myself, 'That alone could be the cornerstone of this novel.' Hardy treated every line like it was a precious mineral behind protective glass. His superhuman descriptions used a vernacular that would impress even Samuel Johnson.
- The cover of my paperback edition has a portrait by John Singer Sargent, equating two respective masters of artistry. That's a good reason to read it if I ever heard one.
- As a late nineteenth century English novel, it really helped me escape today's America and teleport to an alternate lifestyle. I loved the archaic spelling and the traditional customs of Jude and his lovers. This novel portrays Sue as a feminist, and it challenges the formal thinking of its day. I thought it was very tastefully done and applicable to our crazy world today.
The world today is filled to the brim- yea, overflowing- with great literature. It's hard to know what is the best option to persue, and frankly it differs person by person. I'm not sure if there is a best book list for any one person. But, Jude the Obscure has an official David's Holla Atchya! recommendation, and if you choose (or chose) to read it I would love to discuss it with you. Let me know what you liked or didn't like about it.