Jude the ObscureJude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
My rating: 5/5 cats
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i have just discovered, so i am including this, but it is a total spoiler, so be warned.

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jude the obscure is one of my favorite books of all time. and reading the biography of him now is making me very antsy to reread this. it used to be part of my “summer reruns” ritual; to reread all my favorites each and every summer. then i got old and realized that kind of thing was a luxury i would have to give up, or risk missing out on all kinds of books that are currently crowding my shelves and toppling over on my floor. jude the obscure was introduced to me at the tender age of 13. i was taking some stupid study skills class, and the teacher, always prone to leaving the topic and talking about her life on the streets of lean mean central falls and imparting life lessons/knife lessons to all of us was musing one day and said… “if you ever want to read the most depressing book of all time -read jude the obscure.” well, i am a title -collector (to this day) and i squirreled it away in my little notebook, and came across it at the more perfect jude-age of 15. man, she wasn’t kidding. what an amazing piece of writing. poor jude and his ambitions, his poor choices in love (if a woman throws a pig’s penis at you and you take it as a declaration of love, you are on the road to some pain, my friend) but it has everything – the hypocrisy of the church and the delicacy of woman’s place in academia and the danger of breeding super-precocious children. it’s hardy, so everything ends poorly for all involved, but it is done with such a stunning touch, you find yourself panting at its beauty. “Somebody might have come along that way who would have asked him his trouble, and might have cheered him… But nobody did come, because nobody does.” i mean, really. it’s just chills for me.

and my knife skills are top-notch.

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