Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy)

Well, I've just finished another terrible, well-written book. Tess of the D'Urbervilles is not as disturbing as Atonement (nor quite as well-written, in my opinion), but it's still got a dark, perverted plot. Sorry, Jo, I know you love it. But seriously. Plot summary:

Chick is taken advantage of (not quite raped, but not in a state where she could necessarily consent) by Loserguy, back in the days when premarital sex was a major no-no. Chick has baby, which dies. Loserguy has abandoned chick and doesn't know of baby's existence.

Chick meets Mr Right, they get married; and on the wedding night she confesses that she slept with Loserguy. Mr Right is so upset he takes off, and chick meets Loserguy again. Loserguy decides she's hot again (and feels stink for ruining her life), so convinces her that Mr Right is never coming back.

Chick moves in with Loserguy, at which point Mr Right returns but, finding out that she lives with Loserguy, leaves again. Chick is gutted, kills Loserguy so that Mr Right will come back, has a happy week with Mr Right and then is arrested and executed for murder of Loserguy. Mr Right then marries chick's little sister.

Seriously. Does that sound like a nice book to you? I'm not saying books have to be happy-happy lovey-dovey, but I don't know why so many of these classics can't be less perverted, less dark, less morbidly unhappy throughout. Wuthering Heights wasn't really perverted, but happy is not an adjective that anyone could apply to it. Next on the reading list: Heart of Darkness by Conrad....

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