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Paperback Life's Little Ironies (The World's Classics) Book

ISBN: 0192831771

ISBN13: 9780192831774

Life's Little Ironies (The World's Classics)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

The phrase "life's little ironies" is now proverbial, but it was coined by Hardy as the title for this, his third volume of short stories, including such classics as An Imaginative Woman and A Tragedy of Two Ambitions. Unified by his quintessential irony, strong visual sense, and engaging characters, these stories deal with the tragic and the humorous, the metaphysical and the magical. This edition is the first to be based on a critical examination...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Just wonderful

What wonderful language! What wonderful characters! If you're looking for happy endings, don't look here. Tragedy, suicide, and deceivement abound in these short stories. (My 1965 hard-cover copy also includes A FEW CRUSTED CHARACTERS.) But if you appreciate remarkable writing that will take your breath away, this is it! Comparable to Hardy's THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE.

The finest writer of the 19th Century

Many people consider Thomas Hardy to be a great novelist and poet; but he is equally a great story writer. These are 19th Century stories; so they do not start in the middle and expect the reader to infer what the author leaves out; they are are not pared to the bone. They start at the beginning, describing vividly the setting of the place and the history of the leading characters, and build up to a proper conclusion. Without trying to derogate 20th Century writers like Hemmingway, these stories are all the better for it. They could have been easily extended to fully blown novels. They have all the touches that one expects from Hardy: vivid decription of Wessex, tragedy untouched by sentimentality; a solid style with touches of literary genius; and a perceptive understanding of the relationship between men and women, people and their environment, and a keen understanding of rustic life just before it was swept away by the arrival of the radio, the telephone, the motor vehicle, electricity and other aspects of modernity. If you love Jude or Tess, read this book. As soon as I had finished it, I hunted down his other short story collections, Wessex Tales, etc., which are just as good.

A fascinating piece of Hardy

As a great admirer of "Jude the Obscure" and "Tess of the D'Ubervilles," I was intrigued when I saw this collection of some of Hardy's shorter works, and was not disapointed. The common theme running through these sketches is Hardy's dissatisfaction with the institution of marriage. Written in Hardy's impeccable style, these stories are short and biting looks at the circumstances that surround and influence marriage. You'll find few happy endings among these tales, but they are an enjoyable read. It's always a pleasure to immerse oneself in Hardy's world and language, and the twisted little plots Hardy creates show a side of his genius I had not previously realized. These stories are not as profound as some of Hardy's other works, and, by necessity, the characters are not as well developed. However, I would still recommend this book. For a fan of Tess or Jude, it's a fascinating look into the mind of Hardy at the time he was writing these novels. And for someone who's never read any Hardy, they are an easy and enjoyable introduction to a wonderful author.

An iinteresting piece of Hardy

As a great admirer of "Jude the Obscure" and "Tess of the D'Ubervilles," I was intrigued when I saw this collection of some of Hardy's shorter works, and was not disapointed. The common theme running through these sketches is Hardy's dissatisfaction with the institution of marriage. Written in Hardy's impeccable style, these stories are short and biting looks at the circumstances that surround and influence marriage. You'll find few happy endings among these tales, but they are an enjoyable read. It's always a pleasure to immerse oneself in Hardy's world and language, and the twisted little plots Hardy creates show a side of his genius I had not previously realized. These stories are not as profound as some of Hardy's other works, and, by necessity, the characters are not as well developed. However, I would still recommend this book. For a fan of Tess or Jude, it's a fascinating look into the mind of Hardy at the time he was writing these novels. And for someone who's never read any Hardy, they are an easy and enjoyable introduction to a wonderful author.
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