Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review: Under The Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy

Title: Under The Greenwood Tree
Author: Thomas Hardy
Source: Purchased
Genre: Classic
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: May contain spoilers

One of the most popular of Hardy's novels, Under the Greenwood Tree is a delightful and humorous depiction of life in an early Victorian rural community. The story delicately balances the concerns of the Mellstock parish choir with a romance between the village schoolmistress and a member of the choir. Hardy thought well enough of the tale to place it among his Novels of Character and Environment, a group which is held to include his most characteristic work.

~synopsis from Goodreads

My Thoughts:

I saw the movie of Under The Greenwood Tree before I read the book. I figured that since I enjoyed the movie, I should check out the book. It should be worthwhile, right? Hmm… not exactly.

Let me explain. The writing wasn’t horrible, there were a lot of lovely descriptions of places and scenery. Made it feel more real. But the dialogue… oh, the dialogue… most of it was written as it was spoken back then. Choppy words, shortened words. Some of it was tolerable because I could imagine it as I heard it while watching the movie, but most of the time I was just frustrated with it. I would come across certain words, then do a double take and think, “Wait, what word is that supposed to be?”

Also, the story line was a bit different than the movie. The basic premise was similar, three possible suitors for Fancy, but the way it progressed was not the same. To be honest, if I read the book first, I probably wouldn’t have watched the movie. Maybe it was just that the scenarios made more sense back then. It was just too bizarre for me. Fancy wasn’t the same, she seemed less strong in the book than the movie. Like she could hardly stand on her own two feet or even think for herself. By the time I reached the end of the book, all I could think was, “THAT is how it ends? Okaaaayyy…”

It was nice, though, to read Under The Greenwood Tree for the sake of knowing the movie’s origin. Thomas Hardy can write quite nicely in a narrative. Despite those two things, I suggest seeing the movie instead of reading the book. The story line is much easier to follow and makes more sense. Plus, I adore the actors and actresses in the movie, especially the guy who plays Dick Dewy. Swoon.

My Rating:

It's Okay: It can wait until tomorrow


  1. I originally watched the movie because of James Murray(Dick Dewey). I loved it so much that I watched it again the next day. Even though I really enjoyed the movie, I decided against reading the book for the exact reasons you mentioned.

    1. I never imagined how weird the book would be, lol. But, yes, the movie is great! I've seen it so many times. :)

  2. Oh, I've been there. I see a movie that's great, find out it's based on a book, read the book and am sadly disappointed. Of course movies disappoint all the time too.

    1. Usually it's the other way around for me--book is amazing, movie not so good. So I was surprised, lol. :)


Thank you for commenting and happy reading!

As of December 15th 2011, this blog is an award free zone. I am unable to keep up with the requirements for them. Thank you for thinking of me though!