Read Life's Little Ironies by Thomas Hardy Online


This collection includes The Son's Veto, which Hardy regarded as his best short story, On the Western Circuit, which his wife preferred, and the linked stories which come under the heading A Few Crusted Characters....

Title : Life's Little Ironies
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780862990695
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 215 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Life's Little Ironies Reviews

  • Sylvester
    2019-01-16 20:25

    Sometimes everything goes wrong. Or in the case of this book, everything always goes wrong. It was weird how I enjoyed thinking of all the ways the story could go south. I'm not a masochist - I did have to read a flufferoony simultaneously to counter-balance all the unhappy endings, but I see that excellent unhappy endings are very satisfying - and, of course, Hardy has wonderful verisimilitude and control over his plots. I thoroughly enjoyed having this sort of "Collection of Bad Ends". Some of them were quite humourous. The one about the evenly matched couples, for instance. I'm beginning to see that all my grousing about short stories is really missing the mark. It's not that I don't like them, it's that I only like a certain kind, this kind. Hardy manages to hook my interest and draw characters and scenes and themes that feel bigger than the sum of their pages. Also, he places them in a continuum of some kind - here with the person asking for news of his old town-folk, and with the theme of irony. It gives a sense of depth that I often miss in other short stories. Anyway - I highly recommend.

  • Nahed.E
    2019-02-01 20:05

    مفارقات الحياةالقراءة الأولي للكاتب الإنجليزي الشهير توماس هارديالكتاب عبارة عن مجموعة قصصية اجتماعية رومانسية تحكي المفارقات القدرية التي تمر عليك وتغير من مصيرك وأنت كإنسان تتلقي المفاجآت .. فلا تدري أأنت السبب ؟ أم هو القدر ؟مُسير أنت أم مُخير ؟من منا يتحمل مسئولية اختياره ومشاعره وعواطفه التي تحركه يميناً ويساراً فتجد نفسك بطلاً في قصة ليست من اختيارك ومُرغم أنت علي الاستمرار فيها وتحمل نتائجها رغماً عنك ؟ستجد الكثير من الإجابات ..في كل رواية إجابة مختلفة ..أحياناً سيكون الأمر مُلقي علي عاتق القدر ..وأحياناً ستجد الإنسان هو المسئول الأول عن اختياره ..فلقد وُضع الباب أمامه .. وهو من اختار أن يسير إليه وأن يفتحه ..فلا يُلام سواه !

  • Ali
    2019-02-09 19:22

    This particular collection of stories from Thomas Hardy which I only read for the first time two years ago at the start of my Thomas Hardy challenge – are very well named. Hardy is a master at delivering a soft little punch to the guts as his story draws to a close. I say soft punch because so often the reader can see it coming – and still Hardy knew how to ring every last little bit of drama and emotion out of his characters.I love Hardy’s world, as many regular readers of this blog will be aware, and I thoroughly enjoyed re-visiting these stories which I had remembered so very well from two years ago. Funnily enough however my favourites then and now are different. Previously I had particularly enjoyed the stories ‘An Imaginative woman’ and ‘ ‘A tragedy of two ambitions’ both of which I still really loved, but this time I particularly appreciated the pathos of the story entitled ‘The Son’s Veto’ about a middle aged woman, partially crippled, who had married outside her station and moved from her beloved home village to a London suburb, now widowed, her growing son, brought up as a gentleman puts the block on any future happiness she could have had when he makes her promise not to marry her former sweetheart, a grocer, who she has unexpectedly met again.“When she had opened the door she found Sam on the step, and he lifted her bodily on his strong arm across the little forecourt into his vehicle. Not a soul was visible or audible in the infinite length of the straight, flat highway, with its ever waiting lamps converging to points in each direction. The air was as country air at this hour, and the stars shone, except to the north-eastward, where there was a whitish light – the dawn. Sam carefully placed her in the seat, and drove on.They talked as they had talked in old days, Sam pulling himself up now and then, when he thought himself too familiar. More than once she said with misgiving that she wondered if she ought to have indulged in the freak. ‘But I am so lonely in my house,’ she added, ‘and this makes me so happy!’ “The volume concludes with ‘A few Crusted characters’ – apparently originally entitled ‘Wessex Folk’ – it was this section I had remembered least well – they are a wonderful group of sketches – highlighting he passage of time, with oral stories told by a group of people sharing a coach – stories of farce, tragedy and rural traditions, that take the nostalgic reader back to familiar places and family names of Under the Greenwood Tree –(one of my favourite Hardy novels). It happened on Sunday after Christmas the last Sunday they ever played in Longpuddle church gallery, as it turned out, though they didn't know it then. The players formed a very good band almost as good as the Mellstock parish players that were led by the Dewys; and that's saying a great deal. There was Nicholas Puddingcome, the leader, with the first fiddle; there was Timothy Thomas, the bass-viol man; John Biles, the tenor fiddler; Dan'l Hornhead, with the serpent; Robert Dowdle, with the clarionet; and Mr. Nicks, with the oboe all sound and powerful musicians, and strong-winded men they that blowed. For that reason they were very much in demand Christmas week for little reels and dancing-parties; for they could turn a jig or a hornpipe out of hand as well as ever they could turn out a psalm, and perhaps better, not to speak irreverent. In short, one half-hour they could be playing a Christmas carol in the squire's hall to the ladies and gentlemen, and drinking tea and coffee with 'em as modest as saints; and the next, at the Tinker's Arms, blazing away like wild horses with the "Dashing White Sergeant" to nine couple of dancers and more, and swallowing rum-and-cider hot as flame.These stories about family, social ambition - and its consequences, are deeply ironic. Many of the characters are tragic, the misguided actions of themselves or others impacting upon their fortunes. In these stories we encounter The Great Exhibition of 1851, and the dawn of the railway, we see rural life juxtaposed with a smart London life. Many of the themes that are present in Hardy's novels are present in these hugely readable stories. So often with Hardy’s shorter fiction the scope of a thirty page story is not dissimilar to that of his novels, years pass, characters age and many of these stories could be stretched out to the length of a novel. I certainly think Hardy was a particularly good short story writer, within the confines of the genre; he manages to create whole communities and families, trace histories over many years, while keeping the narrative flowing brilliantly.

  • Mary
    2019-01-24 13:56

    Thomas Hardy never fails to grab my attention with the descriptive passages of the countryside.I loved them all and found 'The Son's Veto' to be Hardy's favourite.A few crusted characters was wonderful in the fact it had a returning narative.Wonderful characters and some very sad tales.

  • Sash Chiesa
    2019-01-25 16:05

    The coinage of the phrase "Life's little ironies" by Hardy is not a surprise. Ironies are the quintessence of Hardy. The stories in this book never fail to move me. And since my life has had many little ironies, I'd always flow and somewhat live through these words. Hardy is the creator of some of the most cathartic works. I love this book!

  • Marwa
    2019-01-20 18:18

    كثيرا ما تضعنا الحياة في مهب ريح لا تشتهيها سفننا ! في هذه الرواية ستجد ريحا عبثت بأحلام أناس وغيرت مجرى حياتهم ، وترى كيف تصرف كل منهم لينقذ بقية أحلامه ، قصص قصيرة استمتعت بها

  • Tawny
    2019-02-08 14:58

    I enjoyed reading this! Ironically, I had to throw away my copy. It somehow found its way into my daughter's (full) training potty.

  • Nicoleta
    2019-02-06 13:26

    Oameni blânzi, cu dramele lor mărunte; pierd iubiri și șansa unei vieți mai bune de la mici detalii(destinul lucrează prin amănunte, cum zicea paler)

  • Meredith
    2019-02-07 14:19

    I can't say this was just ok as the stories are so well written, but it's also inaccurate to say I liked it! Maybe 2.5......the whole thrust of this book is about bad decisions in marriage wrecking people's lives. He's very opposed to marriage out of necessity - but it seems a little biased as men could walk away from relationships without ending in marriage with much more ease then women, who were left literally holding the baby. Women who 'steal' men off other women also come in for some harsh consequences as do women who marry without love - sad, but in a society where there were no other real options it seems more understandable then Hardy makes out. Maybe it's just my impression, but it seems like Hardy's men who misbehave are treated with humour and understanding (except for being so foolish as to marry women they've gotten pregnant - that's a really stupid idea he says) but the women are really slated for every ungenerous deed.

  • Terese
    2019-02-13 20:25

    Surprisingly disappointing. The writing can't be faulted, Hardy is a master of the pen and his language is beautiful, but these little "ironies" were a big let-down as well as real downers. By this I mean that they were stiff, hard to get into and only saved by the fact that most of them had melancholy/tragic endings which was the only thing that made any of these stories the least bit memorable!

  • vinnayvie
    2019-02-06 17:04

    This book celebrates Thomas Hardy's cynical views of life. Each short story ends with an ironic or even depressing conclusion, generally brought on by the main characters mistakes earlier in life and his/her attempts to rectify them. While well written, it's not the most pleasant book.

  • Sandra Nixon
    2019-01-26 12:59

    As always I love Thomas Hardy. Short stories don't allow for as much charachter attachment but his stories are still greag

  • Abhilash
    2019-02-10 19:02

    A sad book. All the stories highlight the ironies of life and have a tragic end. But a few of them were magical..... though am not exactly sure how i would explain this.

  • Lavinia
    2019-01-29 17:25

    Such beautiful stories ... couldn't even choose a favorite one. Some funny, some sad, and all of them deliciously ironic.

  • Paul
    2019-02-08 15:17

    Wonderful collection of gloomy short stories; typical Hardy. They are very powerful portrayals of human frailty.

  • Stefania
    2019-01-24 15:13

    To sad to be called ironies

  • Jeff Hobbs
    2019-01-19 21:19

    Read so far:The son's veto --For conscience' sake --A tragedy of two ambitions --On the western circuit --To please his wife --The melancholy hussar of the German legion --The fiddler of the reels --A tradition of 1804 --A few crusted characters (Tony Kytes, the Arch-deceiver, The History of the Hardcomes, The Superstitious Man’s Story, Andrey Satchel and the Parson and Clerk, Old Andrey’s experience as a musician, Absent-mindedness in a Parish Choir, The Winters and the Palmleys, Incident in the life of Mr. George Crookhill, Netty Sargent’s Copyhold)-

  • Dísa
    2019-02-02 15:58

    Endearing but dreadfully depressing short stories, half remind me of the small town I grew up in.

  • Lauren Swiderski
    2019-02-16 20:07

    I'm a huge Thomas Hardy fan, and some of these short stories are quite good. Others leave you depressed more depressed than after an episode of Black Mirror.

  • Safaa
    2019-02-08 17:20

    استمتعت بقراءة معظم القصص في هذا الكتاب. يوجد فكرة وراء كل واحدة منها.

  • I.M
    2019-01-25 20:02

    Only read 'On the Western Circuit'

  • Charles
    2019-01-17 17:24

    When one speaks of Thomas Hardy as an author, one associates the name with never-ending novels which many have 'studied' but which few have dared to endeavor to read. This is why I believe Hardy's collection in this book (classified in his 'novels of character and environment') to be an exceptional one. You literally do not have any excuse not to read Hardy anymore. All his wit, irony and prowess as an author, but never exceeding thirty pages or so. However, the real reason why this book merits 5/5 in my opinion is because of the moral or example that is to be found in most, if not all his tales. Hardy had a real understanding of human character of the time, and it is evident. For Hardy it is not about portraying the evils of society, like temptation and green envy, and stop there but more about underlying the factors which cause them, which are to some degree natural. What is not natural, however, is the extent of which some characters go to to serve their own selfish needs.The ironical and witty aspect also helps Hardy to achieve this, of course. His tales are so delightful to read that I did not want the book to end. Hardy's unique manner in which he fuses the harshness of reality with his own imagination and creativity makes his books more than just a critique of the institution of marriage, but rather more as a critique of human nature itself.1)An Imaginative Woman: 5/5 (personal favourite)2)The Son's Veto: 4/53)For Conscience's Sake: 3.75/54)A Tragedy of Two Ambitions: 4.25/55)On the Western Circuit: 4.5/56)To Please His Wife: 4/57)The Fiddler of the Reels: 4/58)A Few Crusted Characters, which includes nine short stories: Overall-4.5/5

  • Ana Schiopu
    2019-01-20 13:18

    Really enjoyed this mix of small timeless stories. Although they were written in the 19th century, the translation and the action makes them very actuals, which i really enjoyed! Thomas Hardy is a great writer, very original in my opinion, will carry on reading his works!

  • Joanne
    2019-01-22 13:23

    The first story in this book was so sad that I thought I wouldn't continue to read it. However, I found that I was so haunted by thinking about the story that I went back to it. Not all of the stories end sadly. Some of them have some humor to them. Generally, each story gives a different perspective on life. The Victorian style writing may be burdensome to some people. I recommend if that is the case, that the reader might try sticking with it for a bit longer. I found that I fell into the rhythm of the writing after a while. After that, I started to enjoy the poetic descriptions which you don't find in today's writing very often.

  • Sanaa Khyry
    2019-01-31 16:57

    مفارقات الحياة فعلاً كل قصة في هذه الرواية تدل ع مفارقة حياة مجموعة قصصية رااائعة و خااصة في الجولة الغربية..

  • Tal
    2019-01-20 21:08

    i actually read the e-book version of Life's Little Ironies for book club. it's a collection of short stories about "Life's Little Ironies" which mostly seemed to mean marrying people one shouldnt/didnt want to/was mistaken.i liked the language, it was sharp and concise, but i felt the characters were a bit flat/similar and the "ironies" were all much the same. perhaps i should have read this book over a longer period, one story at a time, and savoured them club.

  • Susan Grodsky
    2019-02-07 14:01

    A nice place to start with Hardy, since the stories are all quick reads and feature his trademark theme of love frustrated by class considerations. Most poignant (IMHO) is the first story, "An Imaginative Woman". It's a tribute to Hardy's skill that you know 90 percent of the resolution after the first few paragraphs, yet you keep turning the pages, hoping desperately for something different. Spoiler alert: you know 90 percent, but there's a 10 percent surprise in the last paragraph.

  • Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
    2019-01-17 17:23

    I always enjoy books of short stories where they are connected somehow, so Thomas Hardy's Life's Little Ironies was fun. Hardy shows many sides of life in the English countryside, where boys meeting girls and girls having babies are the whole point of life for most of his characters. The stories in this volume feel very much like one is hanging out with the town gossips hearing all the news.

  • Grace Brooks
    2019-02-14 15:19

    I feel like a bit of a heel giving a Thomas Hardy book only three stars, but I have a problem with stories that are so pointlessly sad. Maybe I should be discerning terrific insights into the human condition from these tales, but they just come off to me as pitiless and mean-spirited. I'm probably in the minority, but I'll add my review in case it strikes a resonant note somewhere.

  • Sloth Robinson
    2019-02-13 20:02

    Love Hardy's bleak worlds. Meandering characters who think they have meaning in their existence. Shit just happening, an almost nonexistent moral code comparatively to those of the Victorian Period, where good normally triumphs and evils succumb to punishment – not with Hardy they don't. My first introduction into the realist texts of the Victorian era, thoroughly enjoyed.