For the month of April, the book challenge was to read "Tess of the Durbervilles." This book follows in the wonderful line of books that my cousin wants everyone to read so they can hate their lives.
Tess of the...., as I will call it, was written by Thomas Hardy. It is another in the long line of novels of his that take place in an imaginary country called England. There, the people live wonderful lives full of excitement, adventure, intrigue, and espionage. Oh, who the hell are we kidding. We all know that England is boring as shit, just like Thomas Hardy's book. I did read one of his other books before, "Jude the Obscure." I read it because I'm a mental sadomasochist. I like to stab my brain as much as possible with words all the time. Hardy's novels are like stabbing your self with a saber non-stop.
The book takes us through the life of the lovely lass named Tess. She lives in a village where apparently she is the only girl under 40 who happens to have all her teeth, which makes her the most beautiful young lady in 6 surrounding counties. The novel opens with her taking place in the county dance off while her dad, who happens to be drunk, is coming into town with great news: They aren't poor anymore. Well, they really are still poor, just a quick change of the letters in his name, and boom, he's important. If it were only that easy. So he sends he daughter off to live with some total strangers who have the same name as if to help her become a lady who might one day meet a lord. Yeah right. You look up some in the phone book with your same last name that lives three cities over and see if they'll take in your kids. That shit cray.
So anyway. Tess lives with this old lady who is out to lunch because she 900 years old. She has a son and he is pursuant of Tess from day 1. Now these people have the same last name. I say once again, these people have the same last name. You figure out what's going to happen in Victorian Arkansas. Tess spends her time dodging the pursuits of her young admirer, but eventually she submits. Or at least you are left to think so. Never does Hardy admit that a) they had sex or b) that she willing gave herself to her man. So the first section ends.
The second second act starts with her back home at her parents. But she's different. All the other girls start to come around to see her, but that's because their trifling, gossipy bitches. After they've had their fill, the start talking shit behind her back. Then all of the sudden she has a baby. What!! Where did that shit come from. Oh, hell naw. She got forced into sex and had a baby, which then died. So, Hardy is all about this crazy Arkansas raping storyline. Whatever.
I got past all that and so did Tess. She traveled around trying to run from her past, and if you read novels, you know that you can never outrun some juicy ass gossip. She meets a nice boy, but they don't really talk. But slowly, and I mean slowly, they start hitting it off. They get married and Tess decides to tell her secret, against her mother's wishes. This dude first tells of how he laid with a lady for a day. Then he decides to disown his new wife because she was "impure." Hey, asshole, you got the hottest woman in England ever since they put a woman in England. Get over it, you hypocrite.
Well, then the first boy reappears all saved by Jesus and such. He then sees Tess, and turns his life upside down. Aw, shits about to hit the farm house fan. I'm gonna rush this because it's starting to be as long as the novel. She ends up in jail for killing her baby daddy who she got back with because her douchbag husband went off to Brazil and returned too late and then she is put to death. The second guy ends up marrying Tess's younger sister. WTF?!!
All in all, the book was a slow painful death that no one should have to endure. There was one great, great quote that I use everyday of my life now. I thought it was pure literary genius in a book full of literary spikes. I can't remember how it went or what the exact words are. I tried looking it up, but at some point in the book Alec, the asshole, says: "I have no profession." I love that shit. It's a horrible way to wrap up a review of a book, but if you want to know how the end really goes, then read the book. No really, I'll wait for you to never finish it and then tell me all about it. I'll wait.