It's not like earlier Hardy. The sensuality has gone. No more moo-cows in lush green pastures. The writing is spare, perfunctory, sometimes clumsy. At times it's as if he no longer cares. At least no longer cares about the novel as art.
The Bishop of Wakefield burned his copy (Thomas Hardy, meet Salman Rushdie) because what has the Church to do with truth?
Got any illusions- About men and women, sex, religion, education, morality? This'll scotch 'em.