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Publisher's Summary

Thomas Hardy's first published novel, Desperate Remedies is a thrilling blend of Gothic mystery and love-triangle romance.

After the untimely death of their parents, Cytheria and Owen Graye must go out into the world and fend for themselves. Cytheria's journey leads her to the dark and mysterious household of Miss Aldclyffe, a capricious and eccentric woman, who steers Cytheria into a love affair with her charismatic steward, Aeneous Manston. All is not what it seems, and Cytheria finds herself entangled in a violent web of lust, murder, deception, and blackmail.

With its beautiful and evocative scenes, along with themes of fate and class, the novel contains many traces of Hardy's signature style, and is a unique take on the Victorian 'sensation' novel.

Public Domain (P)2017 Naxos AudioBooks

What listeners say about Desperate Remedies

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A thriller!

Anna Bentinck gives a terrific reading of this early novel by Thomas Hardy. She's becoming one of my favorite narrators.

The chapters in Desperate Remedies are organized by time - nothing unusual about that in a conventional novel. But in this one, the time covered by each chapter is announced loudly and clearly by the chapter title: The Events of Three Weeks, The Events of Ten Months, The Events of One Day: with the date and sometimes the hour of the day precisely named.

At this point it shouldn't be a spoiler to say the book has a mostly happy ending. It gets there by some of the most melodramatically thrilling plot twists Hardy ever wrote. Toward the end it becomes something of a mystery novel, with one professional and several amateur detectives on the case; and it's topped off with not one but two deathbed confessions.

A hugely enjoyable listen for me (and I hope for others as well).

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Excellent!!!

I thought I’d read all of Thomas Hardy’s novels, and then came across this one. Figured it might not be great, since I hadn’t heard of it, but love Hardy, so read it. It is exceptional! So intriguing and suspenseful!

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So glad I finished it.

The thing that keeps me reading Hardy books is because . . . well, it's Hardy. Sometimes difficult but always good. My advice is to change the narration speed up to 1.2x - perfect.

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Dreadful reading

The book and the author are wonderful but the reading was painful and totally lacking in depth, nuance or feeling. I couldn't stomach it and feel that it was a waist of my money.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-16-21

Slow paced drama that unfolds and ties everything together in the end

Great book. Believable characters albeit of their time and perhaps like Dickens’ kind of distilled versions of real people. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone wanting a bit of drama crime romance and suspense in the period setting. Performance was excellent as well. Cheers