Kenneth Branagh's Bookshelf
By Thomas Hardy
This is a titanic book—reminiscent of Wuthering Heights in that it's one of those great, dark romances where the landscape plays such an important role. I found it impossible not to be swept up in the story of Eustacia Vye and Clym Yeobright. This book is an extraordinary epic that shows human behavior—particularly with regard to love and ambition and jealousy—in its most extreme and passionate forms. It's almost exhausting to read; it feels as if it goes into the bowels of the Earth and into the very hearts of the characters.