The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy
Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?
The narrator maintains a level of detachment throughout the novel, describing landscapes, objects, and people with the same general tone. The narrator does occasionally seem to feel sympathy for the main characters, especially in moments of weakness or when they're about to make a mistake, but the narrator's sympathy doesn't really lessen the level of detachment.