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Cold Comfort Farm (Penguin Classics Deluxe…
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Cold Comfort Farm (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (original 1932; edition 2006)

by Stella Gibbons, Roz Chast (Illustrator), Lynne Truss (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,8671411,331 (4.03)389
Member:bostonbibliophile
Title:Cold Comfort Farm (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Authors:Stella Gibbons
Other authors:Roz Chast (Illustrator), Lynne Truss (Introduction)
Info:Penguin Classics (2006), Edition: 4th, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:fiction, staff pick

Work details

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (1932)

  1. 102
    Emma by Jane Austen (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Flora is very clearly modeled on Emma.
  2. 81
    Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Another brilliant parody.
  3. 30
    Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions by Daniel Wallace (msouliere)
  4. 20
    Mapp and Lucia by E. F. Benson (Michael.Rimmer)
  5. 20
    The Straight and Narrow Path by Honor Tracy (rebeccanyc)
    rebeccanyc: Another satire, this time of the Irish countryside, the English in Ireland, and the Catholic church.
  6. 53
    A Room with a View by E. M. Forster (upster)
    upster: It's refreshing and fun
  7. 10
    Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson (amanda4242)
    amanda4242: Both books are sure to cheer up anyone having a miserable day.
  8. 10
    Who was Changed and Who was Dead by Barbara Comyns (laytonwoman3rd)
  9. 10
    The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer (Bjace)
    Bjace: While it's not in the same genre, the books are similiar. Both Sophy and Flora Post are Miss Fix-its, whose practical, problem-solving approach to life is a contrast to the silliness of their relatives. Also, both are delightful reads in different ways.
  10. 02
    My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell (MyriadBooks)
  11. 13
    The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence (thorold)
    thorold: The Rainbow is a great novel that's well worth reading for its own sake, but it's also the supreme example of the over-portentous way of writing about the countryside that makes the parody in Cold Comfort Farm so hilarious.
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» See also 389 mentions

English (134)  Spanish (5)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (141)
Showing 1-5 of 134 (next | show all)
Flora Poste moves in with distant relatives on Cold Comfort Farm and decides to fix everybody.

I absolutely adored this book! I had a feeling I would, since I've seen the movie several times. The book is, in many ways, funnier, because it's written in that overblown, melodramatic fashion of pastoral novels popular at the time, but with just enough snark thrown in. I laughed out loud many times. Yet despite being a satire, the characters are very human. The task Flora sets for herself is to transform them from caricatures into people, and she succeeds. Flora is just my kind of British heroine: sensible, pragmatic, straightforward, intolerant of overblown emotions and a reader. I'm sure I will reread this one often.

Read in 2014. ( )
  sturlington | Dec 15, 2014 |
Cold Comfort Farm is a comic story set in mid 20th century England. The central character is Flora - an intelligent young city lady with an inveterate urge to organize the lives of others. Despite excellent social connexions, Flora inherits only a meagre income after her parents' death. However, she disdains the option of paid work, and has no qualms about asking distant relatives if she may live with them. That is how Flora comes to be with the Starkadders, a family which has lived and farmed for countless generations in an ancient Sussex manor, rigidly dominated by Grandmother.

Flora takes on the self-appointed task of removing the emotional shackles that bind the Starkadders, to set them free to pursue their dreams. The beauty of the book lies in the sustained comic exaggeration, a deliberate parody of classic novels rooted in an idealized picture of rural England. Gibbons's inventive language is a delight, particularly the exchanges in rich Sussex dialect. To my mind it doesn't quite live up to the front cover billing of "probably the funniest book ever written" - maybe a tad dated for the modern reader? The ending is predictably happy, though some intriguing questions remain unanswered - mischievously, I suspect. Overall it’s a good, fun read. ( )
  Fortunatus | Nov 12, 2014 |
excellent, sparkling satire. ( )
  Violetthedwarf | Oct 23, 2014 |
excellent, sparkling satire. ( )
  Violetthedwarf | Oct 23, 2014 |
I thought I'd read this before but it was the '94 (?) tele-movie adaptation that I was remembering. From the mock intro letter, detailing Gibbons' plan to put * and ** in front of particularly juicy bits of text to the dovetailing of the plot in the final pages, this was a hilarious joy to read. Now I need to watch that TV movie again: Stephen Fry as Mr Mybug is just too delicious to resist! ( )
  Vivl | Oct 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 134 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stella Gibbonsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chast, RozIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery -- Mansfield Park.
Dedication
To Allan and Ina
First words
The education bestowed upon Flora Poste by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged; and when they died within a few weeks of one another during the annual epidemic of influenza or Spanish Plague which occured in her twentieth year, she was discovered to possess every art and grace save that of earning her own living.
Quotations
"I saw something nasty in the woodshed!"
She loved them all dearly, but this evening she just did not want to see them any more.
There have always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143039598, Paperback)

Stella Gibbons' novel is a wickedly funny portrait of British rural life in the 1930s. Flora, a recently orphaned socialite, moves in with her country relatives, the gloomy Starkadders of Cold Comfort Farm.

A Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition with French flaps, rough front, and luxurious packaging
Features an introduction from Lynne Truss and cover illustrations by Roz Chast

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:13 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When a well-educated young socialite in 1930s England is left orphaned and unable to support herself at age twenty-two, she moves in with her eccentric relatives on their farm.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0143039598, 0141441593, 0140448500, 0141045485, 0241951518

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