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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, Lynne Truss (Introduction), Roz Chast (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,8061361,362 (4.04)359
Member:bostonbibliophile
Title:Cold Comfort Farm (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Authors:Stella Gibbons
Other authors:Lynne Truss (Introduction), Roz Chast (Illustrator)
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)

1001 (50) 1001 books (43) 1930s (55) 20th century (97) 20th century literature (17) British (109) British fiction (23) British literature (67) classic (83) classic fiction (21) classics (46) comedy (44) England (114) English (34) English literature (50) family (31) farm (25) favorite (20) fiction (732) Folio Society (62) humor (349) literature (50) novel (115) own (18) parody (58) read (62) satire (138) to-read (82) UK (25) unread (33)
  1. 102
    Emma by Jane Austen (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Flora is very clearly modeled on Emma.
  2. 71
    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
    Who was Changed and Who was Dead by Barbara Comyns (laytonwoman3rd)
  8. 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.
  9. 01
    My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell (MyriadBooks)
  10. 03
    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 359 mentions

English (127)  Spanish (5)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (134)
Showing 1-5 of 127 (next | show all)
Laugh-out-loud funny at times; very insular, and knowledge of Victorian and Edwardian history and politics is required to get some of the inside jokes Gibbons maps on to very caricature-esque characters. Some of the chapters dragged on and I felt this would have worked better as a short story or novella. The implicit analysis of class relations was done well, and I liked how Gibbons shows her debt to literary predecessors like Austen and Dickens while still firmly rooted in 1930s England. ( )
  proustitute | Jul 17, 2014 |
Laugh-out-loud funny at times; very insular, and knowledge of Victorian and Edwardian history and politics is required to get some of the inside jokes Gibbons maps on to very caricature-esque characters. Some of the chapters dragged on and I felt this would have worked better as a short story or novella. The implicit analysis of class relations was done well, and I liked how Gibbons shows her debt to literary predecessors like Austen and Dickens while still firmly rooted in 1930s England. ( )
  proustitute | Jul 17, 2014 |
A parody of the idealized rural life. It is funny, but not hilarious. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
Loved this! ( )
  bookwormam | Jul 8, 2014 |
Cold Comfort Farm was first published in 1932 and was Stella Gibbons’ first novel. It is one of those novels which became almost an instant classic, but which is not the first book one thinks of when they think “classic literature.” Stella Gibbons was born in the UK and her novel is set there. Flora Poste finds herself highly educated, but unable to support herself after the death of both her parents. She immediately sets about contacting various relatives and asking if she can live with them (this as a way of not finding work). She accepts an invitation to live on Cold Comfort Farm with her aunt and extended relatives. The farm is out in the country (as farms tend to be) and the characters who live there include Elfine (a flighty free spirit), Seth, Reuben, Judith Starkadder, Adam (who washes dishes with a twig), Amos Starkadder and a menagerie of farm animals including the cows Feckless, Graceless, Aimless and Pointless.

The novel is essentially satire – lighthearted, funny and a bit eccentric. Despite it being written in the 1930′s, it has a modern appeal. The characters and their weirdness are what drive the narrative…and much of the plot is meandering as a way of supporting the growth of the characters.

I enjoyed much of the book, but will admit to growing weary of it before turning the last page. Some of what happens just felt silly to me. Flora does redeem herself from a selfish, lazy person into someone I grew to like. There is a “mystery” in the novel which unfortunately Gibbons leaves unresolved. I found that a bit annoying.

Over all, Cold Comfort Farm is worth the read for those who enjoy British Literature and Classic Fiction…but be prepared to set aside reality and simply step into the crazy world of the Starkadders first! ( )
  writestuff | Apr 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 127 (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
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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.
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"I saw something nasty in the woodshed!"
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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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Five editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0143039598, 0141441593, 0140448500, 0141045485, 0241951518

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