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Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
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Cold Comfort Farm (original 1932; edition 2006)

by Stella Gibbons, Lynne Truss (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,9701491,290 (4.04)426
Member:pikorua
Title:Cold Comfort Farm
Authors:Stella Gibbons (Author)
Other authors:Lynne Truss (Introduction)
Info:Penguin Classics (2006), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Finished, Your library, Kindle e-book, K-Fiction-EN
Rating:****
Tags:english, fiction, 2012

Work details

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (1932)

  1. 112
    Emma by Jane Austen (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Flora is very clearly modeled on Emma.
  2. 91
    Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Another brilliant parody.
  3. 30
    Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions by Daniel Wallace (msouliere)
  4. 30
    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.
  5. 20
    Mapp and Lucia by E. F. Benson (Michael.Rimmer)
  6. 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.
  7. 53
    A Room with a View by E. M. Forster (upster)
    upster: It's refreshing and fun
  8. 10
    Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson (amanda4242)
    amanda4242: Both books are sure to cheer up anyone having a miserable day.
  9. 10
    Who was Changed and Who was Dead by Barbara Comyns (laytonwoman3rd)
  10. 02
    My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell (MyriadBooks)
  11. 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.
1930s (8)
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» See also 426 mentions

English (142)  Spanish (5)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (149)
Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
What nasty thing did Aunt Ada Doom see in the woodshed when she was two, and no bigger than a titty-wren? We never do find out. We know that there have always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm. Tied to the farm by the invisible chains that Aunt Ada Doom has spun with her seeming madness, the various members of the Starkadder family are certainly an odd bunch. Flora, Robert Poste's child (as all of the Starkadders refer to her), is left with a yearly income of only 100 pounds after her father dies. Having no desire to earn a living, she determines to live with relatives, and chooses to move to Cold Comfort Farm. She arrives to find a muddy, dusty, dirty (how many words can we use to describe how filthy it was) farm filled with a strange assortment of relatives. Flora determines to tidy up the farm and the lives of the people who live there. Written as a parody of the brooding, overdramatic novels of the time period, this book is wonderfully comic and filled with vivid characters and images. While I didn't find it laugh out loud funny as many have said, I did find it delightfully amusing. Gibbons sets the timeframe in the near future, and has one character using a video telephone, and others using aeroplanes as taxis.

Read Jan 2014 ( )
  NanaCC | Jul 26, 2015 |
Pure magic - so funny, so clever, so sweet. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Jul 19, 2015 |
Yeah, I'll maybe reattempt this someday in a different mindset, but I strongly disliked the "voice" of the author - the humour was overly knowing and a bit smug.
  humblewomble | Jul 14, 2015 |
Stella Gibbons's Cold Comfort Farm follows protagonist Flora, an almost ruthlessly pragmatic and tidy person, as she imposes upon her dour relatives in Sussex. The Starkadders, proprietors of the farm, are a collection of quirky individuals ranging from the hellfire-and-brimstone Amos, the wild and untamed Elphine, and the matriarch of the family, Ada Doom, who once "saw something nasty in the woodshed" and has never fully recovered from the trauma.

With a deep belief in tidiness, a familiarity with all sorts of literary tropes (including the ubiquity of men named Seth and Reuben residing in the country), and a sangfroid worthy of Alice in Wonderland, Flora begins to sort out the depressing lives of the inhabitants of Cold Comfort Farm.

I commiserated with Lynne Truss's superb introduction when she said she had initially put off reading the book, imagining the parody to be irrelevant as the genre it skewers, but Gibbons's humor has not aged; her tart, terse prose is perfectly suited to comedy. Even the little details, such as the names of the cows (Feckless, Aimless, Pointless, and Graceless), are hilarious.

A hysterical parody of the traditional country story, Cold Comfort Farm remains a classic of the English parody.
( )
  kittyjay | Apr 23, 2015 |
It's important to know up front that this is a satire. I had always heard of the book, but knew little about it. It's a short book, and, therefore, if you're not aware it's a broad satire it's quite bewildering and takes awhile to get into the flow - esp. the conversations. Otherwise, it's great fun. ( )
  NellieMc | Mar 15, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stella Gibbonsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blake, QuentinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chast, RozIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spencer, StanleyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery -- Mansfield Park.
NOTE The action of the story takes place in the near future.
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.
To Anthony Pookworthy, Esq., A.B.S., L.L.R. My dear Tony, It is with something more than the natural deference of a tyro at the loveliest, most arduous and perverse of the arts in the presence of a master-craftsman that I lay this book before you. (From the Foreword)
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.
"Straw or chaff, leaf or fruit, we mun all come to 't."
"Curses, like rookses, comes home to rest in bosomes and barnses."
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:48 -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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