Read Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons Free Online
Book Title: Cold Comfort Farm|
The author of the book: Stella Gibbons
Edition: Penguin Classics
Date of issue: February 1st 1996
ISBN 13: 9780140188691
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 811 KB
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Reader ratings: 7.3
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Update I've just watched the film. It's even better than the book, by a long way. It's very affectionate, and very much played for gentle laughs. The cast is fantastic, some of the best actresses around including Eileen Atkins and Joanna Ab Fab Lumley, Stephen Fry and Ian McKellan. The attention to detail was stunning. Everything had been thought of - the lighting, colours and even face makeup of the women changed to reflect the lessening of the stranglehold Aunt Ada Doom had on the Starkadders and the lightness that Robert Post's child, Flora, brought to the farm. The ending was also an improvement on the 5* book.
If you like British films, this is so typical of gentle British humour. In an earlier decade it would have been an Ealing film. I don't think it could have been made in the US as most of the actors weren't remotely good looking. Even Elvine, playing a mini Eliza Doolittle role (an obvious pastiche) was rather average and the sex-obsessed and over-fertile girl had been made up to look like an unwashed farm girl. Only Kate Beckinsale (who is not the world's most brilliant actress, although she was competent here, was allowed to be a beauty.
I do recommend the film. And the book. Rarely do I see a film much better than a really good book, but this is it. John Schlesinger and Stella Gibbons, author and director, geniuses both.
When Aunt Ada Doom was just a small child, she saw "something nasty in the woodshed". And if it didn't blight her entire life, she certainly made sure it would blight, or at least add even more blight, to everyone else at Cold Comfort Farm, the family home and ancestral seat of the Starkadders.
Essentially this is the American tv series, the Hillbillies rewritten for 1930s Sussex and parodying Hardy, Lawrence, and various other Great British Writers, but is more related to the Hillbillies with incest, hellfire, strange obsessions (cows) and all manner of people who all have mental or emotional problems of the darker, more malign sort.
Into this maelstrom of petty evil, fear and ineptness, come the heroine. Flora Poste is the posh city cousin fallen on hard times whose father the Starkadders did something unmentionable to and feel guilty about so when she has nowhere to go, they take her in. But not willingly. She sorts them all out and brings them from their ignorant, Gothic-y insular life into the modern world.
It is a ridiculously funny novel, not as literary as the parodying might suggest. I haven't seen the film of it, only just learned there was one, which was apparently brilliant and stars top British actors and actresses (as opposed to 'stars' famous more for their beauty than any thespian ability). Sometimes I don't want to see the film of a favourite book in case the director hasn't seen it the same way as I have, but this time I want to.
Finished 26 Dec. 2011
Book review 19 May 2015
Film Review 24 May 2015
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Read information about the authorStella Dorothea Gibbons was an English novelist, journalist, poet and short-story writer.
Her first novel, Cold Comfort Farm, won the Femina Vie Heureuse Prize for 1933. A satire and parody of the pessimistic ruralism of Thomas Hardy, his followers and especially Precious Bain by Mary Webb -the "loam and lovechild" genre, as some called it, Cold Comfort Farm introduces a self-confident young woman, quite self-consciously modern, pragmatic and optimistic, into the grim, fate-bound and dark rural scene those novelists tended to portray.
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