Cold Comfort Farm

Cold Comfort Farm

by Stella Gibbons

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781388273378
Publisher: Blurb
Publication date: 07/25/2018
Pages: 136
Sales rank: 946,741
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.32(d)

About the Author

Stella Dorothea Gibbons (1902-1989) was born in London. A novelist, poet and short-story writer, her first novel, Cold Comfort Farm, won the Femina Vie Heuruse Prize for 1933. Amongst her other novels are Miss Linsey and Pa, Nightingale Wood, Westwood, Conference at Cold Comfort Farm, and Beside the Pearly Water (1954).

Lynne Truss is a writer and journalist. She is the author of the number one bestseller, Eats, Shoots & Leaves, which has sold more than two million copies, won the national British Book Award, and was on the New York Times bestseller list or forty-five weeks. She lives in Brighton, England.

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Cold Comfort Farm 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
Ninderry2 More than 1 year ago
This is my favourite book of all time! The story is quite mad but ultra positive. If ever I'm feeling a bit down I listen to the audio version. I laugh out loud at this book! The story is one of chaos & order restored by Miss Flora Poste - she is a control freak but in the nicest way - if only it was that easy in the real World! The characters are extreme but are reflections of their place in time - it is a snapshot of the social difference between Town & Country during the early 20th Century.I adore this story & have DVD, audio & books. It is innocent but wickedly funny and Flora is working towards the fulfillment of the lives of the characters.In this edition there are excellent illustrations - 'Big Business' the bull is especially energetic! (The artist is not acknowledged?) The glossary is very useful for the uninitiated!!Thank you for this book,B&N.
kren250 More than 1 year ago
Written as a parody of the sensationalized novels of the 1930s, Cold Comfort Farm is a short, funny, entertaining story. It all starts when orphaned Flora decides she would rather live off her relatives than find a job. After dashing off letters to her unsuspecting relations, she picks the Starkadder family of Cold Comfort Farm to move in with. The Starkadders are a bit of a backwards bunch: an oversexed brother, wild sister, and Bible thumping father, among others. They are all overseen by Flora's Great Aunt Ada Doom, who saw "something nasty in the woodshed" years before. Hilarity ensues as Flora attempts to clean up, domesticate, and civilize the Starkadder clan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It should be noted somewhere on the edition of this book from bn publishing that theirs is an abridged version, apparently for schools or English language learners. I bought it online because it was cheaper, not realizing. The book itself doesn't even say this. Loved the book, but wish I had read the whole thing...
Guest More than 1 year ago
i thought it was real good. it is something different from what i usually read, but its real nice. it is very British-y!! cool! üü maganda
snash on LibraryThing 17 days ago
A parody of English Victorian novels full of romance played out against a dreary atmosphere. The parody is hardly subtle. It is exaggerated to the ludicrous from my perspective. It is pure silliness that becomes at least entertaining once the scene is set (the first half of the book) and actions begin.I can't say I particularly liked the book. The English Victorian novel does not seem an integral piece of society such that it's parody adds to an understanding of society or people. It seems merely an entertaining exercise.
pinkozcat on LibraryThing 17 days ago
A very funny book. I especially enjoyed the names of the cattle: Aimless, Feckless, Graceless and Pointless, and Big Business, the bull.I was greatly amused by Gibbons' periodic descents into turgid prose, helpfully marked by star rating just in case the reader missed these gems.However, the book lost half a star because I never found out what happened to the goat, how the cow lost a leg and what Aunt Ada Doom saw in the woodshed. Is there a sequel ... ?
jayne_charles on LibraryThing 17 days ago
I am always surprised by the the praise heaped on this book, which seemed to me a bit lacking in substance. Gibbons invents some admirable, and highly believable yokel-dialect, but beyond that it's just simplistic tripe. I appreciate what she's trying to do in parodying Hardy etc, but even he didn't perpetrate such paper-thin plots. I found myself longing for a bit of Hardy-esque flowery language, as the storyline just seemed to consist of Flora waving a magic wand and solving everyone's problems at a stroke. As for the Aunt Ada 'climax', it was unforgivable!
VirginiaGill on LibraryThing 17 days ago
I found this book almost excruciatingly boring and struggled to finish its 118 pages. Was very surprised to find at book club that the version I book was abridged...extremely so! Would not recommend this edition of the book to any reader and no, it was NOT sold as an abridged version. Make sure you get the full version of the book. The parts that were shared at book club were hysterical and would be well worth the reading time.
Milda-TX on LibraryThing 17 days ago
Well, I'm bummed.Thought I was reading a classic, felt like I was missing something, and found out afterwards that I picked up an abridged version by mistake.Shoot.It was still silly and fun, though.
bookworm12 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This book is supposed to be hilarious. I heard over and over again how funny it was. It¿s a tongue-in-cheek look at all those morose ¿finding oneself in the English countryside¿ novels. But I just didn¿t think it was funny. I felt about this book the way I felt about A Confederacy of Dunces; on paper I should have loved them, but in actually reading them, I couldn¿t make myself like them. The characters in Cold Comfort Farm were too hollow, too fake to enjoy. Flora is a silly orphaned young woman who decides to live for the next 30 years sponging off her relatives. She moves to Cold Comfort Farm in Sussex with the intention of spending a few decades ¿gathering material¿ for a book she will one day right. Once she moves in with her distant relatives, the Starkadders, she starts trying to fix everyone¿s lives. She gives her cousin Elfine a makeover and introduces another cousin, Seth, to a movie producer. The crazy old matriarch of the family spends all of her time shut up in her room telling everyone who comes near her that when she was young, she ¿saw something nasty in the woodshed.¿ Ok, we get it, and yet with all that moaning, we never find out what she saw! Add to that Judith¿s wailing and Amos¿ preaching and the detestable advances of Maybug and it just didn¿t work for me. The entire novel is built around characters you don¿t like. I know it¿s supposed to be a satire, but I just didn¿t enjoy it. It¿s one of the few times in my life that I¿ve found the movie to be better than the book. The 1995 version is entertaining, but I still didn¿t love it. There are definitely some funny lines, but for such a short book, it really dragged for me. ¿My idea of hell is a very large party in a cold room, where everyone has to play hockey properly.¿¿One of the disadvantages of almost universal education was the fact that all kinds of persons acquired a familiarity with one¿s favorite writers. It gave one a curious feeling; it was like seeing a drunken stranger wrapped in one¿s dressing-gown.¿
Sean191 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I had high hopes for this book. That was the problem - my hopes were too high. I had read commentary left and right about how hilarious it was, but I found it only amusing. I've not really had experience with the types of books it lampoons. Without reading other opinions, I would have expected less and enjoyed more, still I'd recommend the book as a pleasant read.
kren250 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Written as a parody of the sensationalized novels of the 1930s, Cold Comfort Farm is a short, funny, entertaining story. It all starts when orphaned Flora decides she would rather live off her relatives than find a job. After dashing off letters to her unsuspecting relations, she picks the Starkadder family of Cold Comfort Farm to move in with. The Starkadders are a bit of a backwards bunch: an oversexed brother, wild sister, and Bible thumping father, among others. They are all overseen by Flora's Great Aunt Ada Doom, who saw "something nasty in the woodshed" years before. Hilarity ensues as Flora attempts to clean up, domesticate, and civilize the Starkadder clan.
nicole47 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I liked it quite a bit. Very similar to the movie, which I found surprising. The movie was very faithful, but usually there's more stuff in the book. That wasn't the case here.I did love the literary forward in this edition. I feel as if I have learned something. I'd had no idea that the book was a minor classic written in the 1930s-- based on the movie I'd thought it a modern work playing off Wodehouse or Agatha Christie, but no, it is a contemporary parody of a much more serious literature movement... all those classics I'd avoided reading in high school with your Henry James and so on. No wonder I like this so much.Quite enjoyable and tongue-in-cheek, and I did feel sympathy for the characters even if they were meant to be stereotypes (though, the foreword points out that she brings a third dimension to these 2-dimensional archetypes, and I quite agree). And yes, I hadn't thought of it, but reading the other reviews, the moral is exactly the opposite of that of Emma. But Flora is tidying and Emma was introducing complexities. :)
lmichet on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This is one of the most refreshingly silly and deftly-written books I have ever had the pleasure to get my hands on. As a parody of a genre that no longer exists, it might seem a bit remote, but it's so wonderfully done that I'm sure it will remain readable and enjoyable for many years. It's a humour classic and the best parody I have ever read.One of the best things about Gibbons' writing is that she really goes the extra yard. The notice in the beginning: "NOTE: The action of this story takes place in the near future" had entirely passed out of my mind until I stumbled upon her absurd mention of video-televisions and the "Anglo-Nicaraguan wars of '46" that have reduced Claud, Flora's friend, into a hilariously grim parody of a World War One veteran. A lesser writer would have confined herself to lampooning silly accents and the mysterious sukebind. But no-- Gibbons is fantastic. The starred passages are also an example of her ability to go above and beyond the call of parody: throughout this book, her clear and enjoyable style is punctuated by near-unreadable passages where she imitates the writing style of the genre she is imitating-- passages where suns set like overturned chamber-pots and young men rustle with animalistic passion on windy tors. It's absolutely amazing. I want to write something like this someday. I would die happy.There is absolutely no reason not to read this book. It's a parody of a long-lost genre of steamy countryside romance, but it's also solid on its own two feet-- it's an absurd tale filled with fantastically outrageous characters who Gibbons treats with equal amounts of hilarity and compassion. And, like all good comedies from earlier eras, it ends with weddings and wallflowers. A masterpiece. Find it at once.
pipster on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I've watched the film version of this several times and finally read the book. Both are fun, and I think this is one case in which the film lives up to the spirit of the book. It was difficult for me to read without picturing Kate Beckinsdale as Flora and Joanna Lumley as Miss Smiley. Gibbons should have written a book about Miss Smiley--I'd love to know more about the Pioneers-O and the brassiere collection. This book is a nice spoof on Jane Austen's Emma and its interesting that Beckinsdale has also played that role.
kjacobson1 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I've watched the film version of this several times and finally read the book. Both are fun, and I think this is one case in which the film lives up to the spirit of the book. It was difficult for me to read without picturing Kate Beckinsdale as Flora and Joanna Lumley as Miss Smiley. Gibbons should have written a book about Miss Smiley--I'd love to know more about the Pioneers-O and the brassiere collection. This book is a nice spoof on Jane Austen's Emma and its interesting that Beckinsdale has also played that role.
kcstewart on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I read this book for the first time recently after years of meaning to pick it up. Quirky and fun it was a joy to read, with Gibbon's descriptions of some of the characters beautifully written. I'm ashamed it took me so long to read it!
tandah on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I really enjoyed this book - on one hand, a witty p*take on alpha author DH Lawrence and gloomy Thomas Hardy, overt referencing of the Brontes, a slight nod to Austen's 'Emma' with slatherings of bread and butter; and on the other hand, just a good, funny read. The hero Flora, descends on gloomy Cold Comfort Farm and its inhabitants, and then sets about to put all of their miserable little lives back to rights. If only it was so simple, perhaps it is. Anyway, 'Cold Comfort Farm' is truly a comfort book, and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a witty book that they can escape with for a little while.
Kasthu on LibraryThing 25 days ago
A tongue-in-cheek satire, Cold Comfort Farm is a novel about a young woman named Flora Poste, who goes to live with her cousins, the Starkadder family, on their farm in Sussex. It¿s a cast of characters, to be sure: Judith and Amos, and their children, Seth, Reuben, and Elfine; and a host of others, including the reclusive Aunt Ada Doom, who hasn¿t left her room in 20 years because she saw something nasty in the woodshed when she was a child. One by one, Flora takes on each member of the family, acting as a sort of fairy godmother, especially to Elfine.It¿s a funny novel, but not overtly so. For example, I loved the part where Mr Mybug (not really his name, but no matter) regales Flora with his theory about Branwell Bronte being the author of Wuthering Heights. In this way Stella Gibbons parodies the classic Victorian novels, as well as many of the women¿s novels of the 1930s (many of which were reprinted by Virago Modern Classics, so I kind of have a point of reference). As with most satirical novels, it¿s over the top, but so over the top that it becomes unbelievable. But it¿s an odd book, nonetheless, especially since Gibbons set it sometime in the future (from 1932). But we don¿t know exactly what year it¿s supposed to be, so the events in this novel take place in a kind of vacuum. It¿s bizarre, but bizarre in a good way!
kant1066 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This book is hilarious. More than once I made a fool of myself while reading it in front of other people, bursting out in spontaneous laughter when I got to a particular passage. It is pure parody. But of course, it helps to know what is being parodied: the object of derision here is the rustic, rural life portrayed in countless novels by D. H. Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, and Mary Webb. But even if you¿re not familiar with the dark, brooding nature of some of these characters, I think the book remains funny because it has aged very well. The book begins with the death of the Flora Poste¿s parents, and her relatively blasé reaction. Unaffected though she is, she finds that her parents have left no money to support her, and she simply cannot bring herself to work for a living. Instead, she decides to impose upon her cousins, the Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm with only the aid of a favorite book, ¿The Higher Common Sense.¿ This is when the fun begins. On arriving at Cold Comfort Farm, she finds a host of backward, absurd rubes with names like Urk, Elfine, and Amos. (On the farm, there are four cows named Graceless, Aimless, Feckless, and Pointless.) Presiding over the whole clan is the loony, elderly matriarch Aunt Adam Doom, who at one point repeatedly declares that she ¿saw something nasty in the woodshed.¿ But none of this manages to perturb Flora, whose Englishness seems to foreordain a neat, tidy plan for everyone involved. She rescues Elfine from a freewheeling ¿loam and lovechild¿ life of writing poetry, and marries her off to a local man by the name of Richard Hawk-Monitor. She sets up Mr. Mybug, an officious hack-scholar who is working on a book supposedly demonstrating that the works of the Bronte sisters are really the product of their brother Branwell, with a girl named Rennett. Perhaps her biggest accomplishment is convincing Aunt Adam Doom to leave Cold Comfort Farm to finally leave the room she has confined herself to for twenty years to spend some time in Paris.This novel is wonderful lightness, but that should not be confused with being light: it is so wonderfully crafted, full of such deft sharpness and acerbic wit that it is difficult to write off as simply a parlor game satire. The narrative voice is memorably tart and sardonic, but not overweening. Whenever you think that Flora will trip up in one of her plans, you find that she is already three steps ahead of you: in fact, she already has you, the reader, figured out. The silly, unbelievable characters do prevent Flora from having a Big Problem to solve, but I always appreciated her ability to compartmentalize, rationalize, and order what she conceived to be a very disorderly universe. It struck me as a very English theme. And you¿ll probably walk away from the novel smirking at yourself if you¿ve ever admitted that you admired a novel by Thomas Hardy or D. H. Lawrence.
miss_read on LibraryThing 25 days ago
A deliciously biting parody, and I loved every page of it. In my next life, I'd like very much to be Flora Poste, wearing pretty green dresses, sitting in my parlor nibbling an apple while reading a Victorian novel and, of course, bringing order to the messy "uncivilised" lives of others. I'd like to start at the beginning again and get another dose of mollocking, clettering, budding sukebind and nasty things in the woodshed. Just brilliant.
MrBookface on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Flora Post, city girl and all-round good-hearted smarty pants, goes to stay with her intellectually-challenged country cousins.Slight but thoroughly enjoyable read. Plenty of witty one liners. Great way to spend a long train journey. Heartily recommended.
upster on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I love this book. It's one of three that I can go back to and read over and over and feel like I'm on holiday (the other two are 'The Enchanted April' and 'A Room with a View').The book is about a girl (Flora Poste), who isn't entirely wealthy, but who doesn't need to worry about money either, who goes off to a farm to live with relatives. It's a dark and dirty place and all the inhabitants are content with their lot, but Flora sees that things could be different and sets about changing things.It's a great read.
andyram on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Oddly enough, the superficial Austen connection that led me to this movie was the Emma-Kate Beckinsale one. Gibbons ofcourse has more Austen sprinkled along the tale. Flora Poste is ostensibly a modern Emma, deriving a healthy cynicism from the intervening stereotyping of the countryside, authors, preachers, mad-women. The addition of the completely whimsical elements of "seeing something nasty in the woodshed" and the cows whose legs fall off from time to time, makes the book a jolly read.
Fluffyblue on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This is a wonderful book, really well-written in a kind of parody of a British classic book. I love the way that Gibbons' stars what she considers to be her "finer passages" , which always seem to be the most eccentric sentences! I also really enjoyed the way the story came together in the end. There were a lot of characters which can seem a bit daunting, particularly at the beginning of the book (all the Starkadders and their wives, and Flora's friends and acquaintances), but you do get to know the characters you need to know about by stealth in the end!This is a book I will probably read again and again and again...