Cold Comfort Farm

Cold Comfort Farm

by Stella Gibbons

Winner of the 1933 Femina Vie Heureuse Prize, COLD COMFORT FARM is a wickedly funny portrait of British rural life in the 1930s. Flora Poste, a recently orphaned socialite, moves in with her country relatives, the gloomy Starkadders of Cold Comfort Farm, and becomes enmeshed in a web of violent emotions, despair, and scheming, until Flora manages to set things right.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 3.91
  • Pages: 233
  • Publish Date: March 28th 2006 by Penguin Classics
  • Isbn10: 0143039598
  • Isbn13: 9780143039594

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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. Rarely do I see a film much better than a really good book, but this is it. 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

I can also imagine her gently cackling to herself in polite and proper manner as she clattered out the lines which would come together to form the world of Cold Comfort Farm; Postes, Starkadders, Beetles, Myburns and all. Apparently penniless with only 100 per year to her name (this was thought to be a paltry sum in Jane Austen's day so clearly young Ms Poste is gently skulling up financial shit-creek), she throws herself upon the mercy of her relatives and with jutting chin and determined step, strikes out boldly for Sussex and Cold Comfort Farm.

Muriel Spark-ish Tartness: "Cold Comfort Farm" by Stella Gibbons The first two-thirds of it are much funnier than the last third.

"Nature," she says, "is all very well in her place, but she must not be allowed to make things untidy." This edition of the book has the added pleasure of an appreciation of Stella Gibbons in the form of an introduction by Lynn Truss (in which we are treated to hear what Virgina Woolf--a bit of a sad sack herself--had to say about Gibbons) and irreverant cover illustrations by Roz Chast, (whose style will be instantly recognizable to New Yorker readers.

I haven't read much by the former mentioned authors to appreciate the full extent of Gibbons jabs, but it doesn't matter because the humor is obvious.

Not a comedy but a satire, but done with a love for pastoral classical writing that I think the author felt slightly embarrassed by. Think of Austen's Emma and you have the protagonist, Flora.

Leaving the house by the back door, you came up sharply against a stone wall running right across the yard, and turning abruptly, at right angles, just before it reached the shed where the bull was housed, and running down to the gate leading out into the ragged garden where mallows, dog's-body and wild turnip were running riot. Here it took a quick turn, and ended....The dairy overlooked the front door, in face of the extreme point of the triangle which formed the ancient buildings of the farmhouse. From the dairy a wall extended which formed the right-hand boundary of the octangle, joining the bull's shed and the pigpens at the extreme end of the right point of the triangle.

All of my trying-to-move-in-and-permanently-inhabit-a-fictional-world energies are currently taken up by the film Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again (2018). SOMEONE TALK ABOUT MAMMA MIA WITH ME I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW MUCH I LOVE IT. I love the book, too.

It probably makes this book funnier if you've read some of the books like Gone to Earth, Precious Bane, and a generous helping of Thomas Hardy and D.H. Lawrence - though I'm sure there are other authors who prompted Gibbons' send-up. Light-hearted and fun while also commenting on literary trends (Gibbons was writing in the 1930s), this is bright and very funny.