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Silas Marner

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  48,789 Ratings  ·  2,372 Reviews
In this story of a reclusive weaver in a small English town who learns to trade his love of money for the love of those around him, the author explores such philosophical issues as the value of human relations and the connection between souls.
Hardcover, The World's Best Reading, 208 pages
Published January 1st 1986 by The Reader's Digest Association (first published 1861)
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Greg Z Alex, odd question, as the whole book takes less than two hours to read, and we know within the first few pages the "thief" is the person found dead…moreAlex, odd question, as the whole book takes less than two hours to read, and we know within the first few pages the "thief" is the person found dead later on and marner gets his money back. So, from a quantum physics/karma respect, no one, and everyone. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dear Ms Park,

I finally finished reading Silas Marner. Yes, I know you assigned it during my sophomore year in high school, but I didn't finish it until this past February. I know I passed the test you gave us on the story and I even made a passing grade on the paper that I wrote about the story. But I have to confess that it was Jake D.'s Classic Illustrated Comics version of the story that allowed me to make those grades. Poor Jake. Even after reading the comic book from cover to cover he still
Michael Sorensen
When I was a teen, I heard that Silas Marner was a horrid old book about a rotten old miser and that I never wanted to read it. My Thanks to modern day Steve Martin who has updated several classics (ie Cyrano de Bergerac's 'Roxane') and 'Silas Marner' with modern movies that beautifully hold true to the books. The Movie was "A Simple Little Wish" and it was a beautiful story of a man and a child he adopts. In the credits I saw that the movie was based on 'Silas Marner'. At that point I had to re ...more
Henry Avila
Sep 25, 2014 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An innocent young man, Silas Marner, is accused of stealing Church money, the actual crime committed, by his best friend, William, (a common occurrence ?), the culprit wants Silas's fiancee, Sarah. She soon rejects Silas, but not the treacherous William. The distraught weaver, flees Lantern Yard, when his brethren, do not believe him blameless, in the affair, to the country village of Raveloe . A bitter, broken man he becomes, his life ruined ... Apparently set in the English Midlands, during th ...more
The Fairy tale reading

Once upon a time, a poor linen weaver lived in a deep, dark, dank place. He had been much maligned, and had grown bitter and friendless. For comfort, he turned to work and building a crock of gold, which he kept hidden under a floorboard, and brought out at intervals to admire and gloat over. But one fateful evening, the feckless son of the local squire was passing by, and, having ridden his brother's horse to death by reckless hunting, and feeling sadly out of sorts at h
Oct 07, 2012 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strong 3.5 stars

As with Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, the only other Eliot book I’ve read thus far, _Silas Marner_ shows off just how keen an observer of human nature Eliot was both in the adept manner she has at detailing the psychological motivations of her characters’ actions and in the more explicit authorial asides in the narrative in which she details her insights into how the human mind and heart work, and the justifications that we give ourselves for our actions. No one in h
Tyler Jones
May 13, 2011 Tyler Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
2011 marks 150 years since the publication of Silas Marner. I can see why some modern readers would find the pace slow, the language difficult, the moral message too strong and the story too neatly tied up. That will happen if you insist that a mid-19th century novel be judged by early-21st century standards. I don't understand why some people refuse to read a book on it's own terms, but insist that the book conform to their terms. It's like they live in a city with great restaurants that repres ...more
Oct 11, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

This is a book which countless teenagers have been forced to read as part of the school syllabus. For some reason I didn't have to read it when I was at school. I'm glad that's the case, because I've a feeling this would not have appealed to me very much when I was a teenager.

As has been the case when I've read other novels by George Eliot, it took a while for me to become fully engaged with the narrative. But once the links between the various characters became clear, listening to the audioboo
Richard Derus
May 16, 2013 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a real-life Book Circle read that, well, got mixed reviews. Some people thought the writing was brilliant and others found it dated; some people thought it was too short, others too long for the short story they felt it truly was and not the novel it's pretending to be.

I think it's a lovely book. I think Silas is about as honestly drawn and cannily observed a character as fiction offers. I think the village of Raveloe is as real as my own village of Hempstead. It's a delight to rea
May 06, 2015 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"God gave her to me because you turned your back upon her, and He looks upon her as mine: you've no right to her!
When a man turns a blessing from his door, it falls to them as take it in."
One of the main reasons I like reading Victorian novels is for the eloquence. The above quote there is spoken by the eponymous Silas Marner, a character with little in the way of education or wealth, so there is a plainness in his eloquence. In his position I would have said "F*k off mister, finders keepers!
Kressel Housman
Those of you who’ve been following my reviews for a while may remember that I have an ambition of going to grad school and writing a thesis or dissertation on George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda. Well, even though I haven’t figured out a way to pay for grad school yet, I figured I might as well do the research on my own. So I’ve begun reading George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda Notebooks, which no doubt will take me a while, but I figured it was also high time I completed her entire oeuvre, and Silas Marner ...more
Jun 22, 2015 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wall street douchebags who should reexamine their priorities, maybe adopt an orphan
Silas Marner is the most accessible of George Eliot's novels, by which I mean it isn't like 700 pages long, which is a problem for it because that also means it's the one you had to read in high school. You didn't like it. Partly because your teacher made the whole class take turns reading out loud - why would you do that? - and partly because even at her snappiest Eliot is not the world's most exciting writer. She is the world's smartest writer! So that's nice for her. But she's no Dumas.

And th
Jul 08, 2008 Werner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of 19th century fiction
Recommended to Werner by: It was required reading in high school
Required reading assignments in school often aren't the most enjoyable reads, and the element of compulsion may prejudice the reader against them, but this novel proved to be a happy exception to that pattern! (Obviously, given the time frame, I read it in a different edition than the one above.) The above description of "faith and society" as Eliot's subject matter here is apt. After being cast out by his narrow religious sect when he is framed for a theft, Silas becomes an embittered and reclu ...more
Apr 13, 2012 Trevor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
This is an odd wee book. I quite enjoyed it, but it is rather more showing its age than Middlemarch did. And it is similar in some ways to Middlemarch, or seems to be in the middle if not at the start and the end. It has the feel of snapshots of small town life. But the main story seems really odd for someone who translated Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity. This is a tale of redemption, but also one of a special providence, and as such it is a very Christian work, I think.

The idea that a man
Apr 24, 2008 Ferris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this audiobook while on vacation. It is a bit slow in the first third, but I stuck it out and became completely engrossed in this second of George Eliot's novels that I've read. I think she really believed in karma. In this novel, as in "Middlemarch", characters clearly reap the consequences of the choices they make, particularly in relation to their behavior towards other people.

If you can get through the first third, it is well worth the read.
Mary Ronan Drew
Dec 30, 2011 Mary Ronan Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Back in the fall of 1963 I was practice teaching at New Bedford High School. I didn't get to choose any of the books I taught and I was distressed that I had to teach Silas Marner. I had read it myself in high school not so long before and didn't like it at all and couldn't see the point of it all. Too sentimental, too stilted in language, too unrealistic.

But of course I sat down with the book and a notepad and started to do some close reading, as they taught us to do in those days. And a master
"Silas Marner" é a minha primeira experiência com George Eliot e bem diferente da que estava à espera. Sem dúvida que foi uma decisão acertada começar a ler a autora por esta espécie de conto de fadas, deixando obras mais massudas para leitura posterior.
De Eliot sempre me falaram da genialidade das personagens, a carne e o sangue que imprimem no leitor, mas em "Silas Marner" não foi característica que se evidenciou, talvez devido ao forte domínio que o narrador exerce em todo o livro e ao seu el
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
If you are looking for a fast and thoroughly delightful and entertaining summer read, I would like to recommend George Eliot's slim novel, Silas Marner--The Weaver of Raveloe. I kept this next to my bedside, and read a few chapters each night; but it could just as easily be read in a few hours by a dedicated reader.

Eliot finished the novel in about six months and it was first published in April 1861. She wrote the novel during the time period that she was researching and writing her much larger
Sep 28, 2015 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, family
Reading the reviews on Goodreads of Silas Marner there is a clear pattern of pleasant surprise on rereading Silas Marner as an adult as compared to the horrors of having the book foisted upon them as a teenager. There are several apologies to the battalion of English teachers who gamely tried to beat the book into less than receptive minds. My English teacher was a lovely woman who was able to bring the most inaccessible of texts of life to my sparrow like attention span but as my parents main b ...more
Eliot does it again! I found, as with Eliot's short story 'Brother Jacob', and the doorstopper that is 'Daniel Deronda', that 'Silas Marner' became steadily more enjoyable as the story progresses. Silas is a weaver in the village of Raveloe, having been banished from his original home after being falsely accused of theft. He lives alone in a small cottage, with only his weaving (and his stash of gold) to get him through the day. A loner in many respects, his life consists of little more than cou ...more
George Eliot's Middlemarch is one of my 10 favorite novels. Silas Marner, while not quite at that level, is still very good. A good plot, outstanding characters, and wonderful imagery of life in a small English village in the early 19th century. If you like classics, you will almost certainly like this.
Apr 21, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Silas Marner, what people think and what really matters.
Silas Marner was a lonely, quiet, good man who was still judged wrongly even if all he did in his life was minding his own business. Having to leave the town where he was born because of false accusations, he still found people misjudging him in Raveloe. If that wasn't enough he was robbed of all the money he made from his honest work as a weaver and that was when Silas thought nothing mattered anymore. He kept on working and felt as if lif
From BBC Radio 4:
With the arrival of an orphan girl, the old recluse vows to change. Stars Michael Williams, Edward Woodward and Jenny Agutter

Page 10:
If there is an angle who records the sorrows of men as well as their sins, he knows how many and deep are the sorrows that spring from false ideas for which no man is culpable.

Page 11:
Minds that have been unhinged from their old faith and love, have perhaps sought this Lethean influence of exile, in which the past becomes dreamy because its symbol
Julie Davis
I remember hating this in high school English, but as I have learned lately, many books ruined by high school teachers deserve a second chance. This book was recommended by my daughter Rose as one that would be good for discussion on A Good Story is Hard to Find.

Truth be told, I brought it on a trip out of town because it was the smallest paperback I owned and it would fit in my purse. I have only had a chance to read a few pages but am fascinated by the description of England at that time and b
Mar 11, 2009 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shocker of all shockers: I liked this one. Quite a lot, in fact. Why is that shocking? When I read this little volume--and no, it's not the same copy--in tenth grade I absolutely hated it. Hate is really too kind a word for what I felt. Needless to say, it held the title of most-hated-book until my college days when Jude the Obscure took its place. (It still holds the honor, in case you're curious.) Which just goes to show you that almost without a doubt classics--at least some classics--fail to ...more
May 04, 2016 Maida rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maida by: Maida's Mom
Silas Marner was one of my mother's favorite books as a child. In fact, she loved the book SO much that she's been trying to convince me to read it for years. Upon reading the novel, I finally understand why my mom has such strong feelings about this book & why it had such a profound impact on her while she was growing up.... The novel touches on many themes-- the importance of hard work, honesty, karma, individualism versus a strong sense of community, faith & family (among other things ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 15, 2009 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jillian
Recommended to K.D. by: Nanay Pacing
Shelves: classics
This was the first classic that I finished from cover to cover and I enjoyed it. The reason why I read this was because my mom also read this when she was still young. When she was encouraging us to save money, she said that Silas was a good model but we could not lift the planks of our wooden floor. Instead, she gave us bamboos that serve as coin banks.
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 07, 2012 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
A read/trip worth taking...okay but really it's good. No way can I go further without spoilers, just "think" a book on redemption after pain and betrayal.

By the way, if your only knowledge of the book is a movie, do yourself a favor and read the book.
Oct 29, 2015 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I bought this to test out George Eliot before reading something longer like Middlemarch. Reading Silas Marner makes me want to read more by Eliot, so reading her masterpiece would be the next logical step.
I didn't know what to expect from this book. I bought it years ago and passed over it, but I finished A Tale of Two Cities recently and wanted more Victorian literature without reading something very long. I'm so glad I finally got to Silas. I love Eliot's writing style, her keen and philosoph
Sarah Anne
So, way back in the good ol' days (1994, I just couldn't resist the line) I watched a Steve Martin movie called A Simple Twist of Fate. I loved that movie so much that when I started reading Silas Marner, I quickly noticed that it's pretty much the same story. Enough about the movie. So this book is set in the early to mid 19th century and it has heaps of lovely things going for it. At the heart is a story of a man who is badly wounded by society so he moves away, confines himself to many many h ...more
Emma Flanagan
Jun 28, 2015 Emma Flanagan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up with some trepidation. The only person I’d ever heard talk about it was my mother who had studied it in school, and therefore hated it with kind of hatred that can only be born by studying a text for a state exam, reading and rereading it too many times to count, examining every sentence in terms of theme, tone and technique till the words have lost all meaning. There really is nothing quite like studying a book for state exam to make you truly hate a book. For this reason ...more
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Teachings from Silas Marner 14 188 Apr 07, 2014 09:51PM  
  • Phineas Redux
  • Castle Rackrent
  • The Return of the Native
  • Mary Barton
  • New Grub Street
  • Dombey and Son
  • Marius the Epicurean
  • The Expedition of Humphry Clinker
  • The Life and Death of Harriett Frean
In 1819, novelist George Eliot (nee Mary Ann Evans), was born at a farmstead in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, where her father was estate manager. Mary Ann, the youngest child and a favorite of her father's, received a good education for a young woman of her day. Influenced by a favorite governess, she became a religious evangelical as an adolescent. Her first published work was a religious poe ...more
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“Hurt, he'll never be hurt--he's made to hurt other people.” 64 likes
“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.” 31 likes
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