Rachel's Reviews > Cold Comfort Farm

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
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Apr 13, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction
Recommended to Rachel by: Claudia (nee Houser)
Recommended for: anyone with a brain who likes literature
Read in April, 2008

How in the hell have I never read Cold Comfort Farm? It is one of the most singularly delicious and British novels I have encountered in quite some time. I remember Claudia in college droning on and on (usually having borrowed my “Jane Austen” dress to mope around in while she drank Earl Grey as she contemplated some slight in her love life; I really love Clo, but man she could be dramatic—maybe that’s why we got along so well? Like calling to like?) about it, and she even recommended the movie—I think starring Parker Posey, but somehow I never got around to it. Well, good grief, but I’m glad I finally picked up the copy that’s been sitting on my shelf for almost a year now! I started reading it last night, and it’s just so gloriously 1930s England, positively dripping with the dry, Waughian wit that somehow manages to seem so farcical and so stuffy at the same time. Instead of just tongue in cheek, it’s tongue in a mummy’s cheek—it’s that dry! This particular edition even has an introduction by Lynne Truss! One of the adorable blurbs on the back reads, “If ye doan want to feel the crimson fires of hell a-lickin’ at your feet, read this book!” Seriously, how can you NOT want to devour this masterpiece after that sort of enticement??? Plus, add to that the fact that Stella Gibbons (virtuoso author) was raised in a household in which her father drank, womanized, and threw knives! Brilliant quote, “ You, who are so adept at the lovely polishing of every grave and lucent phrase, will realize the magnitude of the task which confronted me when I found, after spending ten years as a journalist, learning to say exactly what I meant in short sentences, that I must learn, if I was to achieve literature and favourable reviews, to write as thought I were not quite sure about what I meant but was jolly well going to say something all the same in sentences as long as possible.” Sheer genius. And dear god it gets better, “Flora sighed. It was curious that persons who lived what the novelists call a rich emotional life always seemed to be a bit slow on the uptake.”

Start to finish, this book was simply glorious. I want to find EVERYTHING written by Stella Gibbons and just *devour* all of them.
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05/01 marked as: read

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