Dagný's Reviews > Cold Comfort Farm

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
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Jan 11, 09


Few years a go I saw the latest movie based on this book and it was very funny. Therefore I was curious to read the book; also I have caught some whiffs of freshness and modernity from women writers of this era (thirties) and I'm still curious about that as well.

A young educated urbane woman visits her relatives on a farm and finds them moored in all sorts of stagnant nonsensical woes. In blithe disregard of their ways she solves their problems and gives a lift to their aspirations. The descriptions of the farmers' histrionic ways opposite the heroine's cooly rational manipulations are inherently funny.

The book has an uneven quality. This can be attributed to the nature of what is being contrasted i.e, old and new. At the same time it is jarring to find the narrative tone in a book vary so much while not being given over to various consciousness. I read that the author had wanted to make fun of prevailing styles; granted. However there are too big variants between jaunty Vogue type entries, extreme irrational emotings and lovely poetical nature descriptions to be held within an independent piece of work.

This is why the movie was better than the book; it was able to keep the the idea, the characters and the plot within a stylistic whole. I do feel a certain admiration for the writer (she died in 1989) She also wrote poetry and it is in the out of place poetical descriptions of nature in this book that I feel her presence the closest.
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