Beli_grrl's Reviews > Cold Comfort Farm

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
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's review
Dec 07, 07

Recommended for: Good-humored Austen/Bronte
Read in November, 2007

My review here is primarily a compare/contrast between the movie and the book.

Having seen the movie several times in recent years it was hard to dissociate the film from the book. I wish I had read the book first for a more pure experience. This is one of those rare occasions when I think I enjoyed the movie a little more. But that's probably because I saw it first.

In the book, Flora Post is a more ironic character than in the movie. In the movie, Flora's character type is parodied only very gently whereas the other characters are parodied fairly sharply. In the book, Flora is seen through a less gauzy and fond lens and she's shown as a bit of a narrow-minded bitch. This is cool, but again, because of the movie it was hard to reacquaint myself with a different version of Flora.

I also found the movie's treatment of Flora's handling of Aunt Ada Doom, the crazy old matriarch, more believable. In the movie, she plants travel magazines on her dinner tray to whet her appetite for new experience. In the book, she just goes into her room one day and has a 10-hour long talk with her, about which we learn nothing except that she talks her into leaving.

The book is of course far better for sorting out who in the family is who. You get a much more clear picture of all the Starkadders, major and minor, in the book. Elfine in particular is a much fuller character in the book.

If you've not read the book or seen the movie, read the book first. But don't miss the movie. See it soon after and draw your own conclusions. Both book and movie are delightful.
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