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Silas Marner
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George Eliot Collection > Silas Marner - SPOILERS

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Pink | 6554 comments This is the discussion thread for Silas Marner by George Eliot, our Old School Classic Group Read for May 2018.

Spoilers allowed here.

Please feel free to discuss anything you wish, relating to the book and let us know what you thought :)


Luffy (monkey-d-luffy) | 436 comments I read 17 % of the book. I got confused quickly enough. We only get to know that Silas Marner is a good person, he's talented, and he's getting rich slowly. The book has problems, like most classics I've read.


Pink | 6554 comments I definitely had more problems with this book than most other classics I read. I've only tried this and Middlemarch by Eliot, that one I liked a LOT more. I won't be rereading Silas Marner, but will probably try The Mill on the Floss next month, as it's just won our old school poll.

Back to this book, other than not really liking it and having a memory of perpetual boredom, I can't remember anything else about it! I'll look forward to hearing other people's thoughts on it, to see if it jogs my memory and hope you all have better luck!


Rosemarie | 1580 comments I read this book last year and loved it. It does have a slow start but the ending is worth it.


Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 194 comments I really liked this book. Middlemarch was wonderful though I found it quite hard to follow for a while. Then it took off! I didn't know mill on the floss was up next, Pink. It's just that post-spinal surgery and doing rehab at home have pulled me from my books and life is so much happier and more interesting with book in hand!


Pink | 6554 comments Rosemarie, I can't even remember the end! What did you love about it?

Hilary, sorry to hear you've had surgery, I hope recovery is going well and that you'll soon be back with a book in hand :)


message 7: by Carlo (last edited May 02, 2018 12:46PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carlo | 206 comments It reminded me of Heidi in some ways.

Godfrey was a coward who didn't deserve his wife. I thought his attempts to make amends at the end were more selfish than admirable.


Rosemarie | 1580 comments I loved the fact that Silas finally had a family that loved him.


message 9: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3392 comments I loved this from the start. This was my first George Eliot book and I was captivated by her writing from the start.

I loved the ending too. Pink, in the ending (view spoiler)


Melanti | 2383 comments I didn't like it... It was way too contrived and sentimental for my tastes.

It actually reminded me a bit of Dickens' writing in that regard. Sadly, I've never been able to stand Dickens.

Does Elliot's other works have a similar feel?


message 11: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3392 comments Melanti wrote: "I didn't like it... It was way too contrived and sentimental for my tastes.

It actually reminded me a bit of Dickens' writing in that regard. Sadly, I've never been able to stand Dickens.

Does ..."


She did remind me of Dickens too, but I love Dickens!


Rosemarie | 1580 comments Daniel Deronda is not sentimental, and neither is Middlemarch.


message 13: by Pink (last edited May 03, 2018 12:55AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Pink | 6554 comments Thanks for explaining the ending Sue, I have vague memories of it now! I agree that this is too sentimental for my tastes and just too boring. Middlemarch was very different and so much better :)


Jennifer (diary-of-a-part-time-writer) | 57 comments I agree with the slow start, but after about chapter seven or so I felt like things really started to take off! I too read this in high school--in Junior year--and remember really enjoying it then.

Sentimentalism in books, especially older ones, doesn't bother me at all. I agree that sometimes it's overdone, but I don't remember ever having that feeling with George Eliot. Of course, I read a lot of romance novels, too, so that might be coloring my opinion.


message 15: by John (new) - added it

John (kiwiinhove) | 5 comments The story of Silas Marner is one of a miser put in a position which reveals a kind hearted generous person. It does start slow but I loved the ending. It is also a story with a morale message of what you can should truly value.


siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2058 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I loved the fact that Silas finally had a family that loved him."

Me too.

Godfrey is not a bad man exactly ,he is weak .Heacceptd that himself I think.His character is not strong enough.He accepts that he isa coward when he is thinking of Dunsey's blackmail and about owning up his marriage.


siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2058 comments Jennifer wrote: "I agree with the slow start, but after about chapter seven or so I felt like things really started to take off! I too read this in high school--in Junior year--and remember really enjoying it then...."

Neither me, Jennifer.I felt that it was a quick read too.I tried reading it last year but after three four pages had to give it up..then this year I am finding it a quick read..


siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2058 comments And I have come to the conclusion that I adore her writing..coz I have loved Middlemarch and Sulas Marner and liked Mill on the floss a lot.


Tammy | 393 comments I really enjoyed this one. The story certainly had its sentimental (almost fairy tale) moments, but it had some teeth, too, which kept the sweetness in check.

The religious themes were interesting to me. The character didn't talk about God so much as they talked about the church and community. They were superstitious, too. And oh how the bad folks fell and the good were lifted up. It made me wonder what Eliot's own religious views were.


Melanti | 2383 comments Tammy wrote: ". And oh how the bad folks fell and the good were lifted up. It made me wonder what Eliot's own religious views were. ..."

I was curious about that too.

I looked it up and it seemed that her father was extremely religious with some rather dogmatic beliefs, while she eventually developed a much looser, liberal approach to religion.


Tammy | 393 comments That makes sense to me, Melanti! Thanks for looking it up.


message 22: by Luffy (new) - rated it 1 star

Luffy (monkey-d-luffy) | 436 comments I read the book, but will not record it on GR, since it would be a one star rating. I've rated a few classics a low score before. I don't know, am I doing the right thing in not rating the book 1 star?


Tammy | 393 comments I think you should rate it the one star. What is the harm? If you didn't like it, you didn't like it! Tell us why you didn't like it!

I listened to this one on audio and found that the story held my attention and was pretty charming. I'm not sure what I would have rated it had I read instead of listening.


Melanti | 2383 comments Luffy wrote: "I read the book, but will not record it on GR, since it would be a one star rating. I've rated a few classics a low score before. I don't know, am I doing the right thing in not rating the book 1 s..."

I don't see why you shouldn't, just because it's a classic. I rate books based off of personal enjoyment too. It can be technically the best book ever published, but if I disliked or hated it, it gets 2 stars. (I usually save 1 stars for the books that send me into rants.)

I've rated a couple of classics 1 star and MANY classics 2 stars. If I didn't like it, I didn't like it.

Tammy's right though - tell us why! Sometimes the reasons why people don't like something are just as interesting as the reasons why others do.


Rosemarie | 1580 comments I generally give a book I don't like, especially if I think it is over-rated, two stars.
I save the one-star rating for books I truly detest.


message 26: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3392 comments I tend to give classics that I don't like higher ratings because I'm trying things out of my normal interests. I feel like I shouldn't contribute to a lower rating for a horror book that most horror fans would love when I don't like horror but was just trying it because it's a classic.

Classics are downgraded more than others because of the fact that people are either forced to read them or are trying them strictly because they're a classic. That being said, I've found that with the classics I found out that I really love some horror.

I'm probably the only one who does that though, so I'm not having much effect! hee hee. I think you should rate it however you feel is right. I also have a lot of books that I don't rate at all but still record as read. I do that if I can't remember how much I liked a book.

I have almost no one star ratings and very few 2 star. That's because I'm pretty good at being able to tell if a book will interest me before I start it. Classics from this group and books from my physical book club are often things I'm just trying to broaden my horizons. This book, for example is one I'd never have chosen on my own. From the picture on the cover to the description, it did not appeal to me but I ended up loving it!


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Luffy wrote: "I read the book, but will not record it on GR, since it would be a one star rating. I've rated a few classics a low score before. I don't know, am I doing the right thing in not rating the book 1 s..."

Why would you avoid rating it one star? Just because GR is a form of social media? Think about it, how does social media change our view of who we are, even when it comes to books?


siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2058 comments Luffy wrote: "I read the book, but will not record it on GR, since it would be a one star rating. I've rated a few classics a low score before. I don't know, am I doing the right thing in not rating the book 1 s..."

If you don't like it rate it 1 star.even if its a classic .even if its not the popular opinion.As its your opinion and your likes/opinion need not be the same as everyone.


message 29: by Luffy (new) - rated it 1 star

Luffy (monkey-d-luffy) | 436 comments Well, I didn't expect any focus on my post. Thanks to everyone who offered their advice. I don't usually write long posts. Just that I'll think about it overnight:o)


Lalitha (falcon_) | 24 comments I really liked the story. The characters were not portrayed in depth but I liked the way things work out for Marner.


BAM the enigma I ❤️ THIS BOOK! I really did. I dont know if maybe my imagination was allowed to run wild with all of Eliot’s words, but I smiled so much when Marner found Baby. That relationship was priceless. And how he was finally accepted by the village and learned to forgive and forget. Oh I just loved it. And to think I didn’t really feel like reading it right now...


Rosemarie | 1580 comments I love this book too!


Bat-Cat | 1299 comments I finished the book and loved it as well!!! Here is my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Melanti and Sue, I did get a bit of a feel of Dickens (whom I adore) but also, and perhaps a little more prominently, Dostoevsky (whom I also adore). It feels to me like Eliot is a female Dostoevsky. With Silas Marner she is exploring some pretty serious ranges of emotions (like Dostoevsky but with a much softer, feminine style and perspective). Also, the themes of awakening and redemption (and even the makings of a Christ-like figure) are here in full force like in a couple of Dostevsky's novels; The Idiot and The Brothers Karamozov.

BAM, I am with you, the last third of the book I just had the most pleasurable grin on my face - at least most of the time. :-)


BAM the enigma I didn’t even connect the dots with Dickens! Yes! Certainly I’m terrible about having deep discussions lol it’s all in my brain, just won’t come out. But I definitely see what you’re saying. It’s just not as crude or dirty, ugly.


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 273 comments I know a lot of people do not like Eliot, but I have loved all three of her books that I have read so far, including this one.


Rosemarie | 1580 comments I like her books as well. One of my favourites is Daniel Deronda.


BAM the enigma I made the mistake of trying Deronda audio. It was a horrible experience. I’m hoping it gets picked here in a category and I can try again


Bat-Cat | 1299 comments I am really looking forward to The Mill on the Floss (June Old School pick), I even started the introduction last night. ;-)

Yes, Daniel Deronda looks great... but so do Adam Bede and Romola too. Ah, too many books too little time.


message 39: by Suzy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) | 64 comments I'm late to the party on this thread even though I finished the book mid-May! I've really enjoyed this discussion and feel similarly to the many positive comments. I thought the book was not for me for about the first 20%, but then I saw that Eliot was commenting on British society and the church through this story of village life. I ended up loving it for it's moral of the story and for Silas's transformation and redemption. I listened to it, carefully choosing the book whose narrator sounded the best for me (there are lots of bad audio versions out there) and checked out two print copies. I must say that the scholarly intros of The Modern Classic and The Everyman Classics books helped me see how forward-thinking Eliot was for her time and helped me to enjoy the book even more. I know for sure I would not have liked this had I read it in high school!!

Here's my review. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
I too plan to read other Eliot now that I know her better!


Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) A required read for a university class, I found this little story endearing, and was sorry when it ended. I find the love between Silas and Eppie so sweet.


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