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01 October 2010 @ 08:16 pm
Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons

This book was a romp. There's no better or more suitable adjective to describe it.

It tells the story of Flora Poste who, on her parents' death, goes to live with relatives at Cold Comfort Farm. They're all totally mad and Flora's mission - and what greater mission for a heroine? - is to 'tidy things up'. How she does this I won't say, because it's both too simple to be worth detailing and also doing so would ruin it. She is almost 100% a great female protagonist except for Gibbons' occasionally having her question herself when the narrative really doesn't call for it.

And it's so witty! Pre-war thirties life, not written after the war soured everything, sounds truly delightful. Except you know the war is coming to ruin it all...

Oh, they did enjoy themselves! They were the sort that went trampling all over your pet stamp collection, or whatever it was, and then spent the rest of their lives atoning for it. But you would rather have had your stamp collection."

"And why does he collect the music with a poker?"
"To put us in mind o' hell fire," was the simple answer, and Flora had not the heart to say that as far as she was concerned, at any rate, this purpose was not achieved.

Judging by her personal experience among her friends, it was not the habit of men of genius to refresh themselves from their lebours by writing to old aunts; this task, indeed, usually fell to the sisters and wives of men of genius, and it struck Flora as far more likely that Charlotte, Anne or Emily would have had to cope with any old aunts who were clamouring to be written to. However, perhaps Charlotte, Anne and Emily had all decided one morning that it really was Branwell's turn to write to Aunt Prunty, and had sat on his head in turn while he wrote the three letters, which were afterwards posted at prudently spaced intervals.

Like all really strong-minded women, on whom everybody flops, she adored being bossed about. It was so restful.

I rather find this to be true ...?

Previously, on Book Glomp 2010:
The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories, Anton Chekhov | I'll take you there, Joyce Carol Oates | Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides ♥ | The School for Husbands, Moliere | On Green Dolphin Street, Sebastian Faulks | The Famished Road, Ben Okri | Lord of the Flies, William Golding | Moby Dick, Herman Melville | A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway | Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell ♥ | The Sea, the Sea, Irish Murdoch ♥ ♥ | Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad | Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy | The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman | The Sea, John Banville | paddy clarke ha ha ha, Roddy Doyle | The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough ♥ | The Godfather, Mario Puzo ♥ | The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, Philip Pullman | Possession, A.S. Byatt ♥ ♥ ♥ | Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales | The Mysteries of Pittsburg, Michael Chabon | Dragon Haven, Robin Hobb, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon ♥, Juliet, Naked, Nick Hornby, Life of Pi, Yann Martel | Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier | At Swim, Two Boys, Jamie O'Neill ♥ | The Children's Book, A.S. Byatt | Un Dun Lun, China Mieville | Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel &hearts | This Book Will Save Your Life, A.M. Homes
Current Music: to the dogs or whoever // josh ritter