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Silas Marner Paperback – 2 Jul 2007

57 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (2 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140623574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140623574
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.4 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,402,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"I think Silas Marner holds a higher place than any of the author's works. It is more nearly a masterpiece; it has more of that simple, rounded, consummate aspect. . .which marks a classical work." Henry James" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A heartwarming and poignant tale of a lonely man brought back to life and faith --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By booksetc on 30 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
How does an ordinary reader begin to review George Eliot? But this is a small masterpiece and as it is short and easy to read, a good introduction to her more daunting works.
The tale of Silas Marner, the miser who loses his gold and gains a golden-haired child is heart-warming with none of the sentimentality that Dickens would have brought to the tale. Eliot can write about the rural working class and they live and breathe as real people; listen to the way the men talk in the village pub, the way kind Mrs Winthrop rambles around a subject. There is wry humour here and acute observation. Apparently, it was George Eliot's favourite of her own novels, though the way of life she describes had already been vanquished by the industrial revolution. Marner is a man bent and half-blinded by the machinery he works with; his bleak urban nonconformism has blighted his life. The neighbourly villagers are part of an old rhythm of English country village, not idealised but rooted in tradition and nature. (You can see Eliot's influence of Thomas Hardy.)
I had always thought of Eliot as a dry bluestocking but this short novel has urged me to try others. Highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Silvanus on 20 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Once again, George Eliot (AKA Mary Anne Evans) brings us a gripping tale of country folk at the turn of the 19th century. The historical detail is fascinating in itself, but this is a truly touching story of one man's redemption through the love of a good woman. Silas Marner finds new meaning in his life when he undertakes the upbringing of a little orphan girl. The denoument is nicely prepared as we the reader are aware of certain information which is unknown to the two main protagonists!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By lesley b on 17 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
I knew this book already and simply wanted to have my own copy. This book is easy to read and - if you are an old romantic like myself - it will transport you back to the England that was in a very touching story about an old miser who is forced to realize that he has a heart. I wouldn't add anything else, in order not to 'spoil' the story - just read it, it's a wonderful classic.
The only other thing I would add is that the service from Amazon was nothing short of excellent, as always!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brownbear101 on 23 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
What a gem of a novel, it's really a fairy story or myth about loss and redemption, how a working class man falls into the love of gold only to lose everything and find himself again through adopting a baby girl. The ending is a reverse Cinderella where the girl's upper class father tries to take her back and she refuses him.

As a piece of myth making this is a very strong story, but what really makes it special is the brilliance and sophistication of the prose. This is genius at work with an incredibly deft hand. Nothing here is accidental and it feels as though every phrase, reference, name, character and action is linked to the book's wider themes. The people and set pieces are delightfully observed, funny and wise and the rise and fall of emotion is sensuous. I honestly don't know where anyone learns to write like this.

Some readers might say that 'not much happens' or that there are long periods of description. I think this is mistaken, an enormous amount takes place in this book but Eliot is low-key about events and focuses on the feelings of the characters, leaving the descriptions as clever and and funny pen portraits into a way of life that give warp and weft to the story.

This is right up there with my best ever books
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Stracs VINE VOICE on 14 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whilst I love George Eliot's work as a rule, I had put off reading Silas Marner. The premise of the book (the social exile brought back to a full life and acceptance by his community through his adoption of an orphan child who appears on his doorstep) sounded a bit twee to me, a bit too sentimental for my liking.

I am happy to hold my hands up and admit that I was utterly wrong. Silas Marner is a little masterpiece. Compared to Middlemarch, it is a short and simple tale, yet it retains all the of elements which are most recognisable and admirable about Eliot's work - her simply breathtaking ability to write prose, fully developed and humanised characters, wonderfully vivid portraits of the simple rural life and community sadly now lost, and compelling exploration of morality and religion without the reader feeling they are being preached at. I enjoyed Middlemarch immensely as I could recognise it as a massive achievement literature, but it has not captured a place in my heart in the way that The Mill on the Floss and now Silas Marner have.

Some might feel that the plot is a bit thin and sentimental but for me this not the case. If you think more deeply about the book an enormous amount takes place not as just events driving the plot forward, but under the surface of the story. The characters undergo extensive development over the long years portrayed, yet Eliot handles this change and development so subtly and deftly that the reader hardly notices it happen. This has the effect of making the changes the characters undergo utterly believable - it is after all what happens to us all every day.
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