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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun on the Farm!
Cold Comfort Farm is a genuinely funny modern classic. Orphaned at 20 and with only 100 a year, Flora Poste kindly offers herself out to a collection of relatives and thus finds herself at Cold Comfort Farm - and there have always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm! What follows is Flora's attempt to 'civilize' the inhabitants of the farm and organise their lives in...
Published on 26 April 2005 by Mrs. D. J. Smith

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars what's all the fuss about
another so-called work of genius that left me wondering. Nothing in it made me laugh or even smirk. I think maybe people who spend their lives reading Bronte might find this an hilarious parody, but I am not, and I didn't
Published 5 months ago by Broken iPod owner


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun on the Farm!, 26 April 2005
By 
Mrs. D. J. Smith "eowyngreenleaf" (Luton, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Cold Comfort Farm is a genuinely funny modern classic. Orphaned at 20 and with only 100 a year, Flora Poste kindly offers herself out to a collection of relatives and thus finds herself at Cold Comfort Farm - and there have always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm! What follows is Flora's attempt to 'civilize' the inhabitants of the farm and organise their lives in a series of entertaining events. If Flora admires Jane Austen, there is certainly a touch of Emma Woodhouse about Flora! The ending is absolutely classic, and although we never find out what Ada Doom saw in the woodshed that was so nasty, or the wrong done to Robert Poste, Flora's father, or indeed if the goat survived, perhaps the imagination is best served by these remaining bizarre mysteries! The book and its varied inhabitants will stay with you long after you have finished reading it!
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The seed to the flower, the flower to the fruit, the fruit to the belly..., 26 Feb 2011
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cold Comfort Farm (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
A story of the sweetest sort that is only occasionally serious about its subjects and managed to give me a few belly-laughs as well enjoyable smiles at its distinct and clever wit. What Flora has in oodles is common sense. When her parents die and leave her with a hundred pounds a year she decides to write to all her relatives and ask if they want to take her on as a paying guest. Nobody does, but she does receive a letter from the Sussex Starkadders whose initial return is a letter which seems to admit she is owed something and has some rights to be supported, followed by a postcard with dour verses from the bible enscribed thereon.

Flora investigates and it turns out she has an enormously difficult job on her hands to civilise her cousins, but that's nothing to the job she has to humanise Aunt Ada Doom who once saw something nasty in the woodshed.

This is a fun read, light though seldom frothy, as it should be. The Introduction by Lynne Truss picks out some splendidly typical passages, my own favourite being:

"The long screams of the hunting owls tore across the night, scarlet lines on black. In the pauses, every ten minutes, they mated. It seemed chaotic, but it was more methodically arranged than you might think."

The mixture is wonderful, a dash of romanticism, a hint of passionate chaos and a smart aphorism to bring it all together. The style is wonderful throughout, but the story itself has a bit of a dying fall. Neverthless, this is a modern classic, enjoyable, deft, agreeably eccentric and an achingly funny satire on the rural passion novel, such as those that would like to be but are not quite in the D H Lawrence class.

Nb. I do not know what the three reviewers on the first page of these Amazon reviews are talking about. This is not a bowdlerised copy it is a Penguin Classics paperback and has an ISBBN number like all Penguin paperbacks. It has an introduction by Lynne Truss. There is a Note on the Text which states that the Penguin Classics volume of Cold Comfort Farm has been set from the Allen Lane edition of 1938, and had first been published by Longman in 1932.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SOMETHING NASTY HAPPENED IN THE WOODSHED..., 19 Jan 2003
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Published in 1932, this novel is a hysterically funny, tongue in cheek parody of the heavy handed, gloomy novels of some early twentieth century English writers who had previously been so popular. Tremendously successful when first published, "Cold Comfort Farm" caused quite a stir in its time.
The novel starts out innocuously enough, when well-educated Flora Poste finds herself orphaned at the age of twenty. Discovering that her father was not the wealthy man she believed him to be, she is resigned to the fate of having to live on a hundred pounds a year. Opting to live with relatives, rather than earn her bread, she seeks out a most unlikely set of relations, the odd Starkadder family who live in Howling, Sussex.
Therein begins what is certainly one of the funniest novels ever written. When Flora arrives in Howling, she meets her odd relatives, who live in neglected, ramshackle "Cold Comfort Farm", where they still wash the dishes with twigs, and have cows named Graceless, Pointless, Feckless, and Aimless. Headed by a seventy nine year old matriarch, Flora's aunt, Ada Doom Starkadder, who has not been right in the head since she "saw something nasty happen in the woodshed" nearly seventy years ago, they are a motley and strange crew indeed. Confronted with their dismal and gloomy existence, Flora sets about trying to put things to right.
Peppered with eccentric, memorable characters, this book will take the reader on a journey not easily forgotten. It is one that is sure to make the reader revisit this novel yet again, like an old friend who is missed too soon.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SOMETHING NASTY HAPPENED IN THE WOODSHED..., 31 Dec 2002
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Published in 1932, this novel is a hysterically funny, tongue in cheek parody of the heavy handed, gloomy novels of some early twentieth century English writers who had previously been so popular. Tremendously successful when first published, "Cold Comfort Farm" caused quite a stir in its time.
The novel starts out innocuosly enough, when well educated Flora Poste finds herself orphaned at the age of twenty. Discovering that her father was not the wealthy man she believed him to be, she is resigned to the fate of having to live on a hundred pounds a year. Opting to live with relatives, rather than earn her bread, she seeks out a most unlikely set of relations, the odd Starkadder family who live in Howling, Sussex.
Therein begins what is certainly one of the funniest novels ever written. When Flora arrives in Howling, she meets her odd relatives, who live in neglected, ramshackle "Cold Comfort Farm", where they still wash the dishes with twigs, and have cows named Graceless, Pointless, Feckless, and Aimless. Headed by a seventy nine year old matriarch, Flora's aunt, Ada Doom Starkadder, who has not been right in the head since she "saw something nasty happen in the woodshed" nearly seventy years ago, they are a motley and strange crew indeed. Confronted with their dismal and gloomy existence, Flora sets about trying to put things to right.
Peppered with eccentric, memorable characters, this book will take the reader on a journey not easily forgotten. It is one that is sure to make the reader revisit this novel yet again, like an old friend who is missed too soon.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A total joy!, 19 Mar 2007
By 
Andy Millward (Tiptree, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Cold Comfort Farm is a total joy from beginning to end. Stella Gibbons populated her book with wonderful characters and takes delight in using her command of the English language to extract humour from their every whim. Her style is not unlike Evelyn Waugh and none the worse for the comparison. Small wonder that this slim volume has become among the most loved comic novels of the 20th Century. Heartily recommended for the pleasure of one and all.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mishaps and adventures in the English countryside., 7 July 2005
By A Customer
This book is hilarious and will have any reader laughing, especially if they are familiar with D.H.Lawerence's body of work, for this novel is "A National Lampoon" of his and others novelist revisionism which was highly popular at the time of this book's publishation. It also gives a sly wink to Jane Austen, with Flo echoing the lead of Austen's novel "Emma". If you enjoy P.G. Wodehouse Jeeves & Wooster books, them you'll love this. Well worth buying.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SOMETHING NASTY HAPPENED IN THE WOODSHED..., 11 Mar 2003
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Published in 1932, this novel is a hysterically funny, tongue in cheek parody of the heavy handed, gloomy novels of some early twentieth century English writers who had previously been so popular. Tremendously successful when first published, "Cold Comfort Farm" caused quite a stir in its time.
The novel starts out innocuously enough, when well-educated Flora Poste finds herself orphaned at the age of twenty. Discovering that her father was not the wealthy man she believed him to be, she is resigned to the fate of having to live on a hundred pounds a year. Opting to live with relatives, rather than earn her bread, she seeks out a most unlikely set of relations, the odd Starkadder family who live in Howling, Sussex.
Therein begins what is certainly one of the funniest novels ever written. When Flora arrives in Howling, she meets her odd relatives, who live in neglected, ramshackle "Cold Comfort Farm", where they still wash the dishes with twigs, and have cows named Graceless, Pointless, Feckless, and Aimless. Headed by a seventy nine year old matriarch, Flora's aunt, Ada Doom Starkadder, who has not been right in the head since she "saw something nasty happen in the woodshed" nearly seventy years ago, they are a motley and strange crew indeed. Confronted with their dismal and gloomy existence, Flora sets about trying to put things to right.
Peppered with eccentric, memorable characters, this book will take the reader on a journey not easily forgotten. It is one that is sure to make the reader revisit this novel yet again, like an old friend who is missed too soon.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant comic writing, 16 Sep 2010
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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Many of my friends have read and raved about `Cold Comfort Farm' and I've been meaning to read it for ages. Now I finally have and it's every bit as good as everyone said it was and I wish I'd read it years ago. Orphan Flora Poste, with not enough income to live on, decides to take up a career as a `parasite' by staying with all her relatives in turn. The first relatives she invites herself to stay with are the Starkadders of Cold Comfort Farm, though she has a horrible feeling she knows what it will be like and warns her friend that she may need to send her wellingtons on after her.

Even though it is every bit as bad as she expected Flora rolls up her sleeves and decides to change things. The farmhouse is dominated by old Mrs Starkadder - Aunt Ada Doom - who saw something nasty in the woodshed at a tender age and has never been the same since. No one dare leave the farm because they are all in thrall to the matriarch - except Flora. Full of eccentric and endearing characters this is a marvellous piece of comic writing.

Adam Lambsbreath - the aging farmhand - who refuses to use the washing up mop which Flora buys for him because he's always used thorn twigs and the mop is too nice to use. The daughter of the house, Elfine, who disappears every day over the Downs and writes poetry and her father Amos who is a fire and brimstone lay preacher. Flora determines to change things and to find out what Ada saw in the woodshed as well as what sin was committed against her own father by the Starkadders which means they owe her a debt. Every character's name tells a story and there is much unspoken passion and anger bubbling under the surface.

Originally written to satirise such writers as Mary Webb, the book can be read and enjoyed today even if the reader has no knowledge of the genre which is parodied. The book is in a class of its own and I found myself really liking Flora from the first page for her down to earth practicality and common sense which soon brings much needed change to Cold Comfort Farm. The ending is both heart warming and memorable. This Penguin edition of the book has an amusing and interesting introduction by Lynn Truss
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The funniest book i have ever read, 4 Nov 2003
A true modern classic, I don't think any other book will even come close to knocking this off from its position as my favourite ever book. It is a wonderfully written, gently witty satire that affectionatly mocks the gloomy rural novels of the early twentieth century and the works of Flora Poste's heroine Jane Austin. What works so well in this book is Gibbon's acknowlegment that she knows nothing about the rural life that she is writing about and willingly pokes fun at that fact. fans of Jane Austen will love it, fans of Oscar Wilde will love it i cannot praise this book enough!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A COMIC MASTERPIECE!, 29 Dec 2007
By 
M. Drake - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A comic masterpiece from start to finish, Stella Gibbons conjures up enough gothic horrors to fill up a farmhouse and several outbuildings and sends Robert Poste`s child to sort out the lot of them! Religious maniacs, batty aunts, Hollywood wannabees and children of nature all come under flora`s practical gaze, and she methodically sorts out the lot of them before flying off in triumph into the sunset! If you`ve only seen the film or tv adaptions - read this book the writing is superb.

Mick Drake author of the comic novel All`s Well at Wellwithoute
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Cold Comfort Farm (Penguin Classics)
Cold Comfort Farm (Penguin Classics) by Stella Gibbons (Paperback - 26 Oct 2006)
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