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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utter genius. Dark, beautiful, disturbing and moving.
I feel that this book was written, even torn, deep from Mary Webb's soul, and it is with this same part of myself that I was led, by the majesty of her writing, to read it. It left me with feelings and thoughts that are linked to something wonderful and mysterious, a faint strain of music, a taste, a touch of something both tangible and elusive. It is one of the most...
Published on 16 Jan 2011 by Artist

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Terribly old fashioned, melodramatic novel written using local dialect.
Written in 1917 and using local dialect Mary Webb writes over dramatically about a nature loving gypsy girl, her pet fox and her love affairs. Terribly old-fashioned now, difficult at times to understand some of the dialect and filled with almost cartoon like characterisations - however put it in time and place when melodramatic novels were common; then in all...
Published 9 months ago by Lili


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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utter genius. Dark, beautiful, disturbing and moving., 16 Jan 2011
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This review is from: Gone to Earth (Kindle Edition)
I feel that this book was written, even torn, deep from Mary Webb's soul, and it is with this same part of myself that I was led, by the majesty of her writing, to read it. It left me with feelings and thoughts that are linked to something wonderful and mysterious, a faint strain of music, a taste, a touch of something both tangible and elusive. It is one of the most potent things I have ever read. I absolutely love this book, but don't expect it to be a romance with the usual endings, everything about it is unique, uplifting and disturbing.

It is book about conflict, of nature and spirituality, of the earth and heaven, of woman and man, of goodness and evil, truth and hypocrisy, the wild and the tame. It has a similar theme to David Garnett's "Lady into Fox" but with a much broader and deeper span. Mary Webb is an unrecognised genius and we are the poorer for not experiencing and honouring her works.

These enormous themes are explored through Hazel, an impoverished young girl who is a self-contained free spirit, her world is all of nature, the plants, animals and the love, connection and protection she has for them all. As men and the world enter her life, we see how her purity is threatened and distracted. One man is a clergyman and offers her safety and spiritual love, the other a brute, who kills all she loves but yet entices her sexual instincts. She is such an innocent, without the intellect to understand anything of what she feels. As the story progresses, we see how she becomes increasingly torn. I don't want to give away the ending, although you may guess, but please read it, it is like one long beautiful poem that will, if you allow it, open and deepen your sense and appreciation of nature, life and truth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gone to Earth, 13 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Gone to Earth (Kindle Edition)
"Gone to Earth"
A beautifully written book, characters astutely observed and succinctly outlined, with thoughtful comments on the human condition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Re-read after 50 years, 7 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Gone to Earth (Kindle Edition)
I first read this book about 50 years ago, it has lost none of it's peculiar charm in the interim. Not up to the standard of 'Precious Bane' but still a very good read.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spellbinding beautiful book., 26 Jan 2001
This review is from: Gone To Earth (VMC) (Paperback)
I was gripped by the main characters and the author made it easy to indentify with them. The author's strange nature-based outlook on life is extremely obvious in the book, which i enjoyed emensely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A charming novel, 20 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Gone to Earth (Kindle Edition)
The colourful, detailed and lyrical description of the countryside softens the rather bleak intrigue of the novel. I did not find the characters too wooden and although predictable , the plot gathers enough momentum to make the reading enjoyable.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gone to Earth, 31 Jan 2012
This review is from: Gone To Earth (VMC) (Paperback)
I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if the ending hadn't been given away in the Introduction. Overall very good story, although the heroine is slightly annoying as she is constantly changing her mind.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gone to Earth, 29 Aug 2012
This review is from: Gone To Earth (VMC) (Paperback)
I read Gone to Earth many years ago and have recently re-read it. While its an enjoyable read for a 14 year old girl it is also over romanticised and of course very much influenced by Thomas Hardy's tales of intense and passionate rustic folk. Stella Gibbons satirised this genre when she wrote "Cold Comfort Farm" - do read this if you have not already. Some other reviews I have read here are taking the book just a little too seriously - if not pompously. Which is what Stella Gibbons found so funny.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but Precious Bane is better, 27 Aug 2014
This review is from: Gone to Earth (Kindle Edition)
I found "Gone to Earth" heavier going than Mary Webb's classic "Precious Bane", and struggled at times to empathise with the characters. But the prose is very readable, and as in Precious Bane, the English countryside is painted in vivid colours. A good choice for a 'bed-time' story, to send you off to sleep in the nicest possible way.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 11 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Gone To Earth (VMC) (Paperback)
Reflected the book fine, enjoyed the movie.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Terribly old fashioned, melodramatic novel written using local dialect., 17 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Gone to Earth (Kindle Edition)
Written in 1917 and using local dialect Mary Webb writes over dramatically about a nature loving gypsy girl, her pet fox and her love affairs. Terribly old-fashioned now, difficult at times to understand some of the dialect and filled with almost cartoon like characterisations - however put it in time and place when melodramatic novels were common; then in all probability it would seem dreadfully risqué.
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Gone To Earth (VMC)
Gone To Earth (VMC) by Mary Webb (Paperback - 31 Dec 1979)
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