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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rustic realism
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...
Published on 30 Oct. 2009 by booksetc

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Dispatched quickly and in good condition and although I liked the story
Dispatched quickly and in good condition and although I liked the story, I didn't enjoy George Eliot's style of writing - hard going
Published 3 months ago by MRS R.


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rustic realism, 30 Oct. 2009
By 
This review is from: Silas Marner (Wordsworth Classics) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Love, 20 Feb. 2010
By 
Silvanus (North West England) - See all my reviews
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
5.0 out of 5 stars simply delightful, 17 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Silas Marner (Wordsworth Classics) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful crafted, fable-like, redemption story with real humanity. A mini masterpiece, 23 Jan. 2009
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A little masterpiece, 14 May 2012
By 
Stracs "Stracs" (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Silas Marner (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
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. Whilst the plot has a touch of the fairytale about it, I believe this was a stylistic choice on behalf of the author as a means of exploring the deeper themes of human character, community, religion and morality which she wanted to convey. The book never feels sentimental or unbelievable as one might expect from a pseudo-fairytale, which is testament to Eliot's great skill as an author.

What the story has made me do, and I am sure it will others too, is to really think about what it is that one values most in life, how we judge other people who do not on the surface appear like ourselves and how we should perhaps accept the hand that is dealt us in life rather than fighting against it as this may ultimately lead to greater happiness. Silas Marner is a book which will stay with me and which I will return to throughout the years not just because it was an enjoyable story which I could not put down whilst reading, but also because for me it is one of those books which has really taught me something about who I am and how I approach my life. What greater testament could there be to the skill of an author than this?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully crafted story by George Eliot, a master-piece!, 7 July 2013
By 
Michael Nguyen "- Mike" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Silas Marner (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I read this book for the first time during school, I was told to analyse it and scruitinise every single use of figurative language and various other techniques that were employed by George Eliot.
I simply had to purchase this book again after seeing it on sale again for such a steal of a price! This book pushes you back in time to a life that is lived by an old miser who is eventually persuaded into thinking he has a heart...
Silas says: "Since the time the child was sent to me and I've come to love her as myself, I've had light enough to trusten by; and now she says she'll never leave me, I think I shall trusten till I die." ...
The awakening and redemption in Silas Marner are entirely earthly. They happen in this world, in the one lifetime at our disposal. "Our Perdita is found": here and now.
You can rest assured that buying this book is a great choice and you will have a gem to add to your collections.
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A small literary masterpiece., 15 Jan. 2002
By 
John Austin "austinjr@bigpond.net.au" (Kangaroo Ground, Australia) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Newspaper readers were invited recently to submit their choices for the greatest works published in the English language. When the choices were totalled, two works by Shakespeare featured in the top ten. Also featured, I was pleased to see, was a novel by George Eliot. Internet users, familiar with her works, will probably guess which of her novels was chosen. For those unfamiliar with her works, the best one to start with is "Silas Marner", a much shorter one. It is short, it is easy, it even works well in schools (as I can testify), and yet it is undoubtedly a masterpiece.

George Eliot sets her 1861 novel in the early decades of the nineteenth century in rural England. Silas Marner is a weaver. In the pattern that life weaves, he usually features as a victim. Because he is unjustly "framed", he loses his reputation and his betrothed in the town where he grew up. After years working as a weaver and living like a hermit in a rural district then, he is robbed by an unknown thief who uncovers and makes off with the cache of gold guineas Silas keeps under his floor. Happiness and joy come to Silas, however, and at the end of the novel he is told, "Nobody could be happier than we are".

George Eliot tells her tale with a mixture of womanly sympathy, sharp observation, tact, and humour. Her depiction of a long-gone past, and her clear pointing of right and wrong impulses, give the story qualities that are sometimes found in morality plays or in fairy tales. Don't skip over the scenes in the local inn, the Rainbow, where the simple-minded rustics discuss relevant issues, including the existence of ghosts.

For those who appreciate hearing good literature read aloud, I recommend the unabridged audio format of "Silas Marner" where the reader is Andrew Sachs. As you might expect of this fine English actor, who made Manuel from Barcelona so memorable in "Fawlty Towers", he is especially wonderful in portraying the argumentative, credulous, muddle-headed rustics that foregather at the Rainbow. His reading extends for nearly seven hours.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A parable for the nineteeth century, 31 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Silas Marner (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Silas Marner is a pious young man who is excluded from his close knit religious community following a false allegation of theft. He is banished from society and his sweetheart to live a reclusive and miserly life. Silas is shunned by his neighbours and his misfortune continues when he is robbed of his miser's hoard by the dissolute younger son of the local squire, Dustan Cass.

Silas is redeemed from his misanthropic life by the arrival of a young foundling, Eppie, who transforms his life and leads him to a truer wealth than that he previously possessed.

Silas Marner is an excellent novel, a sentimental tale but one with a radical message about the power of human sympathy being more important than orthodox religious dogma. A fantastic book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely story of a man whose life is transformed by a little golden-haired girl, 21 Jun. 2012
By 
Hannah Dexter (Bedford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Silas Marner (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I was beguiled by this story of a lonely weaver called Silas who rediscovers his purpose in life when he suddenly finds himself becoming the surrogate father to a tiny little girl.
I was attracted to the book because of its short length as, having read several very long and verbose classic novels this year, I wanted something relatively lightweight. There is a lot of psychoanalysis, which I found really taxed my braincells, but that did not spoil a beautiful story about the village pariah whose life is transformed overnight by young Eppie, and through his new-found responsibility, gains respect from the community.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silas Marner, 2 Jun. 2011
Since using Amazon in February, I cannot order enough books.

Silas Marner is an excellent tale about a lonely man who has all the gold that he has religiously saved for years and years, stolen by his best friend and partner in business. Distraught, returning home one day, Silas is surprised to find a child lying asleep at his front door. Her gold hair signifies the lost gold he now believes has been returned to him in the form of a child.

This is a touching tale of the injustice done to an innocent man and his faith in mankind after finding the little girl.

Thoroughly enjoyable.
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Silas Marner (Wordsworth Classics)
Silas Marner (Wordsworth Classics) by George Eliot (Paperback - 5 Oct. 1994)
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