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Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm Paperback – 10 Nov 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New ed. edition (10 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099565692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099565697
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Stella Gibbons is the Jane Austen of the 20th century" (Lynne Truss)

"A biting witty tale of inappropriate presents and family traditions that fans of the original Cold Comfort Farm will love" (Good Housekeeping)

"Very funny...sheer pleasure... Timeless indeed" (Nick Lezard Guardian)

Book Description

Where better to spend the most wonderful time of the year?
Enjoy this Christmas treat from a treasured comic writer.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hurrah for Vintage for bringing out this long out-of-print collection of short stories by Stella Gibbons. The title story is an absolute gem, as the Starkadders preparations for Christmas include putting a coffin nail into the pudding to predict who will die next year and, although this is a mixed bag of tales, there's bound to be something here to please everyone. Stella Gibbons, as Alexander McCall Smith reminds us in his introduction, wrote her stories at a time before open-ended, elliptical, what-on-earth-actually-happened? tales became artistically fashionable and thank goodness for that. Most of the stories are fairly light, although in some, notably 'Sisters', there's some very sharp social comment. A real treat.
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By Pyewacket TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Cold Comfort Farm......the other stories are about ordinary people living ordinary lives. Some of the stories are quite racy for the time in which they are set.

Not quite what I expected but for the most part enjoyable.
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I have been looking forward so much to reading these stories, although I approached it nervously as I had read some fairly luke warm reviews. If anything I was disappointed in the title story - it was too short I wanted more, the only other Christmassy story was charming though. Overall I so enjoyed these old fashioned stories, and it has made me want to read more Stella Gibbons. I of course read Cold Comfort farm years and years ago, and it is now time for a re-read I think.
These new Vintage editions are very attractive looking books. Stella Gibbons' stories are obviously set in a world that no longer exists, they are about bored housewives, aging Bright Young Things, "modern" career women, spinsters in country villages and librarians. Often the endings are not much of a surprise, but they are generally just what the reader wants, and this makes them wholly satisfying. In his introduction to the new Vintage edition, Alexander McCall Smith writes about the short story as an art form. His description of the modern short story made me smile - and nod in agreement. These short stories come from a different time. They were written before it was fashionable to create a mood or to leave the reader artistically hanging. The modern short story are just the kind I usually hate. These lovely stories however, are just the kind I love.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stella Gibbons is a real find. She is wonderfully amusing in a surprising way. She sees the world in her own way and introduces us to it with marvellous felicity. I wouldn't want to have missed this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One has to be a Stella Gibbons fan, as her stories are not all 'sugar and spice and all things nice.' The stories can be sad and have a reality check thrust upon one, but that is what life is all about: the potential happy ending in 'The Little Christmas Tree', the sadness of a life not lived in 'To Love and To Cherish' and more. I leave the rest for the next reader to discover.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Read as a period piece it is interesting, and certainly funny and thought-provoking in places - but not necessarily in the places the author meant! Where everybody seems to have at least a housekeeper and probably other staff as well - it depicts a world very far removed from the way we live now.
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I bought this book to see if it would make a good Christmas gift for my mum and mum-in-law (previous books I’ve bought them have been described as a bit racy. I’m not sure if this was a criticism or a request for more of the same). I decided this isn’t a good Christmas book despite it’s cover (so don’t judge the book by it) because most of the stories are not Christmas themed. They are well written and entertaining though.
Because these stories were written around eighty-five years ago, and because they appeared in publications like The Lady, Good Housekeeping and the Evening Standard, the attitudes in some of them are dated and things which were shocking like single mothers no longer are. There is a lovely story in which a spinster takes in a single mother and eventually confesses to having had unwedded *cough* with a man herself. This was a very sweet story about acceptance and also about the attitudes of a village.
I was shocked by a story which ends by a husband slapping his wife hard in the face and she agreeing she’d deserved it. He said he’d do it again in future if he thought it necessary! But, most of the stories are gentler tales and are great short stories so it’s well worth a read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Of course, nothing ever surpassed the original Cold Comfort Farm, a fabulous book full of marvellous characters and stories. However this book of short stories reintroduces some of the old favourites in the one story and it is a delight to meet up with them again. The others stories all have charm although I was a bit puzzled by the ending of some of them. I did enjoy reading them all though and just to go back to Cold Comfort Farm for a little while is a joy.
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