Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
Really quite depressing...
on 22 June 2010
I read this book as part of a book group and found it heavy going. It centres on rural life with all it's characters, feuds and tragedies. In fact tragedies seemed to occur pretty much every third sentence which I found extremely depressing. There was never any sense of 'justice' or lessons learnt from the tragedies (which I accept makes it 'real' but not particularly enlightening or uplifting for the reader).
Having said that there were some aspects of the book that were interesting. I liked the way characters were created and even very minor ones had their own story which was often only ever alluded to in a sentence or two. Less, in this way, really is more. The landscape and people were masterfully created and I had a clear vision of the places and people in my minds eye.
I had previously read 'Cold Comfort Farm' and not understood why it was 'funny' (as I hadnt read much in the way of miserable rural tales set on farms) so On the Black Hill did at least help me to put Cold Comfort Farm into context.
Can't really recommend this unless you are specifically looking for something a bit depressing - in which case it'll do the job nicely.