Cold Comfort Farm (Unabridged) by Stella Gibbons
In Gibbons's classic tale, a resourceful young heroine finds herself in the gloomy, overwrought world of a Hardy or Bronte novel and proceeds to organize everyone out of their romantic tragedies into the pleasures of normal life. Flora Poste, orphaned at 19, chooses to live with relatives at Cold Comfort Farm in Sussex, where cows are named Feckless, Aimless, Pointless, and Graceless, and the proprietors, the dour Starkadder family, are tyrannized by Flora's mysterious aunt, who controls the household from a locked room. Once there she discovers they exist in a state of chaos and feels it is up to her to bring order. Flora's confident and clever management of an alarming cast of eccentrics is only half the pleasure of this novel. The other half is Gibbons's wicked sendup of romantic cliches, from the mad woman in the attic to the druidical peasants with their West Country accents and mystical herbs.
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Stella Dorothea Gibbons, novelist, poet and short-story writer, was born in London in 1902. She went to the North London Collegiate School and studied journalism at University College, London. She then worked for ten years on various papers, including the Evening Standard.
Her first publication was a book of poems The Mountain Beast (1930) and her first novel Cold Comfort Farm (1932) won the Femina Vie Heuruse Prize for 1933. Amongst her other novels are Miss Linsey and Pa (1936), Nightingale Wood (1938), Westwood (1946), Conference at Cold Comfort Farm (1959) and Beside the Pearly Water (1954). Her Collected Poems appeared in 1950.
In 1933 she married the actor and singer Allan Webb, who died in 1959. They had one daughter. Stella Gibbons died in 1989.
Narrator Anna Massey has her work cut out for her as she takes on the eccentric Starr family of Cold Comfort Farm. Massey conveys humor and even a touch of suspense. The sights, sounds, even the smells of the farm are evoked amid the minutia of Gibbons's details. The very sounds of the words have as much effect as the tale they tell. Gibbons's use of melodrama popular in the early 1900's, to tell a romantic tale while simultaneously satirizing the genre, makes Massey's job more challenging. She manages quite well. The resurrection of the farm from brooding ineffectuality to normal human activity is worth listening to over and over. D.P.D. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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Book Description Penguin Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. First Edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140258132
Book Description Penguin Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110140258132