Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

This is something of a well-known book, but I'd never had much inclination to read it. Caroline pretty directly avoided it, under some misapprehension. She finally read it, and absolutely loved it. It's finally reached the top of my pile, and I loved it too.

If you didn't know, it's a parody of overwrought, rural melodramas. I've (unsurprisingly) never been one for Victorian overwrought, rural melodramas, but it's pretty clear what it's gunning for, and my loathing for Hardy does the trick in any case.

It's merciless in its mickey-taking, and hilarious. Our heroine, Flora Poste, a young, pragmatic and urbane lady, descends on the eponymous Cold Comfort Farm, cuts straight through the high drama, and sorts everything out. A simple enough plot to hang all the humour off.

Interestingly, written in 1932, it was set in the "near future". So, it has plenty of private planes and videophones, glued onto an otherwise very '30s society. It works surprisingly well.

If anything, I think the last few chapters took an easy route, and the heroine never really broke a sweat (broke a glow?), but that's not really the point. It's simply very, very funny.

Posted 2014-11-09.