• Cold Comfort Farm

  • Penguin Classics
  • By: Stella Gibbons
  • Narrated by: Pearl Mackie
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (256 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.  

This Penguin Classic is performed by Pearl Mackie, best known for her role in Dr Who.

When sensible, sophisticated Flora Poste is orphaned at 19, she decides her only choice is to descend upon relatives in deepest Sussex. At the aptly named Cold Comfort Farm, she meets the doomed Starkadders: cousin Judith, heaving with remorse for unspoken wickedness; Amos, preaching fire and damnation; their sons, lustful Seth and despairing Reuben; child of nature Elfine; and crazed old Aunt Ada Doom, who has kept to her bedroom for the last 20 years. But Flora loves nothing better than to organise other people. Armed with common sense and a strong will, she resolves to take each of the family in hand. 

A hilarious and merciless parody of rural melodramas, Cold Comfort Farm (1932) is one of the best-loved comic novels of all time.

©2020 Stella Gibbons (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Cold Comfort Farm

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Very, very amusing, a go to if one needs cheering

"Cold comfort farm" is ninety years old but still fresh , witty and irreverent. Ms. Gibson throws elegant and humorous barbs to Victorian novels to the Bloomsbury circle. The dialogue is sparkling at times and the whole novel is just a delightful rumpus.
The performance is very good too. I have read the book, seen the movie and now listened to "Cold comfort farm" and the Audio book version is as good as the other two.

8 people found this helpful

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Amazing narrator

The "purple prose" might be offputting if one didn't realize that it's a parody of some of the literature of the time. Once that's clear, it's hilarious. The narrator, Pearl Mackie, is *absolutely* amazing. She has, apparently, dozens of voices at her command and several different accents. I hope we see more titles from her soon.

7 people found this helpful

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Wonderful!

So glad this book is finally available in full. They are all there - Flora, all the Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm, Elfine, Seth &
Reuben, my favorite Mr Mybug with his absurd Bronte theories, Mrs Beetle, and Charles. Wonderfully written satire.

6 people found this helpful

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I don't know what to say about this story...

There were parts that I loved and parts that I almost quit on. The ending was the best part. I loved the narrator and credit her for getting me thru this painful story. There was 1% comedy and 99 % melodrama. Most of it was depressing. Save ur credit and try the Cabal Brothers series, or the Lies of Locke Lamora series. You'll thank me.

5 people found this helpful

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This was so much fun!

I saw the movie and enjoyed it immensely. However, the book was ever so much more entertaining and... we will never know what that nasty thing was in the shed or what happened to the goat.
Definitely worth the read. Cold Comfort Farm was just delightful through and through.

3 people found this helpful

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Classic satire well done

I really enjoyed this reading of Stella Gibbons great book.It flows gracefully and the reading enhances that. So good to have it to listen to.

3 people found this helpful

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The movie’s great but the audio recording’s grand.

I’ve always enjoyed the movie version of this Stella Gibbons classic but Pearl Mackie’s audio interpretation (with her varied Starkadders personas) is fabulous.

2 people found this helpful

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Entertaining light reading :-)

I really enjoyed listening to this. The reader was very good, and the writing style was witty and humorous. The story got a bit silly towards the end, but it was really just fun. The kind of thing I need in 2020. I will definitely be seeking out more books by this author!

2 people found this helpful

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Great Escape

Well written, amusing & intriguing.
Unusual & fascinating characters. All is easily visualized. A great escape for all.

2 people found this helpful

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Very enjoyable read

Growing up, the film adaptation of this story was a family favorite. Having now read the book, I can say the film is a well done adaptation and follows the book almost exactly. I'm glad I finally read the book that inspired a film I have long loved.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sophie
  • 11-01-20

Enchanting

I am biased, this is possibly my favourite book in the whole world, but as such I was both delighted and anxious when the audio version (at last) became available.
I need not have worried, the reader was splendid, capably handling both Sussex rustic, county posh and east London accents, and giving a most empathetic reading.
A rich cast of characters, deliciously funny, delightfully spun with some fascinating “futuristic” elements ( remember this was written in 1931 ) I loved every minute.

7 people found this helpful

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  • StuW
  • 07-01-20

Excellent reading of one of my favourite books

Cold Comfort Farm has been one of my favourite books for over thirty years and I’ve longed for a full audio version of it for quite some time. This one has kept me smiling – and laughing aloud – for the past two days. I just couldn’t stop listening to it. Pearl Mackie’s reading of it is superb; her characterisations are spot on. A very, very happy customer.

5 people found this helpful

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  • mark
  • 08-06-21

The perfect voice

A lovely classic very well read. I shall see now what else the narrator has turned her talent to.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Cogito Ergo Sometimes
  • 06-15-21

Lovely book, very well read.

Really good job on the reading. Not perfect, but close. Good characterisations. This was a joy to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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  • solson
  • 02-10-22

great book, excellently read

A hugely enjoyable plot, which was read with skillful comedic effect, and sensitivity by Pearl Mackie. Recommended

1 person found this helpful

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  • SANDI LAMB
  • 09-28-21

Excellent!

What an extraordinary tale! An unusual mix of grossly exaggerated characters and poetic description of their setting. Narration is superb, fluent and clear, bringing out the comedy with a wonderful range of voices for the large cast of personalities. Completely bonkers but very enjoyable!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Toadjuggler
  • 08-28-21

Perfection.

One of the most delightful novels of the Twentieth Century read with feeling, clarity and wit by Ms Mackie. Superb audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sam Tuke
  • 07-09-22

Arrogant and simplistic

In this book, people from the countryside in the 1930s are repetitively described as "primitive" and "brutish". The author comes across as ignorant, arrogant, and simplistic herself for painting such two dimensional characters. This style of writing seems intended to be amusing to city dwellers of the time, playing to their smug sense of superiority. But it offends human dignity (and also the dignity of the animals the country people are constantly compared to). It was irritating enough that I gave up after a few hours. Well narrated though.

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  • Libby K
  • 06-24-22

My favourite book, flawlessly read

I have loved this novel for years. Hearing it read by Pearl Mackie was both refreshing and wonderfully familiar, all at once. Highly recommended

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  • K. Willsmer
  • 05-09-22

Light hearted and an easy listen...

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. No complicated plot and easy to guess the outcome, but well read and of its time.