I can’t believe I haven’t posted since the Readathon. It’s been a busy month, without a lot of reading, but still. Unfortunately too busy to join in Beowulf readalong, which would’ve been good as I have long meant to read it and it’s so much easier with others. Worse, I bombed out of the Trollope reading. I started The Way We Live Now which I enjoyed the beginning of, but only got maybe 100 pages in. Instead I read The House Without a Key – the first Charlie Chan novel, which is based on a real Chinese/Hawaiian police detective. This could be my theme for the year: Chinese detectives based on real people, except I don’t know if there are any more. Also, tomorrow is the Minithon. I shouldn’t join in, but I believe I will. Maybe I’ll make some progress on something. At least I can eat mini food. That’s always a plus.
So, I read for the Readathon – Cold Comfort Farm, a book recommended to me a million years ago which has a movie based on it I highly recommend. It is a parody of the sort of literature I loathe and never read, but you don’t need to read it to get it, I don’t think. I saw Precious Bane on TV decades ago and that was more than enough. The book is quite a bit like the movie except for one confusing aspect. It was published in 1932 and seems to take place in that year until you get to a point where it mentions a television phone. Out of the blue, a television phone. Shaking my head I read on until I got to the Anglo-Nicaraguan War of ’46. This was too confusing. This made the speaker in question about 90 years old if it was 1846, which I thought it had to be, but no. CCF is set in the near future although there are only maybe 3 sentences in the entire book which give a clue to that and they make no sense because there was no Anglo-Nicaraguan war of ’46. But thanks to Wikipedia I learned the book is set in a nebulous future which was really nothing at all like the future and almost exactly like the time in which it was written.
The thing to do is ignore those few references and just picture them in 1932. Easy to do as there is no point whatever in having set it in the future and someone should have talked her out of it. Otherwise, a delightful read in which young Flora, setting out to make her way in the world, decides to live off her relatives. “Robert Post’s child” which is what she is called by all the residents of Cold Comfort Farm – the Starkadder family – would be a complete fish out of water in this environment except Flora is the sort of fish who changes her environment to suit herself. Watching her do it is the entertainment of the book and it is highly entertaining as long as you have that sort of sense of humor, which I do. I might seek out more Stella Gibbons. I think I have one somewhere.
There’ve always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm.