Friday, March 26, 2010

Opening Sentence of the Day: Cold Comfort Farm

"The education bestowed on Flora Poste by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged; and when they died within a few weeks of one another during the annual epidemic of the influenza or Spanish Plague which occurred in her twentieth year, she was discovered to possess every art and grace save that of earning her own living."

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons.

That is one of the best opening sentences I've read in forever. It is a whole short story in one sentence. I want to live in this book for a long, long time.

Cold Comfort Farm is one of my all-time favorite movies (I think it is actually a British TV show patched together into a movie). It is the source of several "lines" in my household, including the best, "I saw something nasty in the woodshed," always said in a quavery, sepulchral voice. So far, the book is just like the movie, which is fine by me.

Book Beginnings on Fridays is a new "opening sentence" event hosted by Becky at Page Turners


  1. I agree with you ... that is one opening sentence. You get so much information in just one glorious sentence. I've heard of this book but I've never read it. But now I'm interested.

  2. Jenners -- It is terrific! I wish I could stay at home and read it straight through.

  3. And the whole book rocks just as hard as the opening sentence! I read Cold Comfort Farm just this past year but already want to re-read it.

  4. I adore this book (and movie!) Think I might have to rewatch it this weekend. Have you seen the new cover with the cartoon illustration by Roz Chast? It's weird but also oddly enticing.

  5. Colleen -- I am about halfway through it and I love every page. I keep reading sections out loud to my husband because they make me laugh so.

    Carin -- I saw a cartoon cover out of the corner of my eye, but I didn't look at it closely. I will try to find it again. I don't particularly like the cover on my edition because it doesn't capture the fun of the book.

  6. I love that book, and I agree on the opening sentence. For sheer subtle humour and hint of what follows, it's up there with the opening paragraph of Pride and Prejudice. The movie is good and captures the humour of the novel very well, but the novel, to use a cliché, sparkles. I revel in it every time I read it.

  7. O I love it! Awesome one.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

    Tales of :)

  8. Bibliophile -- I know this is one I will definitely want to re-read.

    Juju -- You're welcome. And thanks for visiting here.

  9. That is a mouthful!

    Mine's HERE

  10. I found your blog via the hop-I also read a lot of British classics-I am a follower now and look forward to reading your future posts

  11. Great sentence. I have this book somewhere in my TBR stack. One of my favorite authors -- Lois McMaster Bujold -- recommended it but I haven't gotten to read it yet. I like your blog and am a new follower.

  12. I'm stopping by via Blog Hop. I'm happy I stopped in. You seem to read the way I hope to read some day....I'm trying to read more slowly and carefully.

  13. That is a great opening sentence, so much has already happened and been exmplained. I love long first sentences! That sounds like a great book.

  14. That is definitely a compelling opening! Makes the reader want to keep going.

  15. Thanks for all the visits!

    Mel -- Thanks for visiting, and following. I'll come visit your blog too!

    Kathy -- That is a hilarious blog picture! I am a big fan of the anthropomorphization of animals.

    Readerbuzz -- Thanks for stopping by. Good luck with your reading.

    Becky -- It's my new favorite. I love it!

    Laurel -- I would like to sit and read this straight through.

  16. Fantastic book - fantastic opening line - it arelly draws you into the humour of the read. Wonderful - thanks for reminding me



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