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katrina

Silas Marner

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This book is one of my attempts at tackling the classics, and it didn't disappoint.

The book tells the story of Silas Marner a weaver who is a loner as a result of an incident earlier in his life, he lives a secluded life and is obsessed with the gold he collects. Then his life changes when he is suddenly the adopted father of a small child, Eppie. She brings into his life new joys and new people.

 

A well told story but I only gave it 3 stars, for most of the book is fantastic but it seemed to really drop off in the middle, and there was a few random chapters where I was completely lost and confused.

Definately worth a read.

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Silas Marner has the added attraction of only being a couple of hundred pages long. That makes it a much more attractive proposition for folk who would like to give George Eliot a try, but are intimidated by the size of Middlemarch ;)

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I remember doing this at High School. I was very impressed with our English Teacher for choosing it and, after reading it, was spurred on to read more widely for myself. Good English Teachers make such a difference to your world when you are a teenager, don't you think? I would have stuck to Sci-Fi and adventure stories if it wasn't for him.

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A good one to start with I would say. It's an enjoyable and short read, but with all the typical Eliot strands of realism. I think Romola is my favourite George Eliot, although you can never avoid the brilliance of Middlemarch.

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I think we 'did' Silas Marner at school, but after 50+ years I can't be quite sure.

Certainly my recall of the book was only of Silas working at the weaving and counting his gold, being robbed, finding Eppie on his hearth and being transformed in consequence of having her to care for.

I didn't recall anything about his life before he settled in the village, nor of Eppie's father having any significance in the plot.

Surely we didn't study an abridged version? Or maybe, at the age I was (12? 13?) I wasn't interested in anything other than the idea of the hard golden coins being replaced by the soft golden curls, and the effect on the old miser?

Certainly this time I found the story of the false accusation against Silas, the parentage of Eppie , and the relationship between Duncie and Godfrey just as interesting as the sentimental parts of the story. I was also interested in the difference between the way the 'Chapel' in the town was portrayed compared with the villagers 'Church', especially as my last book was set in a C19 Dissenting community.

I did get a bit fidgety with a long passage of conversation among the locals in The Rainbow - I wonder if that is where katrina felt it 'dropped off'? Certainly I think that Hardy does such scenes to better effect in his novels.

 

I have just listened to it as an unabridged audiobook, and was surprised to see it listed as a Children's Book in that form.

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I started this book yesterday and am nearly a quarter of the way through it already. Compared with other books I have read by George Eliot Silas Marner is a short book with far fewer characters. The book starts by describing the events leading up to the present day life of Silas Marner including his years as part of a strict religous group and the reasons for his expulsion from this group. His experiences have made him into the man he is today. Once again religion is playing an important role in this George Eliot book. This seems to be a recurring theme within her books although she did seem to like to show the many and varying faces of religion.

 

The reader has been introduced to the Cass brothers. One completely flawed while the elder driven to act against his nature by a previous folly. Again characters such as the elder of the Cass brothers also seem to have been popular with George Eliot as similar characters appeared in both Middlemach and Adam Bede. As I have stated in posts on threads regarding both of these novels the heros of a George Eliot book are always less than black and white.

 

As is usual when reading a book with an existing thread I will read the comments of other readers when I finish the novel. At the present rate that may not be too long away!

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I finished this book this morning having thoroughly enjoyed it. As others have stated this is a far shorter George Eliot novel than many of the others making it a good place to start with if wanting to read Eliot. As I stated in my previous thread there are also far fewer characters and a less complicated plot too. The plot in this novel is really quite simple but as it is accompanied by such real characters it still manages to contain a great deal of charm.

 

I was quite surprised to read that other readers had found some of the long rambling coversations between the local coutry folk a bit of a slog. Although some of the conversations are a little difficult to follow at times due to the fact that they ramble so very much I actually find the wisdom displayed and the thought process' used to arrive at their conclusions by such simple and uneducated people one of the real highlights of George Eliot novels.

 

Having now read three George Eliot novels fairly closely together, Middlemarch and Adam Bede being the other two, it seems to me that although the stories can be very different all of her books contain similar themes. If nothing else I feel that Eliot was a great observer of human nature and had a real understanding of her fellow man. An author that once embarked upon cannot be put down.

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