Friday, 18 December 2009

Book Review: Cranford

Cranford Cranford by Elizabeth C. Gaskell

Category: Novel

Synopsis: Cranford is a tale of a group of ladies in the small English town of Cranford. The town of Cranford is run by the women, that is to say, “all the holders of houses above a certain rent are women” (25)

My Thoughts:  I wanted to read Cranford because I recently saw the BBC television series based on the story and loved it. So when the Classic Circuit announced that they were doing Gaskell I jumped on it. Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed. The first half of the novel felt very disjointed and jumpy. Characters came and went within just a few pages. I never got a sense as to why they were there. This might have been okay if the novel was plot driven, but it isn’t. There isn’t really a plot to it at all.

The second half of the novel is a bit better. There is an inkling of a plot and there are no really new characters added into the mix. The story starts to flow a bit more.

What I did like about the story was the friendship between the women that was presented. The way they actually cared about each other. On the outside they all seemed to be very much concerned with appearances and what was proper, but on the inside they were much more caring, considerate and loyal.

My final verdict (and this pains me greatly) watch the BBC television series, it is MUCH better!



Karenlibrarian said...

I agree, I think if you've seen the miniseries first, it's a bit disappointing. The screenwriters did such a great job of tying all the stories together and creating a cohesive narrative. The book is more disjointed. But still, it's worth reading.

Rebecca Reid said...

I liked the mini-series better too! I watched it after the book. I think if I read the book again, I'd like it more just because it isn't about a story, but about friendship. It's just different from what I expectedtoo. Plus, I liked the love story in the movie. I'm a sucker for romance, I guess!

At any rate, thanks for joining the Circuit!!

Bella said...

I haven't read Cranford but I'm looking forward to seeing the series when it starts this weekend :)

Stefanie said...

I've not read Cranford or seen the minseries. I think I'll be sure to read the book first so I won't be disappointed!

Aarti said...

I have Cranford DVRing for the replay this weekend, so I'll just stick with that instead of reading the book for now. Though I do like Gaskell!

Zee said...

The book wasn't bad. And it was quite a quick read. I think I will read the rest of the stories in my copy and it hasn't put me off more Gaskell. I just really liked the mini-series. The actresses were so good and as Karen said, the screenwriters did a great job. I would probably watch this one and pick a different Gaskell :)