Read Silas Marner by George Eliot Online


Combining humour, rich symbolism and pointed social criticism, this is an unsentimental, yet affectionate portrait of rural life. Its protagonist, a man wrongly accused and exiled is given a chance to achieve true happiness through his care of an orphaned girl....

Title : Silas Marner
Author :
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ISBN : 9781904919575
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 375 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Silas Marner Reviews

  • Howard
    2019-04-20 07:03

    Dear Ms Park,I finally finished reading Silas Marner. Yes, I know you assigned it during my sophomore year in high school, but I didn't finish it until this past February. I know I passed the test you gave us on the story and I even made a passing grade on the paper that I wrote about the story. But I have to confess that it was Jake D.'s Classic Illustrated Comics version of the story that allowed me to make those grades. Poor Jake. Even after reading the comic book from cover to cover he still failed both assignments.Since I'm confessing and apologizing I suppose I should add one more thing. I'm sorry you caught me that day in class reading a paperback copy of Erskine Caldwell's God's Little Acre that I had tucked inside my lit book when I was supposed to have been reading about Silas. Now there was a writer. Erskine Caldwell, I mean. He could tell a story and, unlike Silas Marner, things happened in his books.I had just gotten to a really interesting scene in this one when you caught me, the one with Darlin' Jill and the albino in the boat. I can still see your hand dart across my shoulder and snatch the book away. And then with everybody in the class looking, and while you held the book between your thumb and forefinger like it was a dead mouse, you looked at me and said one word, "Trash." Boy, was my face red. I never did know if you were talking about the book or me -- or both.But in my defense, neither I nor any other fourteen-year old boy should have been required to read Silas Marner, unless, of course, the goal was to instill a hatred of reading. I say this as someone who always loved to read from the time that he first learned to read. Discounting comic books, poor old Jake, on the other hand, despised reading and had never read an entire book in his whole life. He might have been enticed to read about the Three Musketeers or Robin Hood or Huck Finn, but never Silas Marner.One of the problems that I had at first with the story was the fact that you told us that the author's name wasn't really George Eliot. I remember thinking that I didn't blame him for not using his real name. I wouldn't have either. But then you told us that George's real name was Mary Ann Evans! Well, as far as I was concerned that made George a lot more interesting than Silas.I also remember you telling us that Eliot/Evans' most famous quote was: "It is never too late to be what you might have been." Even at age fourteen, I found that to be profound and inspiring, much more so than the few pages I read in Silas Marner. But I recently discovered that the quote does not appear in anything that she wrote and that there is no evidence that she ever said it. I am no longer inspired, just disappointed.But, as I say, I finally read the whole story. Here's my review: "It was better than I expected."By the way, if you read my copy of God's Little Acre, the one you never returned, I bet you found it to be better than you expected.Your former student,Howard

  • Michael Sorensen
    2019-05-03 10:56

    When I was a teen, I heard that Silas Marner was a horrid old book about a rotten old miser and that I never wanted to read it. My Thanks to modern day Steve Martin who has updated several classics (ie Cyrano de Bergerac's 'Roxane') and 'Silas Marner' with modern movies that beautifully hold true to the books. The Movie was "A Simple Little Wish" and it was a beautiful story of a man and a child he adopts. In the credits I saw that the movie was based on 'Silas Marner'. At that point I had to read the book. I am glad I did. It took me forty pages or so for my mind to wrap around the sixteenth century english as used by George Eliot (actually written by a woman by the way) and then it read like a dream. Wonderful and inspiring.This book is hard to get started with, due to unfamiliar word play, but more than worth the chase!

  • Henry Avila
    2019-05-20 09:00

    An innocent young man, Silas Marner, is accused of stealing Church money, the actual crime committed, by his best friend, William, (a common occurrence ?), the culprit wants Silas's fiancee, Sarah. She soon rejects Silas, but not the treacherous William. The distraught weaver, flees Lantern Yard, when his brethren, do not believe him blameless, in the affair, to the country village of Raveloe . A bitter, broken man he becomes, his life ruined ... Apparently set in the English Midlands, during the French wars of the early 1800's. For fifteen long years, the lonely miser, keeps spinning his wheel, weaving. Countless hours, the tireless man, continues, all alone in his cottage, isolated from the rest of the world, which he is not a welcomed member, he believes. Saving his money, and watching the growing pile of coins, he counts every night , hiding them, under the cottage's floor boards. The only joy in his solitary, unhappy life, thinking, always thinking of the past, brooding, forever. How had he come to this sad end? But a thief in the night, changes everything, while Marner is away on business, all Silas's money is stolen, Mr. Marner can't believe it, searching the whole cottage, nothing is discovered however. Going to the local tavern, the Rainbow, to report the crime, the villagers are shocked, frightened too, at his sudden, unexpected appearance. Still nothing is found, and the locals blame wrongly, a recent peddler, long gone, who would think, that someone from the area, had done this evil deed? Time marches on, the quiet village, becomes quiet again. The weaver has been punished,, twice, later Silas, subject to seizures, had his door open, looking out, at the land. As if, somehow, someway, he'll see his money there. The snowy, cold night, brings him salvation, instead, a little girl, barely able to walk, comes into his home and lies down by the fireplace, to get warm. Mr.Marner, doesn't see her, another epileptic seizure, occurred? When he recovers, and comes back in, sits down, by the fire, a vague image, in his tired, weak eyes, Gold? Has his golden coins, returned? No, only a child and her golden hair...Heaven has given him, a replacement for his lost money, much more valuable, he calls her Eppie (Hephzibah), after his dead mother and sister. Joy arrives to the friendless man, and a reason to live, the little girl's mother's frozen body, is found outside, but where did she come from? The mystery will not be solved, for now, Silas is transformed, will he be able to care for Eppie, and keep her? Thankfully a kindly neighbor, Mrs.Winthrop, with four sons, helps out, becomes the child's Godmother (she always wanted a daughter). A classic fairy tale, still relevant in the modern era, the premise? Simple, everybody needs love.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-05-02 09:13

    875. Silas Marner, George Eliotسیلاس مارنر - جورج الیوت (دنیای نو) ادبیاتعنوانها: سیلاس مارنر؛ بافنده تنها؛ سایلاس مارنر قصه مرد بافنده؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه نوامبر سال 2006 میلادیعنوان: بافنده تنها - سیلاس مارنر؛ تهران، نیل، 1349؛ در 86 ص؛ برای جوانان با عنوان: سیلاس مارنر؛ترجمه سیروس نویدان، تهران دنیای نو، 1369؛ در 341 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، صبحدم؛ 1371؛ چاپ دیگر: 1380؛ترجمه محمد عبادزاده کرمانی، تهران، قصه جهان نما، 1371، در 144 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: دنیای مطبوعات، 1372؛ چاپ دیگر: جهان نما، 1375؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، هزار و یکشب، 1379؛ در 144 ص؛ترجمه ناهید کاشانیان، تهران جانزاده، 1375 در 96 ص؛با عنوان: سایلاس مارنر قصه مرد بافنده: مترجم: رضا رضایی؛ تهران، نشر نی، 1395؛ در 272 ص؛دو شخصیت اصلی رمان سایلاس مارنر، زندگی دوگانه‌ ای دارند که با بحران همراه است. یکی، سرخورده از گذشته، در انزوا عمر می‌گذراند؛ دیگری، با رازی در دل، در میان مردم زندگی پرجنب‌وجوشی دارد. بحران چگونه حل می‌شود؟ ا. شربیانی

  • ·Karen·
    2019-05-01 12:04

    The Fairy tale reading Once upon a time, a poor linen weaver lived in a deep, dark, dank place. He had been much maligned, and had grown bitter and friendless. For comfort, he turned to work and building a crock of gold, which he kept hidden under a floorboard, and brought out at intervals to admire and gloat over. But one fateful evening, the feckless son of the local squire was passing by, and, having ridden his brother's horse to death by reckless hunting, and feeling sadly out of sorts at having to walk, and at having to explain to his brother where the money for the sale of said horse had disappeared to, and being of that class and disposition and education which had inculcated in him a deep sense of entitlement, (view spoiler)[the sort of white male indeed who nowadays would be running for election as prime minister (hide spoiler)] this devil of a selfish trickster wandered into the linen weaver's cottage and reasoned at once that such an industrious weaver, with few material wishes, would surely have a crock of gold hidden somewhere, and divined at once that such a poor cottage cannot offer many places of concealment. Alas, he was not wrong, and quickly purloined said bag of gold, disappearing into the night, ne'er to be seen again.Poor Silas! But the tragedy of his stolen fortune throws him into the arms of the local community, who are sympathetic to his loss, and offer, at least, some practical help, taking him to the local officer to report the crime, although the money is not recovered. Nor can it be, yet. For there is a different treasure in store for Silas. Gold re-enters the cottage in the form of a faerie child. A child that arrives in a way that, for him, is entirely inexplicable by means of reason or deduction. Sent by heaven, named for his dead sister, brought up by Silas, Eppie is his path back to humanity, love and family ties. He is a loving, indulgent father to this girl, and is pleased to accept the aid and support of his neighbour, Dolly Winthrop, a woman of good sense and compassion. Silas is no longer an outcast, and when Eppie's true identity is revealed to her, she refuses the offer of riches and social prestige and respectability, preferring the warmth and loving care of the only real father she has ever known. Eppie marries Aaron, Dolly Winthrop's son, and offers a home to Silas in his old age. And they all live happily ever after.The rather dull show-off smart-arse readingEngland of the early 19th Century was a hotbed of religious dissent, discussion, dispute and debate. On one hand, the established Church could be seen as internally corrupt and seized by intellectual torpor. The Lords Spiritual were known to the irreverent as the Tory Party at prayer: those Anglican Bishops so much a part of the Establishment, sitting comfortably in the House of Lords, sitting with or in place of the local squire on the magistrate's bench, they belonged firmly to the league of the Tory landowner and magnate, enjoying the spoils of nepotism, pluralism, absenteeism, sinecures and simony, while many a parish priest lived on the edge of starvation. As such, the established church was vulnerable to attack, both on the intellectual, philosophical level and on the social level. It was no longer 'fit for purpose', providing neither spiritual succour nor even pastoral care in many places.However, on the other hand, there were constructive movements within the Church that revived debate and strengthened the Church by forcing it to take up a position. For one, there was a huge interest in Evangelical movements, the church of Dissent, a faith that rested on the Word of God, a belief in the veracity of the word of the Bible, a focus on personal morality and acceptance of the Word. For another there was the Oxford Movement, aka Tractarianism, aka Puseyism, aka Anglo-Catholicism, a movement which had begun as protest, a defence against what was perceived as the possible subservience of the Church to temporal power. Electoral reform meant that the composition of the 1833 Parliament included such worrying elements as Dissenters and Roman Catholics, quite apart from the even more worrying aspect of its being Whig controlled. One of the first proposals by the Whigs was to abolish the 22 Irish Bishoprics, which served a membership of a mere 850,00, although supported by the forced tithes of 6.4 million Roman Catholics in Ireland. The Anglican Church saw this as an assault on their sovereignty, an opening of the door to the dissipation of the privileges that went hand in hand with being the Established Church: before 1837 there was no civil marriage, no civil registration of births, deaths and marriages. A child had to be baptised for its birth to be registered, a wedding had to take place in the Anglican Church for it to be legally recognized, a burial could take place only in silence or with the Anglican rite. Naturally enough, it was not only the Irish Catholics who felt resentful. Dissenters in England also paid for the upkeep of a parish church to whose views they did not subscribe, while supporting their own church communities as well. The Oxford Movement sought to re-establish the authority of their bishops. In order to do so, it was necessary to turn away from salvation through the Bible as illustrated by the inner light of the individual, and restore the idea of absolute and ultimate truth of which the Church was the mystical repository and expositor. John Henry Newman researched early Church history in an attempt to discover unbroken continuity, to re-establish apostolic succession: the power of the sacraments lay in the fact that they were administered by bishops and clergy whose own powers derived, ultimately, from Christ himself. The Church as mediator between god and man, which therefore should be wholly separate from state control.This atmosphere of conflicting orthodoxies was divisive, leading to the High Church and Low Church forms of Anglicism, the one affirming sacramentalism as a means of grace, the exaltation of the symbol, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the other emphasising personal morality and salvation through acceptance of the Bible.In the long view, these concerns may be seen as petty in-fighting. For although the debate gave rise to a certain regeneration of the clergy, an invigorated taking up of the good fight, religion was under attack from other developments: a certain Charles Darwin was just returning from an extended voyage aboard the Beagle, geology and paleontology, the so-called "Testimony of the Rocks" called the time-scale of the Bible into question, and Higher Criticism also undermined belief in the Bible as the repository of all wisdom.Silas Marner, published in 1861, was George Eliot's third novel, after Adam Bede and The Mill on the Floss. Her first literary publication was her 1846 translation of Das Leben Jesu by David Friedrich Strauss, published in Germany in 1835, a work of Higher Criticism. Strauss analysed the Bible and came to the conclusion that the Old Testament was a mixed bag of human documents; tribal histories, genealogies, digests of laws, erotic songs, biographies, folk myths. A library, an archive of man-made texts, fortuitously assembled and endowed with divine authority long after the fact. The Gospels, similarly, comprised several versions of a biography of a historical figure named Jesus, whom an early group of disciples held to be the son of god, the Messiah, and to whom they therefore ascribed miraculous powers. Events in the Bible could not withstand historical and scientific scrutiny, but it retained its spiritual authority as a body of symbol and myth, a document of mankind's aspirations and desires.In Silas Marner, Eliot describes a path through some of the controversies of the times she lived in. The novel is subtitled 'The Weaver of Raveloe' but Marner is not originally of Raveloe at all, in fact the novel traces the process of his becoming part of Raveloe. Originally he comes from somewhere 'Nor'ard', one of the industrial cities, where he belonged to an (unnamed)'narrow religious sect, where the poorest layman has the chance of distinguishing himself by gifts of speech, and has, at the very least, the weight of a silent voter in the government of his community.' Thus Eliot highlights immediately one of the attractions of the religion of dissent: it is a democratic body, one that expects its members to take responsibility and show initiative. She also portrays some of the dangers inherent in the system: Marner and his friend William Dane (view spoiler)[who turns out to be no friend at all (hide spoiler)] spend much time discussing Assurance of salvation, and how one might know. Scrupulous Marner confesses that he has never arrived at 'anything higher than hope mingled with fear' and envies Dane's confidence, which is based on nothing more than a dream he claims to have had. Marner it is who might seem to have the clearer sign, as he is subject to cataleptic fits, and once fell into a state of unconsciousness and rigidity at a prayer-meeting, which was generally accepted as an access of light and fervour. But Dane is jealous of Marner, and from an access of personal malevolence, suggests that these fits are more the work of Satan than a proof of divine favour. Dane engineers a destructive incident that casts suspicion of robbery on Marner; the community resolve on prayer and the drawing of lots to find out the truth, but the lots declare that Silas Marner is guilty. Stunned with despair, Marner leaves that northern town and the community he has known.To people accustomed to reason about the forms in which their religious feeling has incorporated itself, it is difficult to enter into that simple, untaught state of mind in which the form and the feeling have never been severed by an act of reflection.Raveloe is that place, where the form and the feeling have never been severed. It lay 'in the rich central plain of what we are pleased to call Merry England', a village where 'many of the old echoes lingered, undrowned by new voices.' It has a fine old church and churchyard at the heart of it, but there are several homesteads close upon the road that lift more imposing fronts than the rectory, 'which peeped from among the trees'. And indeed, we never meet the rector until the squire's New Year party, for religion here in Raveloe is organic, is tradition, is an integral part of the warp and weft of life with little concern for its significance. The festivities at New Year are open for the people of the village to come and observe from the side, an opportunity for them to see the gentle folk at play, and nothing could be more natural. 'It was not thought of as an unbecoming levity for the old and middle-aged people to dance a little before sitting down to cards, but rather as a part of social duties.' And the parson naturally set an example in these social duties.For it would not have been possible for the Raveloe mind, without a peculiar revelation, to know that a clergyman should be a pale-faced memento of solemnities, instead of a reasonably faulty man whose exclusive authority to read prayers and preach, to christen, marry and bury you, necessarily co-existed with the right to sell you the ground to be buried in and to take tithe in kind; on which last point, of course, there was a little grumbling, but not to the point of irreligion - not of deeper significance than the grumbling at the rain, which was by no means accompanied with a spirit of impious defiance, but with a desire that the prayer for fine weather might be read forthwith.Dolly Winthrop is the embodiment of that fine feeling that has never been severed from the form, although a carping evangelist might see the feeling as more superstition than spirituality. In an access of kindliness towards Marner, robbed of his gold, she brings him lard-cakes she has baked. "'There's letters pricked on 'em,' said Dolly. 'I can't read 'em myself, and there's nobody, not Mr Macey himself, rightly knows what they mean; but they've a good meaning, for they're the same as is on the pulpit-cloth at church.'" Silas can read, he reads the letters off: I.H.S., but is no more capable than Dolly of interpreting their meaning - in fact he is worse off, for he doesn't even associate them with a good sentiment - "but there was no possibility of misunderstanding the desire to give comfort that made itself heard in her quiet tones." She gently suggests to him that he might like to go to church of a Sunday, in the same breath as suggesting that he might like to roast a bit of something at the bakehus "for it's nothing but right to have a bit o' summat hot of a Sunday and not to make it as you can't know your dinner from Saturday." These rituals structure our lives and make for shared experience with neighbours, and do no harm, after all. When Eppie arrives, Dolly becomes more involved with Marner's life: she assures him that the child should be christened, although he has no concept of what that means. She too, is a little vague, seeing it as a kind of inoculation, good things and good words to keep us from harm, and salve our conscience if, by chance, things should turn out badly - then at least we did all we could.Dolly Winthrop is not moved by any sentiment of salvation, or good Christian duty, her religion is a matter of habit, what is the done thing. But what moves her is common decency and sympathy for a fellow human being. These are the true bonds that sew Marner back into the fabric of community life: love, friendship, compassion. Shared experience, jokes, laughter, banter, well-practised comments, familiar, recognizable and pleasurable. Habits. The done thing.Well, this has turned into a term paper already, but there would be more to say about Eliot's sensitive analysis of class, her innovative use of the vernacular to portray character, her multi-layered irony and gentle humour, her graceful sentences and above all her warmth. Her charity. Her humanity.Another time. (Is that a threat?)

  • Apatt
    2019-05-02 10:05

    "God gave her to me because you turned your back upon her, and He looks upon her as mine: you've no right to her! When a man turns a blessing from his door, it falls to them as take it in."One of the main reasons I like reading Victorian novels is for the eloquence. The above quote there is spoken by the eponymous Silas Marner, a character with little in the way of education or wealth, so there is a plainness in his eloquence. In his position I would have said "F*k off mister, finders keepers!". Which is why I am not a novelist.Silas Marner is a simple tale of a lonely miser who finds an abandoned child and decides to raise her as his own, The theme of how loving a child can "reawakening the senses" and "unfold the soul" is fairly common in fiction and popular culture. Movies like "Three Men and a Baby", "Despicable Me" and "Big Daddy" milk the theme for all it's worth, but it takes a major talent like George Eliot to achieve any kind of resonance. Silas starts off as a nice and simple guy with tremendous weaving skills and above average herbal knowledge, after being ripped off by his best friends and falsely accused he moves to another town settle into a rather Scrooge-ish existence, away from the nearest population. The poor fellow is soon ripped off again by robbery but shortly finds a greater wealth through a child that he learns to love. The transformation of Silas from a miserable antisocial recluse to a popular kindly man rings very true to me. I have personally experienced a similar transformation when a child entered my life. Later in the book Silas is given an option of wealth in exchange for his adopted daughter and the theme of what real wealth really is becomes evident. Financial wealth becomes insignificant in comparison to parental love.There is not a lot a can think of to write about such a straight forward and rather short novel. Suffice it to say that it is a heartfelt story that I have no hesitation in recommending. Once I again I am grateful for for making the audiobook version available for free. As their books are read by volunteers some are better than others, the quality of the audiobooks in their huge catalogue is definitely variable. However, this version of Silas Marner is skillfully read by “Tadhg” in a very charming Irish lilt. Reading books like this make me feel that life is good (then my boss shows up and shatters the illusion).(Audiobook download link).

  • Terry
    2019-04-20 04:55

    A strong 3.5 starsAs with Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, the only other Eliot book I’ve read thus far, _Silas Marner_ shows off just how keen an observer of human nature Eliot was both in the adept manner she has at detailing the psychological motivations of her characters’ actions and in the more explicit authorial asides in the narrative in which she details her insights into how the human mind and heart work, and the justifications that we give ourselves for our actions. No one in her stories seems to be either good or bad, though they may fall further on one side of the spectrum than the other, and as is always the case they have justifications for everything they do, even if they are justifications that will satisfy no one but themselves.Silas Marner himself is an excellent character study of a miser who is more than a caricature. Thrown down by injustice and succumbing to despair the titular Silas exiles himself from his birthplace and becomes an outcast on the periphery of the village of Raveloe where his solitary life as a weaver is consumed by little more than work and the amassing of a small golden treasure upon which all of his love is centred. This state of affairs is not to last and Silas goes through yet another trial, the loss of his small fortune, though this is soon replaced by the person of a small orphaned child. As with the Grinch, Marner’s heart grew three times that day! Still a taciturn and awkward man, Silas’ new charge brings him into the fold of society from which he had been outcast nearly all of his adult life and we see him grow as a person as he learns to care for someone other than himself.Eliot once again paints a wonderfully vivid picture of provincial English life in her village of Raveloe and we see all of the varied aspects of human nature on display: greed, cowardice, rigid moral inflexibility, filial love, devotion, despair, and hope. Even those characters that take up little of the narrative have a verisimilitude of life to them and we can readily believe that Raveloe is a real, living place filled with the foibles, defeats, and triumphs of real human life. Some might consider the story a bit saccharine, but I think the reality of its characters saves it from that fate. An enjoyable read, especially good if you’re feeling leery about human nature.

  • Tyler Jones
    2019-04-22 06:55

    2011 marks 150 years since the publication of Silas Marner. I can see why some modern readers would find the pace slow, the language difficult, the moral message too strong and the story too neatly tied up. That will happen if you insist that a mid-19th century novel be judged by early-21st century standards. I don't understand why some people refuse to read a book on it's own terms, but insist that the book conform to their terms. It's like they live in a city with great restaurants that represent every type of food in the world, but they only ever go to the steakhouse. To me the story of the miserly weaver who loses his riches but discovers a greater treasure is one of the great novels of any time. The story itself is not so powerful as the incredibly deep insight the author has for what motivates human behaviour, particularly bad behaviour. Often while reading Silas Marner I was reminded of William Faulkner because both authors had a particular talent for exposing how people find self-righteous justifications for greedy actions. While Faulkner reveals hypocrisy in a darkly humorous way, Eliot shows compassion for all her characters, no matter how flawed, and one gets the sense that her novels are presided over by a kind and forgiving God. The novels of George Eliot do not simply instruct us in proper behavior (for who wants to be preached at?) but give an example of a kind loving attitude that is needed much more today, I think, than it was 150 years ago.

  • Richard Derus
    2019-05-07 08:22

    This book was a real-life Book Circle read that, well, got mixed reviews. Some people thought the writing was brilliant and others found it dated; some people thought it was too short, others too long for the short story they felt it truly was and not the novel it's pretending to be.I think it's a lovely book. I think Silas is about as honestly drawn and cannily observed a character as fiction offers. I think the village of Raveloe is as real as my own village of Hempstead. It's a delight to read about real people, presented without editorial snark, in a book from the 19th century.And therein the book's real achievement. When it was published in 1861, it was a revolutionary tract! The hoi polloi were not to be represented in Art, and novels were then most definitely considered Art, unless they were romanticized, made into prettier or uglier or in some way extreme examples of a Point of View. Simple, honest, direct portrayal of people that novel-readers employed but never conversed with?! Shocking!A book of great importance, then, for its groundbreaking treatment of The People. But also...and this is the reason it helped wreak the revolution whose Robespierres and Dantons were Hemingway and is a simple story of a man's journey down an ever-widening path that leads to enlightenment, told without A Message or A Moral, in prose that remains graceful 150 years later.If you read it in high school, don't blame IT for the hatred your English teacher left you feeling...blame the teacher. It's not fairly presented in English courses. Read it as an adult, and judge it for itself. Maybe it'll be to your personal taste, maybe not, but I think a grown-up read of a book this seminal to all the others we read today, never thinking about how improbable their existence is, isn't too much to ask.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  • Kim
    2019-04-22 05:12

    This is a book which countless teenagers have been forced to read as part of the school syllabus. For some reason I didn't have to read it when I was at school. I'm glad that's the case, because I've a feeling this would not have appealed to me very much when I was a teenager. As has been the case when I've read other novels by George Eliot, it took a while for me to become fully engaged with the narrative. But once the links between the various characters became clear, listening to the audiobook (beautifully narrated by Nadia May) became a joy. Essentially a story about the redemption which can come through love, the novel has something of the fairytale about it. Eliot might be criticised for sentimentality, but this is ultimately a feel-good story with an important moral. Added to this are Eliot's deft characterisation, elegant prose and the sure manner in which she evokes Victorian village life. Overall, listening to this was a most enjoyable experience.

  • Ivana Books Are Magic
    2019-05-10 05:15

    I've read this book today and absolutely loved it. It is remarkably deep for such a relatively short novel. I don't remember when exactly I started reading it, but I know I made it to the third chapter in one go, found the story fascinating, but somehow I forgot about it until I picked it up again this afternoon. My favourite way to read doesn't include pauses. Obviously that isn't always possible but when I get the chance to do so I tend to use it- like I did this afternoon. I've really enjoyed reading this novel and I'm happy I had the chance to finish it today.The opening of the novel might seem a bit slow to some. The first few chapters are focused solely on the protagonist and you're not quite sure how the story will develop. Silas Marner leaves his home after being wrongly accused. He arrives and settles into a new community but besides focusing on his work and savings, he has no dealings with anyone. Basically, he completely isolates himself from human society. He becomes obsessed with his savings, in this novel often referred to as his gold. This idea of an old man obsessed with his gold has been present in literature since the ancient times (Marner isn't old at this point, but it is said he looks the part). You probably remember the Roman comedian Titius Maccius Plautus and his comedy Aulularia, that has been interpreted and copied by many notable European writers, right up to modern times. Anyway, you can notice the key theme of this novel right from the start. This is a novel that focuses heavily on the theme of guilt and innocent. Silas, albeit innocent, gets punished for his crime. The novel doesn't leave it at that. There is another character that gets introduced and that is a young man plagued by some disgrace. When we meet him, he is in the process of being blackmailed by his brother for this crime of his. This young man wants to marry a certain Nancy, beautiful and virtuous girl, but his 'crime' prevents him. As I started to read about this man, I wondered what his connection to Silas might be, and I was a bit inpatient for the story to get back to Silas. However, what I did not expect is how quickly things will develop from that point. Silas gets robbed, his gold is taken from him and he end up a broken man. Once this happens, the story really gets started. From this point, the plot develops effortlessly and effectively. I stressed the fact that Silas Marner is not a long novel. That doesn't mean that it lacks anything. Quite on the contrary, the narrative flows quite naturally. The new characters that get introduced soon start to take a form of their own. The characterization of characters is for the most part very well done, even the minor characters make sense. For all its briefness, this novel managed to discuss religion, social customs and morality standards of its time. It goes on very subtly about it, so subtly that you might miss it if you skip a passage or two...Don't!!! This is a novel you must read without skimming. The more you pay attention to conversations between the characters, the more you notice certain hints about, for example, the role of religion in one's life. That kind of subtle development of a philosophical theme, well that's quite an achievement, if you ask me. All the same, I was left feeling hungry for more.The plot obviously reminded me of Les Miserables. When I checked the date, it turned out that this novel was published one year prior to well-known masterpiece by Victor Hugo. There are so many parallels between the two. The Miserables features an ex-convict, who becomes a foster father for an orphaned child. Likewise, Silas finds a gold haired child and decided to adopt her. He reminded me of the protagonist of The Les Miserables in so many ways. The relationship between his adopted daughter mirrors the one I read about in Les Miserables. Moreover, in both novels, it is the daughter that gives meaning to the life of the feather and teaches to him the lesson of love. In both stories, the father figure would remained withdrawn from society if it hadn't been for the daughter. Silas accepts the girl as a miracle and he forgets his gold. Trying to be a good father for her, he reconnects with other human beings, finds friendship again, develops meaningful relationships with his neighbours and the whole community whose outcast (by choice) he was for so many years. However, many question remain... Whose child she might be? Will she be claimed? Is she really an orphan? Who stole his gold? More tales of guilt and innocence will be told by the time this story is finished. There is one element in which this story differs from that of Les Miserables but to find out about it, you'll have to read the novel. In the end, there won't be any secrets left. I do recommend this classic. I think it's well written and developed. I was somewhat perplexed by all the similarities between Silas Marner and Les Miserables, but I don't think it's possible there was any copying (one either side) simply due to the fact that the novels must have taken a long time to write. I don't think that Hugo could have developed and written his novel only a year after Silas Marner was published. Moreover, the novels are situated in different societies. As much as Les Miserables is a distinctly French novel in the sense that it speaks of the French society of the time period it describes, the same is the case with Silas Marner. Some things are universal, such as the philosophical question of a man's role in society, but societies described in these novels are different. The society of Silas Marner is distinctly English. So, I wouldn't say that either of these these novels feels like the copy of the other. I think it was more the case of great minds think alike.What more to say? I must admit that Silas Marner didn't move me as deeply as Les Miserables but that might be because it is a big more vague. Silas is a fascinating protagonist, but he remains somewhat distant. I didn't feel we were given an insight into his psyche, thus I felt a bit less emphatic towards him than I might have been otherwise. In addition, the story did have a rather sudden (albeit highly credible) ending. The story did move me, but I can't say it moved be to tears or anything like that, hence 4 starts instead of 5. It did made me think a great deal and that's always a tale sign of a really good book. To sum it up, it is a wonderful classic, well worth your time.

  • Erin
    2019-04-22 09:21

    I have spent so much of my year reading books that have been published in 2017, that there is something exceedingly special about diving into a book that was published in 1861. It was hard for me to consider that this was the same George Eliot that wrote The Mill on the Floss which I count among my favorite reads. Not that this was in any way a terrible story, but I believe I may be coming down from the 5 star high I had earlier today. A simple enough tale about a miserly weaver that is wrongly accused of a crime, shutting himself away from all those around him and the little girl that brings him back to the living. An appropriate read during the holiday season.

  • Cindy Newton
    2019-05-12 10:09

    How could this be anything other than enjoyable, when it was penned by George Eliot? Although this was a simpler story with a more overt theme than others, like Middlemarch, it still provided plenty of food for thought. It's a simple tale of faith lost and regained, the redemptive powers of love, and the powerful effect that human connections can have on our lives. Lovely, and highly recommended for lovers of classics and excellent writing.

  • Kressel Housman
    2019-05-19 10:58

    Those of you who’ve been following my reviews for a while may remember that I have an ambition of going to grad school and writing a thesis or dissertation on George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda. Well, even though I haven’t figured out a way to pay for grad school yet, I figured I might as well do the research on my own. So I’ve begun reading George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda Notebooks, which no doubt will take me a while, but I figured it was also high time I completed her entire oeuvre, and Silas Marner, being one of her shorter and more famous books, seemed like a good place to start.The book, unfortunately, has a bad reputation because it’s often assigned to high school students who end up detesting it. I can understand their position. The book gets off to a slow start. I didn’t think it was 5-star material until the second half. But it’s a beautiful story with a message about what’s truly valuable in life. I think religious and non-religious people can appreciate it.And now I come to the focus of my research. George Eliot walked both sides of the religious divide in her lifetime. In her teens, she became an Evangelical Christian, but disillusioned with the Church, she joined a circle of idealists and philosophers, and remained a secular humanist for the rest of her life. Still, in what I’ve read of her books so far, while some of her most villainous and hypocritical characters are active members of the Church, the protagonists reflect some of the highest teachings of religion. Some may say that that’s precisely what secular humanism is all about, but if that’s true, then it doesn’t seem anti-religious to me. And that leads me to two fantastic quotes I found in Jewish Odyssey of George Eliot. Historian Lord Aston wrote that she was, “a consummate expert in the pathology of conscience,” who could “reconcile the practical ethics of unbelief and of belief.” The atheist philosopher Nietzsche commented on this same quality also, but as a criticism. He classified her amongst a group of “moral fanatics . . . rid of the Christian G-d and now believe all the more firmly that they must cling to Christian morality.” (As Nietzche was the favorite philosopher of the Nazis, I can’t say I value his opinion.)Not everyone is going to love or even like George Eliot. I do think every Jew who loves literature ought to wade through Daniel Deronda, and I think every Jane Austen fan ought to do the same with Middlemarch. But if you want a taste of Eliot that won’t take very long, read Silas Marner. There are some dull spots, but her dialogue and characterization are usually absorbing, and if you’re open to a sweet story about love and justice, then this one is worth your time.

  • Veronique
    2019-05-03 10:23

    4.5“A child, more than all other gifts That earth can offer to declining man, Brings hope with it, and forward-looking thoughts.”—Wordsworth.It has been a while since I have been able to read a classic, and this was a title I very much wanted to, especially since Middlemarch is one of my favourite novels. Having said this, George Eliot and her masterful writing style are still a little intimidating to me. Silas Marner is a short novel and deceptively compelling. The narrator follows a solitary weaver, showing us his trials and how he became this misunderstood figure. It is a sad life full of injustice but Eliot uses this as a springboard for something a lot more positive and life affirming. In this aspect, this book does have an element of a fairy tale but she combines this with her famous realistic portrayal of humanity.Eliot shows us how small social environments function, their ingrained fear of the foreign, or rather simply of the ‘uncommon’, how religion, and indeed superstition, is powerful here but more for its structural effect than pure faith, offering a certain kind of order and stability that the inhabitants can understand. I actually enjoyed seeing the villagers' interactions, especially about the retelling of a story in the pub with each person taking their turn to prompt the 'storyteller'. It was comical, which surprised me (this is only my second Eliot). It felt to me that the author was trying to find and show us what acts as a ‘glue’ in such a social setting… or in a life. Silas keeps to himself after his suffering but events push him to change, if not for himself then for someone he loves. Eliot uses one of her recurring views - that 'no man is an island’ and that whether you want it or not, you are a part in the social fabric - and therefore a character cannot be portrayed in isolation but be placed in his/her setting. The omniscient narration allows her to give us the different points of view and make us understand these perspectives, and how they affect the protagonists accordingly. Eliot feels to me like an orchestra master, in control of every single detail, from the largest to the tiniest, in every dimension :0) The depth and breadth she achieves always flabbergasts and fascinates me. Yes this is a short novel but there is layer upon layer. For instance, the image of the ‘yarn' running throughout the narration, from the weaver’s work to all the images used (calling to mind the spider web trope she would use linking everything and everyone in MM), the contrast between an industrial site and a rural one, or between the spiritual and the material… You could spend plenty of time analysing these pages or just simply enjoying this moving story. Both work beautifully :O)

  • Alex
    2019-05-17 12:07

    Silas Marner is the most accessible of George Eliot's novels, by which I mean it isn't like 700 pages long, which is a problem for it because that also means it's the one you had to read in high school. You didn't like it. Partly because your teacher made the whole class take turns reading out loud - why would you do that? - and partly because even at her snappiest Eliot is not the world's most exciting writer. She is the world's smartest writer! So that's nice for her. But she's no Dumas.And this is no Middlemarch. That book is the best one ever written; this is just very good. It's an exploration of how this one guy, Silas Marner, fits into and then out of and then back into society. Silas is a loner, and the book looks at a few things a person can focus on to give his life meaning. Money both works (in that it keeps him alive) and doesn't (in that it has no actual ability to give back). The atheist Eliot makes a quiet point that religion isn't crazy helpful either; those are motions. They represent community that's helpful, but aren't intrinsically helpful. And then she ends by saying that love in whatever way you can find it is the most helpful. Which is true but also sentimental, and the book is a little sentimental, but okay. Eppie gives Silas a focus all by herself, but she also draws him out and into the community, which Eliot clearly thinks is equally valuable.And as a bonus, there's a really lovely bit about Godfrey (view spoiler)[& Nancy's inability to have a kid. Eliot has perceptive things to say about what it means to have all these love and resources available and no proper outlet for them. She doesn't spend much time on Godfrey's maturation, but she sketches it out in some short and effective strokes; he starts as a jackass, and by the end he's slightly less of a jackass (hide spoiler)]. He's a good example of Eliot's bottomless, all-encompassing understanding of humans. If you're a grownup and you're thinking of exploring or revisiting Eliot, by all means read Middlemarch. But if you're too much of a wuss, you can read this instead. It's good stuff.

  • Werner
    2019-05-07 04:00

    Required reading assignments in school often aren't the most enjoyable reads, and the element of compulsion may prejudice the reader against them, but this novel proved to be a happy exception to that pattern! (Obviously, given the time frame, I read it in a different edition than the one above.) The above description of "faith and society" as Eliot's subject matter here is apt. After being cast out by his narrow religious sect when he is framed for a theft, Silas becomes an embittered and reclusive atheist and miser. Years later, on a single night, his hoarded gold is stolen and an apparently orphaned and abandoned toddler comes into his life. Modern adaptations of this novel, and much criticism of it, tend to concentrate wholly on the fascinating interpersonal and social dynamics; but for the author, the story of Silas' recovery of faith in God, through the gift of the child, is equally central. (Eliot wasn't a Christian; but she was most definitely a theist, and religion was an important concern to her.)The plotting of this novel is flawless, each element dovetailing neatly into the whole. Stylistically, it displays Eliot's characteristic combination of Romantic and Realist features into a satisfying whole that appeals to the reader's emotions, but also presents realistically drawn people in a setting authentically brought to life.

  • Ziad Nadda
    2019-04-29 08:15

    An excellent project of retribution and compensation. It broke my heart to pieces in its bloody dark unfair scenes. However, it flushed the happiness in my cheeks of its happy, joyful ending scenes. My heart will always remember Silas Marner, Eppie Marner, Godfrey case, and Nancy Lammeter of Raveloe.P.S note:Priscilla (Nancy's sister) is hilarious and I think she is my favorite character in the novel.

  • Meltem K.
    2019-04-22 07:11

    "...I suppose it is the way with all men and woman who reach middle age without the clear perception that life never can be thoroughly joyous: under the vague dullness of grey hours, dissatisfaction seeks a definite object, and finds it in the privation of an untried good..."

  • Sandy (CA)
    2019-05-15 08:21

    What a wonderful story! There is so much wisdom in this short book. It was worth every minute of the time I spent listening to it.

  • Claire
    2019-04-23 10:11

    Quite an interesting book. I really admire George Elliot. Living 2 centuries ago, she still feels remarkably modern. I particularly enjoyed the humour, the underlying criticism on religion, the class differences, the hypocrisy of certain groups. At the same time there is also a clear endearment towards almost every characters. The most beautiful part was the growing up of Eppie. The way the old Silas falls in love with this child is written with so much warmth!

  • Trevor
    2019-04-28 09:56

    This is an odd wee book. I quite enjoyed it, but it is rather more showing its age than Middlemarch did. And it is similar in some ways to Middlemarch, or seems to be in the middle if not at the start and the end. It has the feel of snapshots of small town life. But the main story seems really odd for someone who translated Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity. This is a tale of redemption, but also one of a special providence, and as such it is a very Christian work, I think. The idea that a man might lose everything - and repeatedly - and yet, through an act of love regain all and more is a pretty nice structure for a novel. And somewhat like the story of the interpretation of the Pharaoh's dreams of the thin cows eating the fat cows by Joseph there are about 15 lean and 15 good years. The fear, of course, is that the return of what is lost will mean the taking away of what has been gained - but this is a story where that last bit of Abbey Road should be sounding in your head as you turn the last page, "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."I guess many of us have, at one time or another, wondered how much better our lives might be if the people who are tormenting and holding us from what we desire were to suddenly die or leave our lives forever in some way. If this is a book of providence, it is also a book of Karma. And of religious themes I guess those two are better than vengeance and damnation.

  • Ferris
    2019-05-11 06:58

    I listened to this audiobook while on vacation. It is a bit slow in the first third, but I stuck it out and became completely engrossed in this second of George Eliot's novels that I've read. I think she really believed in karma. In this novel, as in "Middlemarch", characters clearly reap the consequences of the choices they make, particularly in relation to their behavior towards other people. If you can get through the first third, it is well worth the read.

  • Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
    2019-05-06 08:04

    If you are looking for a fast and thoroughly delightful and entertaining summer read, I would like to recommend George Eliot's slim novel, Silas Marner--The Weaver of Raveloe. I kept this next to my bedside, and read a few chapters each night; but it could just as easily be read in a few hours by a dedicated reader.Eliot finished the novel in about six months and it was first published in April 1861. She wrote the novel during the time period that she was researching and writing her much larger work Romola. Interestingly, I would wager that over the years that more people have read and enjoyed Silas Marner than have read Romola, a much more complex and complicated novel that demands so much of the reader.This little novel reads a lot like a fairy tale, or folk tale, where the eponymous linen weaver Silas Marner is falsely accused of a crime, and has to leave his home, his betrothed, Sarah, and all of his friends. Silas leaves Lantern Yard and moves far away to the village of Raveloe and lives quietly by himself in a small house in the forest weaving fine linen cloths for sale. He becomes well known for the quality of his weaves, and somewhat for his homeopathic abilities as a healer. Rather than becoming a member of the community, Silas becomes reclusive and is largely shunned by his neighbors. He lives frugally and hoards the money he earns through the sale of woven linens. Eventually he has a literal 'pot-of-gold' that he counts and fondles, and then returns his treasure to its hiding place beneath the bricks of his floor beneath his loom.Something happens though, and without giving away any plot details, Silas essentially 'trades' his 'pot-of-gold' for a small golden-haired young girl. From this point on, the novel is the story of Silas and his beautiful little 'daughter,' that he names, Hephzibah, or 'Eppie.' It is a story of genuine and gloriously happy love between the little girl and her 'Dad-dad.' It is his love for, and his bond with, Eppie that begins Silas's redemption and reintegration with the folks of Raveloe. Because of Silas's obvious love and devotion to little Eppie as she grows up, Silas eventually comes to be admired and even respected by the villagers.Sixteen years later, and Eppie is now a young woman and feeling the first stirrings of romantic love and womanhood. Also, lurking in the background is the full story about the disappearance of Silas's bag of gold coins, and the parentage of Eppie herself. All is made clear in the end, and happily so, I might add. I have to confess that this novel, at times, brought tears to my eyes; mostly tears of happiness though. It really is a very lovely and heart-felt story. It may start out as being a little rough on poor Silas, but it really does show that if a person can faithfully hew to their principles and maintain a sound moral character that good things will happen in the long run.This novel reminded me, in some respects, to one of Thomas Hardy's earlier novels, Under the Greenwood Tree, another refreshingly honest and forthright look at life in the English countryside in the mid-19th century. I believe that I have made this observation before, but I have to think that Hardy read Eliot's works, and that the Realism of her fiction had to have influenced the later Naturalism of his. I have very much enjoyed reading the great works of these two authors this summer.Update--June 18, 2013-- I just finished rereading this wonderful novel, and I'm 'bumping' it up to five stars just for its 'feel good' quality. This little fairy tale is simply a delightful story!

  • Mary Ronan Drew
    2019-05-11 04:10

    Back in the fall of 1963 I was practice teaching at New Bedford High School. I didn't get to choose any of the books I taught and I was distressed that I had to teach Silas Marner. I had read it myself in high school not so long before and didn't like it at all and couldn't see the point of it all. Too sentimental, too stilted in language, too unrealistic.But of course I sat down with the book and a notepad and started to do some close reading, as they taught us to do in those days. And a masterpiece was revealed. It is a simple story of a cynical and self-absorbed man who reacted to a great disappointment in his youth by becoming a hermit and a miser and the arrival on his doorstep of a little child for which he must take responsibility. The love of this child replaced the love of gold in his heart and his need for help from his neighbors drew him to become part of the community.A book that is not likely to appeal to a typical 16-year-old. I'm not sure I got anybody to appreciate or even to understand it. I remember we spent a lesson on strange words and the puzzled looks when I said "westcoat" was pronounced "westkit" and "wainscot" was pronounced "wainscut." An early introduction for the students to the sly ways of English pronunciation. The one person to whom the book did appeal, and who grew to understand and appreciate it was of course the teacher. What a difference four years had made in my ability to grasp Eliot's ideas and to see the beauty of her language. And if four years improved the book, I assure you 45 more years improved it even more. Not all the books we re-read after so many years seem as good as they did back then - this one improved tremendously. It has become a favorite and I will undoubtedly re-read it again very soon.2011 No 172

  • Lizzie
    2019-04-24 12:01

    I’ve procrastinated picking up this book for a long time, and I suppose the reason is that despite often naming George Eliot as my favorite author, I just didn’t expect to be very engaged by this one. I knew only the thing anyone knows about it: an old man takes in a baby and un-Scrooges himself because love.So, I mean, sort of? But the baby doesn’t even show the heck up until halfway through. First, we start off the novel in the George Eliot-iest way, with a bunch of laborious description of the image of Silas at his loom, and What Weavers Mean to Me, by George Eliot. (It’s indicated in the opening that she chose his profession in order to capture a pastoral nostalgia, as the book is set early in the 19th century and Raveloe meant to evoke a certain archetype. It is all pretty well lost in this century, it must be said.) Then we learn how Silas is pure of heart and misunderstood in life, because again, it is a George Eliot novel. Then, the two wicked brothers show up. Hello! Two wicked brothers! Oh lordy, I was so glad they were there. I’m wriggling in my seat like I just can’t wait for my ice cream, two wicked brothers. The chapter where they are introduced, and everything about the elder’s backstory and psychological motivations laid bare like a shock of ice water, oh god that is good writing. That, that is George Eliot using her powers for good, and also for evil. Fantastic. So what kind of book is it actually, then, with this in the recipe?It’s a welcome discovery to have all of this extra drama in the story, because it’s by far the most satisfying and unique part of the book. Eliot is so gifted with bringing a range of people to life, I was grateful that it wasn’t just principled old Silas day in and out (P.S. btw he is only in his thirties, for goodness sake). I enjoyed reading this, but in reality it is probably Eliot’s least interesting novel. (I don’t know, I do still have dusty Felix Holt ahead.) I think it isn’t meant for the same job as her others, so it sort of earns itself a pass. Ultimately, it’s funny that what this is is a tender-hearted story in which no one is left crushed. Burdens are borne not just for the better, but such that the bearers get to actually enjoy the benefits. I don’t believe anyone ever gets out of another Eliot novel so lightly. But still it contains such heft and brilliance in its perspectives (even on the part of animals: “a red-headed calf was observing her with alarmed doubt through the opposite hedge”!) that it gives so much more than it asks. No author I’m fond of is better than Eliot at rendering human motives.The book’s theme, of Marner’s loss of one material treasure and gain of another fortune more transcendent, is heavy-handed but weighted in the sort of popular style of a Dickens story where everyone gets their gratifying due. And doubly weighted, I think, in Eliot’s way of bogging down her message in the cringeworthy chat of the country folk, and their ever so simple wisdoms. (I felt this same way through a lot of Adam Bede, which is also aggressively rustic.) I could have done without being hit over the head with the point so many times in the text, whop, whop, whop. But though fitting the trope perfectly, the fact that (view spoiler)[Silas owes this respective loss and gain to the pair of brothers (hide spoiler)] is pleasing even before (perhaps moreso, before) it is all tied up neatly in the open.Thank god I did not read this book in high school. Why, why in the heavens do they make high schoolers read this book? Do they still? There are no things for teenagers to like, even those wicked brothers, if they manage to make it past the first three pages about weaving which I doubt. When I was in high school, I loved serious reading and I would never have enjoyed this. Have mercy on the possibility of these children ever reading another book for pleasure in their lives, my goodness gracious.One interesting note to me: I was told once that I misread something in Adam Bede, my take on that child’s universally being called “it” rather than he or she. The same is done for the child in this book too (who enjoys a quite different story) and does point to it being a Victorian way of speaking rather than something intentional in the syntax. (I still am troubled by the effect, though.)George Eliot, in her real life as Marian Evans, seems to have longed to be a mother — or at least, she seems to have longed for every kind of love, including the maternal. She avoided becoming one, but when her partner’s children began to call her “Mutter” she was exultant and devoted. Silas Marner experiences a bait and switch that leads him to his exultation in his adopted child, an incongruous filling of a void in his lonesome life. Although the taking in of a child and the warmth found in traditional roles are spot-on Victorian themes for George Eliot to plumb, it’s easy to guess that there was something in it to her. Even this one, the nearsighted miser, with his annoying piety and a happy ending, George Eliot got her gut into it.“Nobody in this world but himself knew that he was the same Silas Marner who had once loved his fellow with tender love, and trusted in an unseen goodness. Even to himself that past experience had become dim.”

  • Shiloah
    2019-04-26 09:09

    I didn't want this book to end. Such a gem! I loved Dolly. I need to be more like her in ways. The world needs lots of "Dollys!" I loved how the story was written in such a way that you understand a little bit of why each person made the choices they did. I loved Silas and his "treasure" that was his lifelong gift--his joy. Perhaps when I read it again I can get my other thoughts written down.

  • Duane
    2019-05-02 03:55

    George Eliot's Middlemarch is one of my 10 favorite novels. Silas Marner, while not quite at that level, is still very good. A good plot, outstanding characters, and wonderful imagery of life in a small English village in the early 19th century. If you like classics, you will almost certainly like this.

  • Jason
    2019-05-09 12:21

    Every time Silas Marner is mentioned, it seems like a collective groan goes up in some high school classroom somewhere. I didn't have to read it in high school, and am glad I was able to wait until later in life. I don't think I would've enjoyed it anywhere near as much as I did had I read it when I was 16 or so. I definitely wouldn't have enjoyed it when I was nine years old which was Ralphie's age in A Christmas Story when his class was discussing this book. Seriously, why are a bunch of fourth graders reading Silas Marner? I could barely follow all the action in Bunnicula at that age.With such prejudices instilled in my brain, I launched into this book expecting to at least dislike it, but I'm happy to report that I was disappointed in my premature assessment. Contempt prior to investigation foils me once again.All I knew about the book was that Silas Marner was a miser, and George Eliot was a girl. Hearing "miser," I instantly linked him to Ebenezer Scrooge, and assumed, once again erroneously, that I'd be reading about another "tight-fisted hand at the grindstone... a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster." I was actually looking forward to reading about such a wretch, but I was again disappointed, and I'm glad I was. Silas is a much more tragic figure, and I can relate to him very well. All he wants is to be left alone. He causes no trouble for anyone, conducts his business courteously with his customers, and then minds his own business. But, I'm jumping the gun a bit.In early life, Silas is severely, and I do mean severely, dicked over by his best friend, and his entire religious congregation. He sadly leaves his town, and having lost faith in humanity, starts a life in another town as a weaver. His needs are small, and not being a man given to extravagances, he begins to collect gold. Soon he begins to love the gold, but not because it makes him rich. He likes it the way a philatelist likes his stamp collection; it's a hobby. Marner takes this to a bit of an extreme by practically falling in love with the stuff, but since he doesn't like people, it seems harmless enough.(view spoiler)[Then one day his gold is stolen, and he falls into a deep depression. People in the village try to cheer him up in some rather amusing ways, but it's all for naught. Then this one or two year old child appears in his house one snowy evening, and her dead, drug-addict mother is found just outside Marner's house. Marner takes a bit of a shine to the child and raises her. Life gets a bit better, and in several years it's just downright hunky-dory for everyone. There's a cloud on the horizon involving the other characters in the book, but it blows over, and everything stays hunky-dory. (The other characters are interesting, but I'm not going to review them in here, so you'll just have to read the book for yourself to get the skinny). (hide spoiler)]Awwww, isn't that just so sweet? Yeah, it kind of is. I'm normally not down with such feel-good flim-flam, but I liked it here for some reason.A couple of other things to note: At first I thought I wasn't going to like the writing style of the book. It seemed like Eliot was trying to write in the old style (which she should've been doing since she was writing during the time period of the old style), but it seemed like she just wasn't quite making it. Then for the second and third quarters of the book, she hits a flow that locks into that old style, and it's a pure pleasure to read. Then for the last quarter of the book, the lapses back into prose that makes me consider her a wannabe. I don't know how that happens all in the same book, and it might just be me. Read it for yourself to be the judge.Another thing: I thoroughly enjoyed the antics of the secondary and tertiary characters because they reminded me of Mayberry, USA. They were all so clueless and stupid, and I always enjoy reading about such.So, I guess that's it for the review. I recommend checking out this book if you like good prose, a story of... well, redemption isn't quite right, but it's close enough for government work, I reckon. Normally I like to be closer, but it's late, and it'll have to do. Also, there's evidently social commentary and the like peppered throughout this thing, so if you like that, then you should also check it out. I'm not great at catching that stuff in novels, but it did seem like Eliot wasn't all that impressed with organized religion through most of the book. You be the judge.

  • Cemre
    2019-05-06 08:11

    Yine çocukluğumda kısaltılmışını okuduğum klasiklerden biri... Bir otobüs yolculuğunda başlayıp bitirdiğimi, çocuk halimle çok etkilendiğimi hatırlıyorum. Bu yıl böyle okuduğum ve benim için önemli olan klasikleri okumaya karar verdim. Notre Dame'ın Kamburu ile başlamıştım, Silas Marner ile devam ettim. Çocukluğumda etkilediği kadar etkiledi beni Silas Marner; ancak bu sefer elbette eskiden dikkatimi çok da çekmeyen detayları (örneğin Sanayi Devrimi'nin kırsalda yaşayanlar ve zanaatkârlar üzerinde etkisini göstermeye başlaması) fark ettim.Kitaptan zevk alsam da çeviriyi hiç sevmedim. Bazı cümleleri iki, üç kere okumama rağmen anlayabilmem mümkün olmadı. Eğer okuyacaksanız Can Yayınları'ndan değil varsa başka bir yayınevinden okumanızı tavsiye ederim.