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Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe (Modern Library Classics)

4.2 out of 5 stars 455 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0375757495
ISBN-10: 037575749X
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This 19th-century classic, read by Andrew Sachs, is a tale of betrayal, gold, and love, encased in the elegant symmetrical structure so popular in traditional English fiction, featuring Marner, the weaver, who is framed for theft by his best friend and becomes a recluse, focusing his strong affections only on the store of golden coins he receives in payment for his work. As usual, Chivers has produced an excellent audio presentation of a literary masterpiece. Alas, in this day and age fewer and fewer readers not enrolled in literature classes actually read the works of what are frequently referred to as "dead white males" even if, as in this case, they were actually written by a woman. For this reason, this title is recommended for all academic but only larger public libraries.
-I. Pour-El, Iowa State Univ., Ames
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

"I think Silas Marner holds a higher place than any of the author's works. It is more nearly a masterpiece; it has more of that simple, rounded, consummate aspect. . .which marks a classical work."—Henry James
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library Classics
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library (May 8, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037575749X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375757495
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (455 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,445,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Susan E. Hallander on April 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Question: How can you ensure that a person will hate a book? Answer: Make her read it for 7th grade English class, make sure that the language is old-fashioned, and above all, make sure that the ideas and concepts are over her head. If that's what happened to you, and that's why you have an aversion to Silas Marner, and you are now over 30, pick it up again. Read it twice. Silas Marner is one of the greatest novels in the English language.
Yes, it starts out sad, as our pathetic hero looses both his trust in humanity and his faith in God. But the power of love replaces his lust for money, and wins out in the end. Meanwhile, morally poor but financially rich, high-living Godfrey Cass provides a counterpoint to simple Silas. At the end there's a surprise when the fate of Godfrey's evil brother is revealed.
When you're all done, before you file Silas Marner on the shelf, go back and read the paragraph about Silas' thoughts when he discovers that his hordes of coins are missing. If you have ever felt sudden extreme loss, you will recognize the stages of despair from disbelief to acceptance "like a man falling into dark water." Which is why this book is not suitable for children, and is most appreciated by those who have undergone their own moral redemption.
Silas has been the inspiration for many other characters, including Dicken's Scrooge. He has been portrayed in movies, including "A Simple Twist of Fate" starring Steve Martin. But none is as good as the original. If you haven't read it since junior high, try it again. Silas Marner is an excellent book. There's a gem of human understanding in every chapter.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Silas Marner is an excellent classic novel set in early Nineteenth Century England. In this story, George Eliot (pen name for Mary Ann Evans) depicts a man named Silas Marner, a weaver by trade. He lives happily in his home town of Lantern Yard, until his best friend William Dane betrays him by setting him up as a thief. William then marries Silas' fiancée, and Silas is shunned from the town. He eventually settles in a very small cottage in Raveloe, where he spends his days making cloth and other materials for the townspeople. Due to his now secretive and reclusive ways, the people of Raveloe never really come to know Silas, and he lives in solitude, having turned away from his former faith and happiness.
But one winter's night, a small orphan girl comes to his house, and everything changes. Silas cares for the child (with the help of his neighbor, Mrs. Winthrop, whose family soon befriends him), and his heart begins to soften.
This is a very good representation of the redeeming power of love, and the consequences of a person's actions. For people who enjoy classic literature, this is definitely a must-read.

Ryan Robledo
Author of the Aelnathan:
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Format: Paperback
If you have a heart, the story of Silas Marner will warm it. You are better coming to it fresh, without knowing anything of the simple yet solid plot, so I will say nothing of it. I will just urge you to read this wonderful book. Eliot writes beautifully and from page one, you realize you are in the hands of a true artist. This is a very human, very English story of simple people living through those very basic emotions that make the world turn and give the universe meaning.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I used to hate "Silas Marner" when I was forced to read the thing for my English class in Middle School (1959). The teacher I had was terrible AND I was not a gifted student. Since then, over the years, I have reread this classic about four times. Now that I have my Kindle I decided to read it again. The text is laid out very well for the Kindle. At this price it is truly a must-read. What a terrific book!

This is a tale of how love conquers all. A bitter man, Silas Marner, who was done wrong gave up on humanity and decided to live in a cocoon of his own making. Silas' only joy and purpose in life was making and hoarding money. He spent hours on end working himself to no end all for the purpose of earning, saving, and collecting money. Then one day his money hoard was stolen. The rest of the story is a lesson in love.

I have no idea why; here in America, George Eliot's "Silas Marner" is not well known. None of my friends have ever heard of this book. In India this work was well known. Anyway, if you have the time, patience, and inclination for a good read this is it.
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Format: Paperback
Reviews of this novel, seem to fall into three categories: those written by people who like to read great literature; those written by people who would prefer to read brain candy; and those written students forced to read the novel as a class assignment and,in some cases, would prefer not to read anything (if the third category is discarded, the average rating is much higher).
One of the most remarkable things about this novel is the fact it was written by a woman, using a male pen name, in 19th century England when women were generally oppressed, i.e., they were not encouraged to have careers or to do anything outside the home. The story is well known. A man who blacks out during seizures, not remembering what happened, is falsely accused of theft of money from his church. He is shunned by his former friends and becomes a recluse. When he is later robbed of his savings, and an abandoned child appears on his doorstep in place of the gold, his life is changed as he takes responsibility for the child.
This is classic literature from that time period, and is most certainly easier to read than many other novels from the same period (students should consider themselves fortunate that they were not assigned to read one of Thomas Hardy's novels). I first became acquainted with the novel when it was assigned reading in a high school English class. That was over 50 years ago, and the story is one that has stuck in my mind.
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