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Fools of Fortune Paperback – 30 Jun 1988

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Paperback, 30 Jun 1988
£17.13 £0.01

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (30 Jun. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140111816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140111811
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 740,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

William Trevor was born in County Cork in 1928 and spent his childhood in various provincial Irish towns. He went to Trinity College, Dublin and then to England in 1953. He now lives in Devon. In 1977 William Trevor received an honorary CBE in recognition of his services to literature, and in 1998 he was awarded the prestigious David Cohen British Literature Prize for a lifetime's achievement in writing.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Generally, genre thrillers are books without thrills. Someone gets killed. Turn the page and it happens again to someone else. There's a chase, a near miss; da capo al fine; repeat. There are never consequences. Characters seem to exist - they never come to life - in an eternal present devoid of either thought or reflection. Plot is a series of events, while characters are mere fashionably dressed acts. William Trevor's beautiful novel, Fools Of Fortune is, in many ways, a whodunit - or better who done what - thriller. But it transcends genre because it is the consequences of the actions and their motives that feature large, that provide plot and ultimately a credible, if tragic humanity.

Fools Of Fortune is a novel that presents tragedy not merely as a vehicle for portraying raw emotion, but rather as a means of illustrating the depth of ensuing consequence, both historical and personal. In conflict it is easy to list events, quote numbers, suggest outcome, but it is rare to have a feel of how momentous events can have life-long consequences for those involved, consequences that even protagonists cannot envisage, consequences that can affect the lives of those not even involved.

William Trevor's book is set in Ireland. Its story spans decades, but the crucial elements of the plot are placed in the second decade of the twentieth century. They do involve the First World War, but really as a sideshow to the issue of Home Rule for Ireland. The Quinton family are Protestants living in an old house called Kinleagh in County Cork. Willie Quinton is a child, initially home schooled by a priest called Kilgarriff, who has a highly personal view of the world.
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By A Customer on 4 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
Nobody writes like William Trevor. His sparse style and incisive characterisation leave you dissatisfied with the ponderous pages taken by most writers in attempting what he seems to effortlessly achieve. A love story spanning decades is made so intimate you feel as though you've lived each moment of the characters' lives along with them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book came too late for book club meeting which was a great shame. Wonderfully written tale illustrating the intricacies of the Irish history problem. Why is this writer out of print? Is it because he is Irish and his story is subject to English indifference?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Trevor uses a split narrative technique in this poignant story of a doomed love between an Irish boy and an English girl showing how the Irish situation is and always has been subjective and biased. The story is a dark one with a pessimistic outlook, worthy of Thomas Hardy. The characters are trapped by their past. They learn nothing from their experience. The tragedy revolves around the fact that nothing is resolved by the violent actions in the story. The message is that violence begets violence and damages the innocent. Very pertinent to the Irish situation at that time, at the time of writing (1983) and now. Brilliantly written, where the acts of violence and their consequences are only slowly revealed, leaving the reader to fill in the gaps. William Trever never disappoints.
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Format: Paperback
"Fools of fortune" is the drama of an Anglo-Irish Protestant family, recounted by Irish novelist William Trevor - born in 1928 in the same County Cork at the centre of this story. Because of the ideological and economical support given from Mr. and Mrs. Quinton to Michael Collins and the Irish cause, when an Irish spy of the Black and Tans is found hanged on Quinton land, the retaliation of the Black and Tans against the house of Kilneagh is terrible - plunging the surviving son Willie, his mother Evie, his love interest Marianne and their illegitimate child Imelda in a spiral of pain, revenge, terror and madness through generations. But while the other Trevor novel on the Irish cause, "The Story of Lucy Gault", is a master-work and already an enduring classic, "Fools of Fortune" is powerful in plot but broken in carrying it out. There are many - maybe too much - genres of novel in this book, following the different characters: historical all along, in a background reconstruction exact in details, but too often devolved to the simple suggestion of famous names; pseudo-autobiographical in Dickensian style for Willie's youthness (the worst part of the book); sickly romantic for pregnant Marianne wandering in search of her lover (the best part of the book). Other notable sequences are the scene in which Evie gives a name to the slayer of her husband and daughters, and the horror narrative of little Imelda plunging into a ghastly past. Another weak point of the novel is Willie's change - at first willing only to forget, then bloody avenger - a turn that is not in Willie's character as largely described in the book. "Fools of fortune" resembles the red and blue kite of little Imelda: beautiful and sometimes lively, but too often losing height.Read more ›
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