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Parade's End [Paperback]

Ford Madox Ford , Julian Barnes
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

2 Aug 2012

Booker Prize-winner Julian Barnes introduces Ford Madox Ford's masterpiece Parade's End - now a major new BBC/HBO TV adaptation - in the reissued Penguin Modern Classics edition.

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Christopher Tietjens, Rebecca Hall as his wife Sylvia and also featuring Rupert Everett, Carey Mulligan, Roger Allam and Miranda Richardson, this lavish production from a screenplay by the legendary playwright Tom Stoppard brings to life for the first time one of the twentieth century's most significant novels.

A masterly novel of destruction and regeneration, Parade's End follows the story of aristocrat Christopher Tietjens as his world is shattered by the First World War. Tracing the psychological damage inflicted by battle, the collapse of England's secure Edwardian values - embodied in Christopher's wife, the beautiful, cruel socialite Sylvia - and the beginning of a new age, epitomized by the suffragette Valentine Wannop, Parade's End is an elegy for both the war dead and the passing of a way of life.

Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939) served with the British army in World War I, an experience that was to form the basis of his novel Parade's End, published in four parts from 1924 to 1928. He wrote over eighty books, including The Good Soldier (1915), and divided his time between England, France and America.

Julian Barnes' most recent novel is The Sense of An Ending, for which he won the 2012 Man Booker prize. His other books include Flaubert's Parrot, A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters and Arthur and George.

'The finest English novel about the Great War'

Malcolm Bradbury

'The best novel by a British writer ... It is also the finest novel about the First World War. It is also the finest novel about the nature of British society'

Anthony Burgess

'There are not many English novels which deserve to be called great: Parade's End is one of them'

W.H. Auden

'The English prose masterpiece of the time'

William Carlos Williams

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Parade's End + The Good Soldier (Wordsworth Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Re-issue edition (2 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141392193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141392196
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 214,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Masterly...Ford knows more and sees deeper (Julian Barnes)

A neglected masterpiece of twentieth-century fiction - the English War and Peace (John Gray)

There are not many English novels which deserve to be called great: Parade's End is one of them (W. H. Auden)

[Ford] was the only Englishman who stood alongside the great 'moderns' - Joyce, Eliot and Pound (Peter Ackroyd)

Book Description

A masterpiece of wartime writing by one of the most esteemed novelists of the twentieth century --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
THE two YOUNG men - they were of the English public official class - sat in the perfectly appointed railway carriage. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
160 of 163 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why is this not better known? 2 Nov 2007
Until quite recently I was barely aware of Ford Madox Ford. When people list the great writers of the early 20th Century his name usually merits only a footnote. However, a short article in a national newspaper appraising "The Good Soldier" as one of the great English novels prompted me to read it. And great it is.

That led me onto this weighty quartet, which has lived with me for the last couple of months. And it confirms my suspicions that Ford is indeed one of our greatest writers, whether he is currently fashionable or no.

One of my first reactions was that - notwithstanding the publisher's blurbs and cover illustrations - this is NOT a novel "about" the First World War. Yes, the war is an important theme, but it is by no means the only one. In fact the military action, such as it is, features only in the third of the four novels making up the sequence.

No, this book belongs in the pantheon of the great "social" novels - it stands up extremely well against Galsworthy, Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf, Anthony Powell, James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald and even Marcel Proust, who are Ford's true contemporaries. Indeed, it shares with those writers' works an experimental approach to exploring characters' psychological motivations and thought processes that was so characteristic of the 1920s "Modernist" movement. Rarely has a writer captured so well the way in which peoples' minds REALLY work - with confusion, doubt and sudden impulsive decision galloping along in rapid succession. Ford has a rare gift for bathos - broad comedy and real human tragedy can inhabit the same page in a way which can be unsettling, but always rings true.

This is very much a novel of its time - and especially - social milieu.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling 29 Sep 2012
I must admit that I have now read Parade's End twice this month, once on my kindle, and now this treebook edition. I also watched the BBC adaptation, which I quite enjoyed. There are a couple of things to be aware of though if you are reading this for the first time, this isn't really a book that you can easily read whilst commuting (I will come to why in a moment), and if you enjoyed Parade's End [DVD] it is no indicator whatsoever that you will enjoy the book.

Ford Madox Ford was a modernist and he loved to play with the chronological order of events, as can be seen right at the beginning of this book. Christopher Tietjens starts off on a train with a friend going to play golf, then the story back tracks into the events that led up to why. This happens throughout the book, indeed at one stage you read about the First World War ending, and then you are taken back to the War and the events that happened to Tietjens. This some people may find off putting, but Ford's reasons for this is that we don't think in a particular chronological order, which is after all correct. We may start talking about something that happened and then realise that we have mentioned an event that didn't happen until later in the main event. Also Ford was a great admirer of James Joyce's 'Ulysses', and thus this book or rather the four books that make up this story all contain stream of consciousness. As you can see to read all of this whilst on your daily commute is perhaps too tall an order, as you have to keep a lot in mind until you next pick the book up.

The basic storyline in itself is simple, a man marries a woman who is unfaithful, then himself falls in love with another woman.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Discovery! 19 Sep 2012
By mr blue
The plot is thin. The book is too long. Not much happens. Parts are obscure and little is easy reading. And yet.........Nothing would have stopped me finishing this fine and largely forgotten novel. The hero became my hero. I wanted him to be happy.
I wanted him to be rich (though with his propensity for giving money away, there was fat chance of that). I wanted him to get his woman. Most of all I fell for his High Toryism - his sense of obligation to his fellow man, to his country and most of all to his class. His wife was so evil I could not accept her but his 'friend' was oh so true to life. On war at the Front it is wonderful particularly in its focus on noise. Noise troubled Ford more than anything else when he served in France by the was. The minor characters are tremendous; his fellow officers, his father, Macmaster and his horrible wife all stay in the mind. Beware, if 'stream of consciousness' is anathema to you, you will not stay the course. Beware too that the last of the tetrology that this book is was written reluctantly. It drags and would have been better added in a shortened version to the third book.
The novel is very autobiographical and a biography of the author to accompany it would not come amiss. There are two or three good ones available from Amazon.
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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Garbled text 29 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This Kindle edition may be cheap, but it's hopelessly garbled. After the first few paragraphs the text starts to get out of order (as you can see by comparing with other Kindle editions, e.g. Everyman or Swift).

For example we have:
"Nevertheless Macmaster moved in drawing rooms that, with long curtains, blue china plates, large-patterned wallpapers and large, quiet mirrors, sheltered the long-haired of the Arts. And, as near as that that was his due, and he would accept the tribute in silence."

and, later on:
"Sometimes Sir Reginald would say: "You're a perfect encyclopaedia of exact material knowledge, Tietjens," and Tietjens thought a son of the manse."

with chunks of text misplaced in between.

One hopes the printed version is better. At least with the Kindle edition, you've only lost 0.77, but you'd do better to buy one of the others from the start.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Some beautiful writing
Probably great writing ... certainly very cleaver but perhaps not quite there, unless you have an English degree
Published 5 days ago by munrocalma
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptation of difficult novels to read, more explicit than...
Excellent adaptation of the series of novels by Ford Madox Ford, extracting a coherent narrative from the author's recursive narrative style. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Pinkangloirishcanuck
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! What a great story and what vivid ...
Loved it! What a great story and what vivid characters. Cumberbatch is awesome in the role.
Published 13 days ago by Pam Landers
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Needs to be read more than once to be appreciated. Well worth repeated readings.
Published 17 days ago by William Morgan
2.0 out of 5 stars Consigned to the Parish Jumble Sale
Far too long. consciously 'modernist' writing that is often scarcely intelligible.
Published 17 days ago by Bradshaw Bystander
5.0 out of 5 stars sensational love story
ford is one of my favorite writers - the mix of contemporary morals, changing closer to ours during the wartime period, and the romantic character at its heart, with ambiguous and... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Leslie Gardner
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 23 days ago by djwmps
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Difficult first few chapters but wonderful after that. Christopher is a fantastic character. So much love for him. Heartily recommended.
Published 1 month ago by Rho Mc D
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story
Saw the BBC series and wanted to read the book, a wonderful story and I loved it will watch the series again
Published 1 month ago by maggie machin
5.0 out of 5 stars Good investment
Excellent Wordsworth edition - and far superior to the Folio edition which is spoilt by endless asterisks drawing attention to obvious points in the text. Read more
Published 1 month ago by downbeat
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