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The Balkan Trilogy: "Great Fortune", "Spoilt City" and "Friends and Heroes"

The Balkan Trilogy: "Great Fortune", "Spoilt City" and "Friends and Heroes" [Kindle Edition]

Olivia Manning
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £18.99
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Product Description


"So glittering is the overall parade- and so entertaining the surface that the trilogy remains excitingly vivid; it amuses, it diverts and it informs, and to do these things so elegantly is no small achievement" (Sunday Times)

"One of the finest fictional productions that Britain has seen since the war" (Anthony Burgess)

Book Description

"One of the finest fictional productions that Britain has seen since the war."- Anthony Burgess

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1365 KB
  • Print Length: 1044 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital; New Ed edition (30 Sep 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005I4D9TM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,317 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest works of modern fiction 5 Jan 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If only to contradict the entirely silly review currently on display, I feel I should say something about this remarkable trilogy. Before she died, Olivia Manning reckoned she had never received the recognition she deserved, and there are many today who would wholly agree with her. Her novels are among the finest works of twentieth-century English fiction, and her two war-time trilogies (which are in large measure autobiographical) deserve to be better known (and please don't be misled by the brief TV dramatization that tried to cram around six books into something like four hours). Manning is a prose stylist of remarkable ability, she has one of the best eyes for character in the business, she can write about British Council intrigue as readily as battle in North Africa. This trilogy takes the reader from Bucharest to Athens, the next on to Cairo and the struggle for Africa. Splendid locations, superb characters, profound insights, beautiful writing Ñ do yourself a favour, order this book now!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story 13 April 2009
By R. Radu
I bought this book mainly because it depicts a time in my city history that is not only long-gone but will apparently never return. The book constitutes itself as a perfect antithesis of the 70 years' ago Bucharest vs. today's one. Interesting reading, especially for those who know this city, and especially because the author herself was not a native thus putting herself away from any partisanship.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to quotations on cover 20 Feb 2004
By A Customer
Far better than the first review suggests. I agree with the quotation from a review by Anthony Burgess which praises the dazzling array of personages and events. The evocation of Romania is wonderful. I was sorry to finish it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Xavi #6
I have had this book on the shelf for a while and got round to reading it recently.
Hugely enjoyable. Fluent style, great characterisation, vivid descriptions of cities and countryside and a wonderful account of the downward spiral they find themselves in.
I do enjoy books sent in this time and with these characters - over-educated enthusiastic British communists, failed academics and artists, people with aristocratic pretensions, and above all British uselessness when confronted by the rigour and might of the 3rd Reich.
If like me you like Anthony Powell, Evelyn Waugh, Julian MacLaren-Ross, George Orwell (all different writers, I know) this is right up your street.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read 19 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a book I really enjoyed.I didn't quite know what to expect from it,but it is a wonderfully rambling,engaging read,full of the day to day lives of ex-pats caught for various reasons in a country with a difficult political agenda. I did not know very much about the involvement of Romania in WW2,but it is the disparate group of rather naive Brits that the story is really about.
I think this book would not appeal to someone looking for a lot of action, or romance.The relationship between Guy and Harriet is not explored in the depth it would be by today's standard,and remains a little superficial.I did find her tolerance of his neglect of her very wearing at times,but it was a different set of rules they lived by.Other characters are easier to recognise as similar to our present day politicians and news reporters.
I would recommend this book to those whose interest,like mine, is in social history,rather than those seeking deep political analysis of a war torn country.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A major work of the 20th century 10 Jun 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Olivia Manning felt that her literary worth had never been recognized, and with good reason. If one were to evaluate her work on the strength of the Balkan and Levant trilogies alone, she would stand head and shoulders above most writers of her generation. In an uncomplicated yet beautiful writing style, she tells the stories of individuals caught up in war, their lives suspended in Romania, Greece, and Cairo. The shadow of the Nazi threat hangs over everything they do and plan. Her main characters are as great as anything in Dickens or in much other literature. Guy Pritchard, a man loved by everyone, who cares deeply about his fellow human beings, is a disaster as a husband, and one of the most memorable (and irritating) characters in modern fiction. His wife Harriet carries the moral weight of the tale. In the first trilogy, the impoverished Count Yakimov (brilliantly played by Ronald Pickup in the otherwise appalling BBC adaptation) is outrageous and unforgettable. A host of other characters come in and out, creating a magnificent tapestry in a fiction you will want to return to often as the years go by.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fortunes of War 20 Jun 2013
By Seagull
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a read - don't really know the Balkans at all and this whetted my appetite. A great story and lots of interesting stuff linking it to life in the period
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Levant Trilogy by Olivia Manning 7 May 2004
By A Customer
I would like to join Mr Maceion in his apt summing up of Olivia Manning's writing. I have just finished reading The Levant Trilogy and felt it to be one of the most accomplished piece of writing I have read for a very long time and I agree that she is perhaps underestimated as a writer.
Apart from the battles taking place around North Egypt during the second World War, it is a highly profound account of various relationships and especially that of Harriet herself and her realisation finally of her own self-confidence. It is extremely visual throughout - Olivia Manning must have been a very observant person. I recommend it whole-heartedly - quite a good idea to rid yourself first of the slightly irritating reminders of the 1980's TV series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fortunes of War - part 1
This trilogy is the first 3 books of the wonderful Fortunes of War.
It was made into a great BBC series and is available on DVD. I love reading and then watching. Read more
Published 29 days ago by G. Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Two thirds of the way through the trilogy and enjoying it. The ominous sense of the approaching war and the descriptions of Romania and Greece are revealing. Read more
Published 3 months ago by bbtn
5.0 out of 5 stars The Balkan Trilogy
Compulsive reading! I read The Levant Trilogy first and was captivated. Manning's characters are intriguing and utterly believable because they avoid stereotype. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Susanna
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece that should be on everybody's reading list.
A superb piece of writing in all aspects of the art of the novel. The cadence of the language, the visual descriptions, the development of the characters within the plot - all of a... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mr. Derek Denton
3.0 out of 5 stars Illustrating a time and place
This is bursting with adjectives which in this day and age aren't even very accurate but I wanted to know what was going on during this period in this place and it gives some... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Janice Sehgal
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Treat
This was recommended to me by a friend a while ago; how I wish that I had bought it earlier. A great story with lots of historic and geographic detail which were quite unknown to... Read more
Published on 4 Jun 2012 by J. Wells
4.0 out of 5 stars Keep calm and carry on
Olivia Manning's Balkan Trilogy (The Great Fortune, The Spoilt City, and Friends and Heroes) is a semi-autobiographical saga of a young English couple who move to Romania at the... Read more
Published on 12 Mar 2012 by Mostly Harmless
3.0 out of 5 stars superior soap
Anthony Powell, best known for his portrayals of fashionable bohemian society in the middle of the 20th century, is one of Olivia Manning's admirers. Read more
Published on 27 Jun 2007 by T. Burkard
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