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The Forsyte Saga: Volume 1: The Man of Property, and, In Chancery, and, To Let Paperback – 27 Sep 2001

14 customer reviews

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The Forsyte Saga: Volume 1: The Man of Property, and, In Chancery, and, To Let + The Forsyte Saga: Volume II (Two) - The White Monkey/ The Silver Spoon/ Swan Song: "White Monkey", "Silver Spoon", "Swan Song" v. 2 + The Forsyte Saga : Volume 3 (Maid in Waiting, Flowering Wilderness and Over the River): "Maid in Waiting", "Flowering Wilderness", "Over the River" v. 3
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Product details

  • Paperback: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (27 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141184183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141184180
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 192,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Those privileged to be present at a family festival of the Forsytes have seen that charming and instructive sight - an upper-middle-class family in full plumage. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 July 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a terrific read, and has some of that mysterious alchemy which typifies the real page turner - as opposed to those books you just slog through because you want to get to the end. There are many more Forsytes than in the recent excellent television adaptation, but Galsworthy is extremely skilled at bringing them in and out of focus and reminding you who is who, as his narrative requires. If you do get confused, there is a useful (and witty) family tree at the front of the book, but be careful: you might find out who gets married and who dies before you want to.
In its use of late Victorian and early Edwardian slang, it is fascinating (who knew for example, that 'attractive' in the sexual/aesthetic sense attained that usage c.1890 and was no longer felt to be current by 1920?). Soames must be one of the great characters of modern fiction - 'mousing' along on the shady side of the street - since he is simultaneously reprehensible, forlorn and rather tragic. A number of the scenes featuring confrontations between him and Irene seem to me to be as rivetingly dramatic as those between Angelo and Isabella in Measure for Measure.

What a relief to read a book that has not been 'introduced' and annotated to death. True, there is the odd sentence which is so steeped in the time it was written as to be difficult to decipher, but this is more than balanced out by the lack of distraction - no irritating scattering of asterisks! - as well as by a real sense of the past set before us, strange and partly unfamiliar as it should be.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Judith Lugg on 6 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Great, enchanting, keeps you wanting more! All of Galsworthy's stories about the Forsyte Family are like this.
I read these books when I was about eighteen in 1962 and was taken back to them when the BBC did the first Forsyte Saga series with Eric Porter as Soames and Nyree Dawn Porter as Irene, in late 60's early 70's. This was an excellent adaptation - the later one, made in about 2002 is awful in comparison (see my review on this). Nyree Dawn Porter will always be Irene to me, as Eric Porter will always be Soames.
They are not 'dated' as you might expect, as the intrigue, love, passion and greed are there just as much as in any racey novel of today, albeit, perhaps not in so many words..., nevertheless it is so well written that you get the gist just the same.
The scope of these stories is immense, taking in the Forsytes, their many relations, friends and acquaintances, all living, breathing, fighting and loving in these wonderful books.
Do read them, if you can - when I bought them in about 1964 they were in three volumes and are now available as separate books and in an omnibus edition, I believe. They are well worth whatever you pay, believe me and I know you will love them as much as I do.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Cummins on 22 July 2009
Format: Paperback
The fact that the Forsyte Saga is 9 books long makes the thought of tackling it rather daunting. However, they bowl along and before you know it you engage with the characters and want to know what happens next. There is an inevitability about the story - you know that times are changing and that the characters are unprepared for this. It might be a historical novel because of the context in which it was written but it still resonates today, even if some of the attitudes of the characters; sexist and snobbish, rankle - they speak with the voices of their era. A wonderful series of novels I will continue to come back to again and again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Coffey on 23 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
It's a monster of a novel, considerably longer than any of the dvd series that purport to represent it. I was impressed by the elegance of style and deft pacing. Galsworthy may not have the scope of Dickens but on occasion he "out-Dickens" Dickens himself. Read the priceless description of the growling divorce lawyer that Soames engages in book two and the depiction of Bosinney's mother with the withering "in short she was academic". Meanwhile I have to agree with Simon Heffer that the perpetually frustrated and baffled Soames is one of English literature's great creations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TinaB on 16 July 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a substantial read and sustains interest to the end. Having seen the series twice on TV I was familiar with the plot outline but reading the book fills in all the gaps inevitably left by screen dramatisation and I discovered many aspects left untouched. Very readable. Highly recommend. Also tremendous value on the Kindle.
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By hiljean VINE VOICE on 20 Jun. 2015
Format: Paperback
I did not see the original Forsyte Saga TV series in the sixties but I did catch the more recent one starring Damian Lewis and Gina McKee which I loved. Nevertheless the thought of tackling this huge saga deterred me from reading it until a member of our book group chose the first in the series and all I can say is wow! I was bowled over by the beauty of the writing, by the way the plot gathers pace, the complexity of the marital and family relationships, and how well they are understood by Galsworthy. What a writer! Having finished the original three-book (and two-interlude) sage, I have now downloaded the entire 9-book saga onto my e-reader and smartphone so that I may continue reading wherever and whenever I can

What an impressive achievement, to write such a complex saga in such beautiful prose that and yet to keep the reader wanting to start each new chapter.

I cannot recommend this saga highly enough.
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