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The General [Kindle Edition]

C. S. Forester , Max Hastings
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

A superb yet neglected novel, ‘The General’ is the most vivid, moving – and devastating – word-portrait of a World War One British commander ever written, here re-introduced by Max Hastings.

Best known for his Hornblower novels, C.S. Forester’s 1936 masterpiece follows Herbert Curzon, who fumbled a fortuitous early step on the path to glory in the Boer War. 1914 finds him an honourable, decent, brave and wholly unimaginative colonel. Survival through the early slaughters in which so many fellow-officers perished then brings him rapid promotion. By 1916, he commands 100,000 British soldiers, whom he leads through the horrors of the Somme and Passchendaele.

Wonderfully human, this is the story of a man of his time who is anything but wicked, yet presides over appalling sacrifice and tragedy. In his awkwardness and his marriage to a Duke’s unlovely, unhappy daughter, Curzon embodies Forester’s full powers as a story-teller. Rendered with exquisite compassion are Curzon’s patriotism, diligence, sense of duty and refusal to yield to difficulties. But also powerfully damned is the same spirit which caused a hundred real-life British generals to serve as high priests at the bloodiest human sacrifice in the nation’s history. A masterful and insightful study about the character of 1914-18’s military commanders, ‘The General’ confirms Forester’s rightful place as one of the finest novelists of his generation.



Product Description

Review

‘A superb novel. It blends Forester's preference for military subjects and solid unreflective characters, his irony, his grasp of history and his gift for lean, hypnotic narrative’ New York Times

‘Confirms Forester’s rightful place as one of the finest novelists of his generation’ Max Hastings

‘The most penetrating and subtle study of a Regular army officer that I have ever read’ Observer

‘A portrait for all time of an individual in his period’ H.G. Wells

About the Author

C. S. Forester was born in Cairo in 1899. After studying medicine, he rose to fame with tales of naval warfare. On the outbreak of World War Two he worked for the British Ministry of Information in America writing propaganda. His most notable works were the twelve Horatio Hornblower books, depicting a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic era, and ‘The African Queen’. His novels ‘A Ship of the Line’ and ‘Flying Colours’ were jointly awarded the 1938 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. He died in 1966.

Max Hastings is the author of several books, many about warfare. The most recent is the bestselling and critically acclaimed ‘Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914’. In his early career as a correspondent, he reported on the 1982 Falklands War, experiences which he described in his memoir ‘Going to the Wars’. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Honorary Fellow of King's College London, he was knighted in 2002.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1195 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: William Collins (13 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HTW77E4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #86,512 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic novel of the first world war 19 Aug. 2007
By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is one of C.S. Forester's first novels about war, published in 1936 and hence pre-dating Hornblower.

Like almost all the novels which Forester wrote before he created the Hornblower books, this is brilliant, far less well known today than it deserves, and consequently quite rare. The author H.G. Wells described "The General" as "a magnificent piece of work."

Some of Forester's other books, particularly those describing battles against opponents of whom he strongly disapproved of such as Hitler's nazis or indeed Napoleon, can come over as patriotic to the point of jingoism or chauvinism. This story does not come into that category and it would not be far from the truth to call it one of the first great anti-war novels.

If you collect books about war, and you are fortunate enough to find a copy of "The General" for sale at a remotely reasonable price, buy it at once.

This novel describes the military career of a fictional first world war general. It begins and ends between the wars, with a sharp pen-picture of the retired general Curzon sitting in a bathchair on Bournemouth Promenade, having lost his leg during the great war and never managed to learn to walk properly with an artificial one.

Then the story goes back to Curzon's first battle as a subaltern in 1899 during the Boer war, and follows him through to the climax of the book at the battle of St Quentin on March 21st 1918 when the last desperate German offensive nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

Forester appears to have set out to do three things; to entertain, inform, and explain.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic novel of the first world war., 12 Aug. 2007
By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is one of C.S. Forester's first novels about war, published in 1936 and hence pre-dating Hornblower.

Like almost all the novels which Forester wrote before he created the Hornblower books, this is brilliant, and far less well known today than it deserves. The author H.G. Wells described "The General" as "a magnificent piece of work."

Some of Forester's other books, particularly those describing battles against opponents of whom he strongly disapproved of such as Hitler's nazis or indeed Napoleon, can come over as patriotic to the point of jingoism or chauvinism. This story does not come into that category and it could probably be described as one of the first great anti-war novels.

If you collect classic novels about war, and you are fortunate enough to find a copy of "The General" for sale at a reasonable price, I recommend that you buy it at once.

This novel describes the military career of a fictional first world war general. It begins and ends between the wars, with a sharp pen-picture of the now retired General Curzon sitting in a bathchair on Bournemouth Promenade, having lost his leg during the great war and never managed to learn to walk properly with an artificial one.

Then the story goes back to Curzon's first battle as a subaltern in 1899 during the Boer war, and follows him through to the climax of the book at the battle of St Quentin on March 21st 1918 when the last desperate German offensive nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

Forester appears to have set out to do three things; to entertain, inform, and explain.
Read more ›
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Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic novel of the first world war 28 July 2007
By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Unknown Binding
This is one of C.S. Forester's first novels about war, published in 1936 and hence pre-dating Hornblower.

Like almost all the novels which Forester wrote before he created the Hornblower books, this is brilliant, far less well known today than it deserves, and consequently quite rare. The author H.G. Wells described "The General" as "a magnificent piece of work."

Some of Forester's other books, particularly those describing battles against opponents of whom he strongly disapproved of such as Hitler's nazis or indeed Napoleon, can come over as patriotic to the point of jingoism or chauvinism. This story does not come into that category and it would not be far from the truth to call it one of the first great anti-war novels.

If you collect books about war, and you are fortunate enough to find a copy of "The General" for sale at a remotely reasonable price, buy it at once.

This novel describes the military career of a fictional first world war general. It begins and ends between the wars, with a sharp pen-picture of the retired general Curzon sitting in a bathchair on Bournemouth Promenade, having lost his leg during the great war and never managed to learn to walk properly with an artificial one.

Then the story goes back to Curzon's first battle as a subaltern in 1899 during the Boer war, and follows him through to the climax of the book which is the battle at St Quentin on March 21st 1918 when the last desperate German offensive nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

Forester appears to have set out to do three things; to entertain, inform, and explain.
Read more ›
Comment | 
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
A totally absorbing and believable account of a the Western Front and the British Army of 100 years ago. Read more
Published 1 month ago by T. R. Herman
4.0 out of 5 stars An eye-Opener Tale of WW1 Generals
An eye-opener tale of WW1 Generals
Published 2 months ago by PlodderK
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
interesting
Published 2 months ago by Cranwells
5.0 out of 5 stars A great evocation of the period and the challenges
C. S. Forester = Hornblower. Right ? Totally Wrong ? Who knew ! A great evocation of the period and the challenges. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Steve Daniels
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic
a compulsive read woven about real events of the great war. it must have been just like this for the generals.p
Published 8 months ago by chesterw
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Welcome
The copy of 'The General' I bought when I was a young man is falling to pieces, so the publication of this edition is most timely and welcome. Read more
Published 9 months ago by TT
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Hornblower but fascinating stuff nonetheless
Forester at his best. Many of his works besides the more familiar Hornblower series, are very well worth reading.

I would recommend them all!
Published 9 months ago by Dr. Barrance
5.0 out of 5 stars Available on Kindle at last!
I have not yet bought the Kindle version of this novel - but I will!
C S Forester never wrote a bad book (IMO) - and his works are amongst the very best in 20th century... Read more
Published 11 months ago by ChrisM
3.0 out of 5 stars The General
Overpriced for a Paperback. Text not true to original.Forester would have sued the printer.Will not wish to order again from this publisher.
Published 14 months ago by patricia gilroy
5.0 out of 5 stars CS Forester still brilliant.
My favourite author since I first read the Hornblower novels in the '50's.
'The General' was published in 1936 and apart from being an action story of the Great War (the one... Read more
Published 18 months ago by DaveK
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