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The Middle Parts of Fortune: Somme And Ancre, 1916 (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Frederic Manning , Niall Ferguson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
Price: 7.93 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Hardcover 18.57  
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Paperback, 24 Feb 2000 7.93  
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Book Description

24 Feb 2000 Penguin Modern Classics
THE MIDDLE PARTS OF FORTUNE, published anonymously in 1929 under the title HER PRIVATES WE, was from the start an underground classic, considered the ultimate novel of trench warfare. This is a searing evocation of the horror, brutality, futility, nobility, and courage which are the staples in man's never-ending battle against the inevitability of death.

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The Middle Parts of Fortune: Somme And Ancre, 1916 (Penguin Modern Classics) + The Accrington Pals (Modern Classics) + Strange Meeting
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (24 Feb 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141181583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141181585
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,172,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"It is the finest and noblest book of men in war that I have ever read. I read it over once each year to remember how things really were so that I will never lie to myself nor to anyone else about them" -- Ernest Hemingway "The most truthful and profound exploration of the experiences of to be found in The Middle Parts Of Fortune... Manning explored the moral ambiguities of war in the language of the men with whom he served. He articulated the suffering and comradeship of men who might have no other literary record" Guardian "Realism and art combined" Sydney Morning Herald "Manning's literary masterpiece" Sydney Morning Herald "Without doubt the greatest British novel of the war" Independent

Book Description

Set in the mud and stench of the Somme this is a grim, sardonic tale of war that led William Boyd to say 'this is the finest novel to come out of the First World War' --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the greatest novel of the Great War 11 Sep 2001
This is a beautifully written, delightfully descriptive account of a Britich soldier's life (based on actual experience). In my opinion this is the best novel to come out of the Great War. Reads like Thomas Hardy was the ghost writer.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a moving account 16 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Based on his experiences in the trenches, Manning's novel is a moving tribute to those who lived and died in the trenches. It stands next to Remarque and is a wonderful work to read along side the poetry of Owen, Sassoon, Graves, Blunden, and Thomas.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing views 8 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was required to read this for university, in a module where books about and around the war were quite frequent. I didn't know what to expect from this, having not realised that Manning had published under two titles (Her Privates We) until later on, so researching it proved difficult initially.

I think Mannings writing is wonderful really, it feels true to what he is trying to portray but it's engaging and quite often poetic in its description. Bourne is a very interesting soldier who deems to show you the life in the trenches through his intelligent eyes. There are no rose tinted glasses when it comes to these characters and events though. The soldiers conditions are put out there for all to see and they swear, quite frequently whilst giving their honest opinions. It is clear to see why Manning had to release a more censored version but I think that takes away the interesting spark in Mannings creation.

The narrative moves at a nice pace and you feel for the characters. What I loved about it was that it wasn't too heavy, the politics of war etc were present but only ever underlined the main story and it wasn't just mindless war imagery either. It's an emotional account of a collection of soldiers who put their lives on the line, with the occasional chance at sharing laughs. I recommend reading it, I was very surprised by the novel myself. Although I think this one has the edge over Her Privates We, but that's more a personal choice!

As for the kindle side of things, I only really noticed a couple of typos and its formatted okay too. Although for some reason there are a lot of gaps, they occur between most short passages. It doesn't spoil the reading but you'll find it strange at first!

Anyway, I hope I made some sort of impression amongst the rambling! Enjoy :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and authentic 10 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This autobiographical novel is the real deal for gaining some understanding and insight into life on the Western Front during the First World War. It must rank alongside other classics such as Yeates' 'Winged Victory', Graves' 'Goodbye To All That' and Henry Williamson's 'Chronicles of Ancient Sunlight' sequence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The middle parts of Fortune 25 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very good condition - new.
A real classic of WWI, like "Covenant with death"
and "In Flanders Fields"
Appropriate for this anniversary year.
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