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The Missing of the Somme [Paperback]

Geoff Dyer
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 July 2001
'Head bowed, rifle on his back, a soldier is silhouetted against the going down of the sun, looking at the grave of a dead comrade, remembering him. A photograph from the war, is also a photograph of the way the war will be remembered. It is a photograph of the future, of the future's view of the past. We will remember them.' Relying more on personal impressions than systematic analysis, Geoff Dyer weaves a network of myth and memory that illuminates our own relation to the past.

Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (19 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842124501
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842124505
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 13.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 903,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Geoff Dyer is the author of four novels and six other nonfiction books, including But Beautiful, which was awarded the Somerset Maugham Prize, and Out of Sheer Rage, which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. The winner of a Lannan Literary Award, the International Centre of Photography's 2006 Infinity Award for writing on photography, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' E. M. Forster Award, Dyer is a regular contributor to many publications in the UK and the US. He lives in London. For more information visit Geoff Dyer's official website:

Photographer: Jason Oddy

Product Description

Book Description

Insights into the monuments, films, graveyards and poems that the Great War left behind - a moving, intriguing and illuminating de-coding. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

“Brilliant…the great Great War book of our time” Observer

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 3 Nov 2007
By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dyer is not the person to read if you're looking for strong narrative threads. He is the person to read if you want to find out new things, be taken to places you never, ever dreamed existed and be entertained whilst learning a lot. The book, flits around the central idea of what memorials are, particularly in relevance to World War One, why we need them, how we make them and how we interpret them. It moves between academic research and the vague and sometimes comic wanderings of Dyer and his mates as they trudge through the fields of France looking for memorials and the scenes of battle. Dyer's original mind, quirky personality and enthusiasm for his subject make this book rise above the average history of WWI into something at times approaching art. I had a copy of this book years ago and then lent it to someone who never gave it back. It's a testament to his brilliance that I had no hesitation in going out to buy another copy. It's one to keep, to read and re-read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Missing of the Somme 18 Mar 2010
Part travel book, part meditation on the nature of war, of all the book about the Great War I have read, this would be my favourite. Insightful and personal, it echoed some of my own thoughts and experiences of travelling in Picardie, tracing my great granfathers footsteps. It's not comparable to survivors accounts, or historical overviews, some passges verge on poetry and are incredibly moving - especially where the author talks about timelines and fading photographs of marching soldiers. Should one love a book about war? I loved this.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
this is the book to stand out among the crowd: although the subject is not novel - the number of books written about the First World War almost exceeds even Amazon's data-base - the treatment clearly is. anyone interested in how the Great War became one of THE moral touchstones of modernity, in the normalisation of horror or the medialisation of experience should read this book. it's well written, well researched and often moving. it also contains the most honest reason given for writing a book that i have come across in a long time.
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12 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossibly good 9 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Geoff Dyer is the best living writer in the world. His books pelt you with ideas and swarm your memory with unbearably acute images and phrases. They are all - from his study of John Berger to his recent collected essays - funny and tender and clever. The Missing of the Somme is just as good as the others. In that sense it is nothing special. In every other sense, and in comparison to any other book you are likely to read in the foreseeable future, it shines like a supernova.
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