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The Soldier's Song (The Soldier's Song Trilogy) [Paperback]

Alan Monaghan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Kindle Edition 3.59  
Hardcover, Large Print --  
Paperback 5.81  
Paperback, 5 Dec 2013 14.99  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged 57.00  

Book Description

5 Dec 2013 The Soldier's Song Trilogy

Dublin, 1914. As Ireland stands on the brink of political crisis, Europe plunges headlong into war. Among the thousands of Irishmen who volunteer to fight for the British Army is Stephen Ryan, a gifted young maths scholar whose working class background has marked him out as a misfit among his wealthy fellow students.

Sent to fight in Turkey, he looks forward to the great adventure, unaware of the growing unrest back home in Ireland. His romantic notions of war are soon shattered and he is forced to wonder where his loyalties lie, on his return to a Dublin poised for rebellion in 1916 and a brother fighting for the rebels. Everything has changed utterly, and in a world gone mad his only hope is his growing friendship with the brilliant and enigmatic Lillian Bryce.

The Soldier's Song is a poignant and deeply moving novel, a tribute to the durability of the human soul.


Frequently Bought Together

The Soldier's Song (The Soldier's Song Trilogy) + The Soldier's Return (The Soldier's Song Trilogy) + The Soldier's Farewell (Soldier's Song Trilogy)
Price For All Three: 32.94

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (5 Dec 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1447256301
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447256304
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,776,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'A beautifully written, objective tale of one man's war...Devoid of rants against the High Command and armchair generals, and with the interwoven love story remaining understated, The Soldier's Song is a view of a changing world gone mad, and will stay with me for a long time.' --Daily Mail

'Monaghan is an engaging writer - he won the 2002 Hennessy New Irish award for the short story upon which The Soldier's Song is based - and this is a well paced and immensely readable novel.' --Irish Times

'It is craftsmanship of a high order.' --Irish Independent

'Impressive first part of a projected trilogy...The Soldier's Song is a fine story well told.' --Evening Herald

'As with Faulks, Monaghan can expect comparisons to Barker, not least because he plans to write several books in this series. Based on this engaging, unsentimental debut, he'll deservedly find a wide readership.'
--Sunday Business Post

`Rattling yarn...The Soldier's Song has at its heart an utterly empathic and believable hero. Spiced with historical figures and pivotal moments.'
--RTE Guide

`Monaghans' refined and fluid prose makes the novel's exploration of conflict. Love and loyalty against the backdrop of the First World War both enchanting and horrifying.' -- Ulster Tatler

'Monaghan builds on the legacy of WW1 writing with engaging women characters, Dublin politics, and a touch of class war, re-telling the ghastly truths of the trenches and the mud from a resolutely Irish perspective. Page-turning, heartbreaking, and quite lovely.' --Waitrose magazine

'Unfussy but strong storytelling - sounds like the perfect beach book to us. Even if Alan Monaghan's debut novel takes in serious subjects - the First World War, the 1913 Lockout, political maneuvering by the Irish Citizen Army, the 1916 Rising - it remains accessible and compelling, with a strong emotional thrust... Based on this engaging, unsentimental debut, he'll deservingly find a wide readership.' --Sunday Business Post

'Page turning, heart breaking, and quite lovely.' -- Waitrose Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Dublin, 1914. As Ireland stands on the brink of political crisis, Europe plunges headlong into war. Among the thousands of Irishmen who volunteer to fight for the British Army is Stephen Ryan, a gifted young maths scholar whose working class background has marked him out as a misfit among his wealthy fellow students. Sent to fight in Turkey, he looks forward to the great adventure, unaware of the growing unrest back home in Ireland. His romantic notions of war are soon shattered and he is forced to wonder where his loyalties lie, on his return to a Dublin poised for rebellion in 1916 and a brother fighting for the rebels. Everything has changed utterly, and in a world gone mad his only hope is his growing friendship with the brilliant and enigmatic Lillian Bryce. The Soldier's Song is a poignant and deeply moving novel, a tribute to the durability of the human soul. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ireland's Call 10 Jan 2010
By C. CAMPBELL VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I picked Alan Monaghan's book on the basis of the title. As any second or third generation English-dwelling-Irish-kid will tell you, the Soldiers Song is without fail played by the DJ at the end of any social gathering down the local Irish Association club house. It's a particularly rousing tune, especially when sung along in the native tongue, but it was only years later I heard the translation and realised what it was all about.

The Irish history from the last century is celebrated in film, song and folklore, and when I was growing up it was still in living memory for a few people around and about. Due to early exposure to the likes of the Dubliners and the Wolfetones, I have always held a slightly romantic view of the rebels at the Easter Uprising - and their tragic end at the hands of a barbaric government. Monaghan's book brings the view from the other side of the fence, instead of the rebels being the heroes of the book, our central character is Stephen Ryan, a talented mathematician who signs up for the 'King's shilling' at the outbreak of World War 1. His experiences of warfare abroad in Suvla Bay and the Somme are coupled with his experience of the change of attitude towards Soldiers in his native Dublin. There is a climax early on when Stephen ends up defending Trinity College at the uprising, knowing that his brother is on the other side.

The story itself seems at once fast paced, but also thorough. The depictions of war and the life in the trenches is graphic enough to give you the stomach churns, but more important is Stephen's turmoil, which for most of the book goes unconfronted as he continues doggedly on - essentially just trying to be a good man.

A real and gritty book, with a kind of passion and heart that make me want to read it again in the near future. Will be made into a film if any canny producer gets their hands on it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 20 July 2010
Format:Paperback
I thought this was an excellent book. It is set in Ireland just before the outbreak of the First World War and centres on the life of Stephen Ryan a student of mathematics at Trinity College in Dublin who volunteers to fight for England following the outbreak of war.

The story follows him to Turkey and then the trenches in Europe and gives an interesting insight into the sheer scale and the physical and emotional effect of the war both on those fighting on the front line and those left behind in Ireland.

The Dublin rebellion and its aftermath are also covered, which I found interesting, not knowing a great deal about Irish history. Lillian Bryce, Stephen's love interest, is also a great character.

I'm not generally a huge admirer of war related books, and was put off by the reference to Sebastian Faulks as I'm not a huge fan, so was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this. I would highly recommend it to other readers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning love story set in the dirt of war! 5 Jan 2010
By K. D. Squire VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Its not often you a book is as loving, as involving or as poigiant as this one. the depth of the caracters, the details of surroundings and the creative skills of Monaghan create a world that will involve you and test your emotions even past the final page. Monaghan is a great writer, his story of love amongst the trnechs of war makes for a great story that draws you in as if you were walking side by side with the characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Patchy In Places Tale of Two Wars.... 14 Mar 2010
By Mr. D. J. Brindle VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Amidst the raft of World War 1 related books of all descriptions published in the last couple of years, "The Soldiers Song" stands out as it offers a perhaps uniquely Irish perspective on the conflict both at home in Ireland, and in Europe. And it does this really well, despite some patchy writing in places.

In the book the situation "at home" whereby many men volunteered despite being staunch republicans is described to a tee, with the attitudes and experiences of Dublin life taken with the main character out to the bloody trenches of France. He's a very well rounded, well written character with whom it's easy to feel some empathy thanks in no small part to some fine cinematic writing by the author.

I also enjoyed the way the book ended - in an open way, leaving the door hopefully open for more of this line of story to unfold. My only hope is that next time the author takes care of the some of instory, instead of switching from scene to scene as frequently.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very worthwhile effort and enjoyable too.. 18 Jan 2010
By D. W. Miller VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am an addict of war stories and think that I recognise a good one when I see it. In my opinion Alan Monaghan has succeeded pretty well in positioning the story of a family with different views of the world during the time of World War I.
One man fights the Germans and the other his brother, decides to fight another battle back home in Ireland against the British.
The conflict between the brothers is an important aspect of the story and is sensitively written.
The pace of the book is good although the writing is a little patchy at times but the decriptions of the awfulness of war in the trenches is convincing.
This is a very competent starter to what will be a series and it naturally leaves a few questions unanswered which I assume will be developed in the next books.
I did not learn much that was new about the terrors of war but with the wealth of great writing we have already had access to it is unreasonable to expect much that will be new.
I did care about the characters though and that is where the strength of the novel lies. I look forward to seeing what follows.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I enjoyed the whole trilogy in this series
Published 13 days ago by GJ DANIELS
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written & topical historical novel from an Irish angle
Many incidents in a relatively short novel keeps you interested and keen to turn the pages. The Irish angle on the first World War is novel and topical too as Ireland celebrates... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tom Kernan
3.0 out of 5 stars The soldiers song
It was a good read but the end was very quick and strange I wanted it to carry on, the ending was so abrupt I thought there should have been more at least to explain properly
Published 2 months ago by janet houghton
5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY REALISTIC STORY
Alan Monaghan has written a very realistic story covering both the horrors of WW1 and the "Easter Rising" in Dublin in 1916. It reads like a true story rather than a novel. Read more
Published 5 months ago by F. Doyle
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This series of books get better and better. A real must to read, once started it's hard to put the book down.
Published 5 months ago by kelda stephenson
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable.
Not something I would normally select but glad I did. Well written and enjoyed. Looking forward to reading more. Recommend.
Published 7 months ago by Mickey
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Loved this book, kept me gripped, kept looking forward to going to bed so I could read It undisturbed! Am going to get the rest of the series now and can't wait to read them.
Published 8 months ago by Dr R R Kemp
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
A well written sensitive look at WW1. Some inaccuracies in the text, eg A captain wears 3 Stars NOT crowns. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Roger Dean
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Thoroughly enjoyable read. Well-written. Excellent blending of fact and fiction. Look forward to reading more in the series. Recommended reading
Published 9 months ago by michael mcmanus
4.0 out of 5 stars Reallu unsual war story
I was gripped and moved by the story, great atmosphere to the book and really believeable characters and period description
Published 10 months ago by philip ireson
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