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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An elegy for a destroyed generation
Philip Rock strikes the central chord in the tragedy of the Great War. In The Passing Bells, he catches perfectly (or at least, it seems perfect - I wasn't there) the sense of carefree Edwardian England in the lazy summer days of 1914, but by the end of the book the reader realizes the immensity and nature of the change that the horrors of the trenches wrought on Society...
Published on 17 Nov. 2011 by Longchamps

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2.0 out of 5 stars dont waste your time
Read this from beginning to end convinced it was going to go somewhere. Characters are cliched and predictable and jot developed well enough for the reader to care a great day deal. I not be reading the rest of this trilogy.
Published 1 month ago by thumbelina1976


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An elegy for a destroyed generation, 17 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Passing Bells (Hardcover)
Philip Rock strikes the central chord in the tragedy of the Great War. In The Passing Bells, he catches perfectly (or at least, it seems perfect - I wasn't there) the sense of carefree Edwardian England in the lazy summer days of 1914, but by the end of the book the reader realizes the immensity and nature of the change that the horrors of the trenches wrought on Society at large and his characters in particular. The setting is perfect, the events graphic.

The story is told largely through the eyes of an American in England and Europe, and this gives a focal distance which would otherwise be impossible. The author gets the tone of it just right.

But it is the characters and the writing that is the author's triumph. Each character is finely and subtly drawn, each one multi-faceted and convincing. You laugh with them, you cry with them; you live and you die with them - and you exist in the half-life of shell shock so intensely it rips your guts out.

A triumph - a bitterly sad, shocking and heart-rending triumph.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Did you know there are sequels?, 22 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Passing-Bells (Hardcover)
I absolutely love this book and have read it many, many times since I bought it in the 1980s. However, a few years ago, in a secondhand bookshop in France, I found "A Future Arrived" by the same author and was amazed to find it was the final in a trilogy! I scoured the internet and found the second book which is called "Circles of Time". All three are brilliant and I would recommend them without a doubt.

All the characters are there - except Lydia - and the development of the characters, inter-twined with the rise of Nazism in Germany, is beautifully and evocatively written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly recommended read, 6 Jun. 2014
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I read this book many years ago and was enthralled by it as indeed I was by the entire trilogy. I am presently re reading it and it has lost non of its appeal. To compare it with Downton Abbey, is to do it an injustice. It is far more than a family saga. It is set in the early 20th century and it captures the mood of the era beautifully. The reader is swept along with the plot which is about a wealthy upper class English family.

The character of Martin Rilke is central to the plot and he is finely drawn, a pleasant down to earth American journalist, related by marriage to the aristocratic family at the heart of the books. At the start of the Circles of Time the first book in the series he is on a visit from his home in Chicago and is somewhat nonplussed by the English aristocratic lifestyles and values.

The class structures in the early 20th century are very well depicted and one would find it hard to believe the way the wealthy upper classes, with their armies of servants, footmen, butlers etc. actually existed. Their petty snobberies are very hard to believe.

Life changes drastically with the advent of the Great War and the ensuing changes in society and class distinction that occur after the horrors of this war .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Passing Bells:, 17 April 2012
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This review is from: The passing bells (Hardcover)
This is a wonderful saga of an upper class family and the changes the first world war brings. I would strongly reccomend it to anyone interested in that period of history, it covers both the changes on the home front and life in the trenches giving a real feeling for the lives of the people involved.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking read, 13 May 2015
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I enjoyed this book. To begin with I thought it was just another run of the mill upstairs/downstairs type story set before and during WW1. It was run of the mill until the section on Gallipoli which I believe is a very much overlooked arena of WW1 and I found it fascinating and then, to make this a five star book, there was a plot twist at the end involving one of the characters that made me gasp out loud because I just hadn't seen it coming. I understand now why my mother purchased a copy of this on publication and kept it all her life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal reading for 1914-2014, 16 Aug. 2014
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With the commemoration of the First World War in full swing this is an ideal novel to immerse yourself in. The lives of members an aristocratic family are changed by the events that are so well known but somehow the author gives perspectives that are still interesting and absorbing. Now on to part two of the trilogy to see how the story unfolds!
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2.0 out of 5 stars dont waste your time, 19 May 2015
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Read this from beginning to end convinced it was going to go somewhere. Characters are cliched and predictable and jot developed well enough for the reader to care a great day deal. I not be reading the rest of this trilogy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!!!, 19 April 2013
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This review is from: Passing Bells (Hardcover)
This was a brilliant book. Characters were well drawn and I really cared about them. I love the era this novel is set in and hope to read the other two in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A superbly researched view of the First World Wa\r through ..., 17 Nov. 2014
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A superbly researched view of the First World Wa\r through the eyes of an American reporter, all the while building up the characters for the trilogy
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book from a good author, 10 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Passing Bells: A Novel (Paperback)
An excellent book from a good author, and there are two more books in the series
Thank you Amazon. Good delivery. Many thanks Clive dowse
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The Passing Bells: A Novel
The Passing Bells: A Novel by Phillip Rock (Paperback - 18 Dec. 2012)
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