Customer Reviews


58 Reviews
5 star:
 (28)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (13)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever-clever plotting, smooth writing, emotional wrench - a compulsive read.
This is a real page-turner with great storytelling and wonderful writing. It's an apparently simple story of a cuckolded husband but Maddox Ford tells and retells the same events from the point of view of each participant so that the reader's understandings and sympathies are constantly shifting as he begins to comprehend the complexities and motivations of those...
Published on 13 Nov 2010 by Brownbear101

versus
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The First Modern Narrator?
Ford Madox Ford, although a literary figure often undervalued, must stand alongside the lofty literary statures of giants such as James Joyce and Henry James. Much maligned in life, Ford reflects this in the novel "The Good Soldier" and creates, perhaps, the first modern narrator. Inconsistently and often unreliably, Ford's narrative tells a tale that,...
Published on 29 Oct 1999


‹ Previous | 1 2 36 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 5 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A rather sad book from an excellent author. Everyone should be made to read this book at some stage in their life.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good companion to Parade's End, 5 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good book to have alongside Parade's End; it compliments the other.. again tales of a bygone ear but not mindset
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it at least once a year, 9 Dec 2010
By 
b00le (Roma, Italy) - See all my reviews
This is one of the best novels of the last century, one of those small but immaculate masterpieces to stand beside "Heart of Darkness" and "The Great Gatsby". Ford wrote too much, certainly - I'm a big fan but I haven't been able to finish everything I've managed to find. When you've read this - for the first time - go to some of his (very unreliable) memoirs: "It Was The Nightingale", "Provence" etc. to get the flavour of the man. Then it will be time for the WWI tetralogy "Parade's End". Then you'll be ready to read "The Good Soldier" again...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Not a book for me........., 16 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was the most boring book I ever had the misfortune to encounter. It is quite a short book and I thought it would never end. Idle people with too much money and too much time on their hands. I honestly felt like saying 'get a life' or go and do some good in the world. One character in the book seemed to fall in love every other week. I actually lost count of all the lovers.

On a plus note: I studied this book at university as it was a course on 'Unreliable Narrators' if you need a book for this subject then Mr. Ford is your man, just don't expect a riveting read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Simple Tale?, 12 Feb 2012
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This was one of those book on my list of books to read before I die and I had bought it a while ago, but only have just now got round to reading it. I can't believe that I have never read this before, because it is no doubt a masterpiece.

This book is considered rightly a 'problem novel', not because it is hard to read, in fact it is deceptively easy, but because we can never be sure of the veracity of the narrator. The basics of the plot are two couples, one English and one American, these four people seem to meet up for about a month each year. We come to see though that two of the persons are having a affair. This is supposedly written after the events but we can never be sure of what the narrator really knew beforehand, what he was told, and what he conjectured. At turns you feel sorry for this narrator and want to pat him on the back and offer your sympathies, at other times you want to wring his neck and tell him what a complete fool he is. As the story unfolds you are never really sure whether he is extremely naive or just doesn't care about his wife.

By also continually altering the time he is talking about you are also left to wonder what he really knew beforehand. It is this style that ultimately gives this book its power, taking us on a trip that is tragic, but at the same time quite comic. Ultimately though this raises the question, what do we really know about anyone else? A truly great read this would be ideal for reading groups as there is so much here to discuss. If you love a good captivating read that you can lose yourself in and makes you question what you are reading, then you can't really go wrong with this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love you with my ford, 19 Feb 2000
By A Customer
An astonishing study of repressed passions and for me the birthplace of that 20th Century favourite the unreliable narrator. I really wanted to add that, important as Henry James may be, it was Ford's collaboration with Conrad that is at the root of the truly innovative narrative structure of this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The quintessential English novel of the first part of the last century, 6 May 2011
This book is one I return to regularly. Subtle, amusing, sad, and insightful. It is one that I put down every now and then just to recollect in tranquillity what I have just read...Ford Madox Ford was a friend of Joseph Conrad. Both men could tell a good story.

Ford's other great work "No More Parades" is for me another book I return to from time to time. Unlike many critics of this work, I very much like the last book in the set -

Barrie Hesketh
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Story itself was fine - not mind blowing, 10 July 2014
By 
jim (Scotland) - See all my reviews
Interesting narrative style (unreliable narrator) so it was interesting from this perspective. Story itself was fine - not mind blowing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece though not a great pleasure to read, 23 Jun 2014
By 
hfffoman (Kent) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
I had a peculiar reaction on completing this novel. Its construction, observation, and turns of phrase were so perfectI felt like reading it again to savour its nuances and subtleties. On the other hand I did not greatly enjoy reading it.

The novel comprises the reflections of a middle aged man on the tragedy of love and death that overtook his life and the lives of those closest to him. Because the story is revealed through his reflections, our picture of what occurred is slowly pieced together from hints and little details dotted throughout time. It is a powerful technique and beautifully executed. But the result is much more like an essay than a novel. There is no narrative continuity and that is why I don't at all share the view of one reviewer that it is a page turner.

The pleasure of reading it is further diminished by the characters themselves, most of whom I felt sorry for but found more dislikeable than sympathetic. As one reviewer said, the narrator is sympathetic but I found him so spineless, even for him my sympathy was limited.

Nevertheless the book is a masterpiece and I recommend reading it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars "The Saddest Story Ever Told", 14 April 2014
The Good Soldier is the story of John Dowell, a gullible, gentlemanly and slightly autistic American. Unable to gauge the emotional undercurrents swirling around him, Dowell finds himself in a seemingly dull existence surrounded by his wife, Florence and Edward and Leonora Ashburnham. On the face of it the wealthy American is living a comfortable, wealthy and happy life, devoted to his wife and his friends. Under the surface we discover that Florence is a faithless adulteress who exploits Dowell mercilessly without his understanding. We also discover that the Ashburnham's seemingly happy marriage and wealthy existence is anything but.
Told in a simple and engaging style this is a brilliant and absorbing novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 36 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion (Penguin Modern Classics) by Ford Madox Ford (Paperback - 4 April 2002)
Used & New from: 0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews