Customer Reviews


9 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!
GOOD-BYE TO ALL THAT is the autobiography of the 34 year old Robert Graves, who, at this book's 1929 publication, was a former army captain who served with distinction in The Great War, an emerging poet, and a father, separated from his wife, with four young children. As a Yank, I'm not quite sure where Graves fit in the English class system of his day. But his family was...
Published on 30 Aug 2008 by Ethan Cooper

versus
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Heard so much about it but I couldn't get into it. Maybe I'm too old. What more can I say.
Published 13 months ago by helen


Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!, 30 Aug 2008
GOOD-BYE TO ALL THAT is the autobiography of the 34 year old Robert Graves, who, at this book's 1929 publication, was a former army captain who served with distinction in The Great War, an emerging poet, and a father, separated from his wife, with four young children. As a Yank, I'm not quite sure where Graves fit in the English class system of his day. But his family was distinguished and comfortable and Graves endured the bullying at Charterhouse, a prominent English public school.

Certainly, the two great themes of GBTAT are life in the British army in World War I and the friendships of Graves, the poet. For anyone with special interests in the war, I recommend Chapter 15, where he describes his participation in the disastrous Battle of Loos, a poorly planned and executed debacle where many senior officers showed haughty indifference to the plight of the common soldier. Those interested in the lives of poets might read Chapter 28, where Graves describes the many poets living in his midst at Oxford in 1919. Meanwhile, Chapter 29 offers profiles of T.E. Lawrence, his friend, and Thomas Hardy, who Graves visits while biking with his wife.

Graves's style in GBTAT is fabulous. This style is very efficient--he never lingers--yet also slightly discursive. This has the effect of building a rich texture around the distinctive theme of each chapter. In Chapter 9, for example, Graves describes his experiences as a rock climber. Here, his subject is the techniques and dangers of this sport, as well as its sometimes eccentric practitioners. But, he also works in a story about George Mallory, a mountaineer who died on Mount Everest, who was a friend and teacher at Charterhouse. This allows Graves to comment on the grim culture of the public schools of his day, where the beneficent Mallory was wasted. At the end of this chapter, my marginalia reads: fluid and very interesting.

Likewise, Graves's voice is also fabulous. Basically, he is an honest observer, always near a center of interest, who is never seriously political. As he writes, he both sketches the traditions of his era while he personifies the aspirations and experiences of his rising generation. Once in a while, there is a dated remark. But even this adds to GBTAT, since it helps Graves summon and explore a vanished world. A great work!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye!, 23 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
An outstanding recollection of life during the Great War. It is so helpful for those who wish to attempt to think constructively about 'the war to end all wars', to read about how those involved at the time felt and thought. We have heard so much from those who would characterize all involved as deluded. It is good to be reminded of the real challenges the army faced and the camerarderie felt towards those they served with.

A first class read.
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Hugely engaging, if slightly uneven, account of WWI and its aftermath, 28 April 2011
By 
Jeremy Bevan (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Anyone who's studied the First World War will know that it was characterised throughout by folly and incompetence. But there is really nothing quite like an account written by someone who was actually there to bring those sad truths home in all their awful clarity. The writer Richard Graves, an officer for much of the war with the Royal Welch [sic] Fusiliers, tells it with a startling mixture of passion - both anger and great affection - and cool detachment. This was, perhaps, an essential survival mechanism for one in whom the mental scars of the conflict remained raw and unhealed for years afterwards. It would be hard to credit that the British army would mount a gas attack on German lines without checking which way the wind was blowing first - if it wasn't for the fact that Graves reports it; or to believe the petty spite, snobbery and classism the riddled the upper echelons of the officer class - if it were not there, in black and white. But Graves is unsparing, of himself as much as others. Recording his friend Siegfried Sassoon's protests against the war, he observes: `We decided that it was no use making a protest against the war. Every one was mad; we were hardly sane ourselves' (207).

This is more than just an account of the war of course, though Graves' telling of his part in it occupies the majority of the book. In many ways, his account of his early life at home and at (public) school, with its classism (`But now I realised that the servants were the lower classes, and that we were ourselves' (18)) and bullying prefigure what is to come in the trenches. To that extent, it's a very well-constructed book.

However, I felt it tailed off into something rather inconsequential once the war had ended. Graves drifts along rather aimlessly for a number of years, only to announce with shocking abruptness that he and his wife Nancy Nicholson are splitting up. He fails to tell us why. But in a helpful biographical introduction to this edition, which restores the 1929 text with its dedication from, and epilogue to, Laura Riding, Graves' nephew Richard supplies the missing detail: such is Laura's influence that Graves has arrived at a whole new emotional and psychological approach to life. This, it transpires, is what enables him to say `Goodbye' to all that has, for better of worse, gone before. Graves' work would, of course, later take a quite different track, as he went on to write some of the 20th century's most brilliant historical fictions, not all while still under Laura's influence. But if this book's structural faults were precipitated by a personal crisis, it stands nevertheless as a monumental testimony to four of the darkest years in recent human history, summed up (for me) in the description of a French village so devastated by bombardment that it would be unrecognisable were it not for the name, chalked on an abandoned steamroller at the roadside.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Good value good condition, 14 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good value good condition
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Remembering the start of the WW1, 13 July 2014
This review is from: Goodbye to All That (Collectors Library) (Hardcover)
A great read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Persevere!, 21 Feb 2014
By 
Johnny Boy (Suffolk England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I should have read this classic at school but left it much later to read. Young Graves seems really unlikeable and I wanted to give up reading the section about his childhood. I persevered and his description of life and death in the trenches was worth it. I quite forgave him for being such a shallow youngster and ended up admiring him for his conduct during WW1. Shame that the final section of the book confirmed my original view of him. For a real insight into the horrors of war this takes some beating.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, 16 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Goodbye to All That (Collectors Library) (Hardcover)
I very much liked this book. Even if the whole story may not honour all the facts - as the Review in the book itself indicates - it is very good reading and a testament of what happened in those tragic years. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate, 29 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Goodbye to all that (Hardcover)
An excellent product and very successful process. Thank you for "Enjoy", a personal approach which is perhaps unique but certainly appreciated.
MJKF
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 2 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Heard so much about it but I couldn't get into it. Maybe I'm too old. What more can I say.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Goodbye to All That (Collectors Library)
Goodbye to All That (Collectors Library) by Robert Graves (Hardcover - 1 Sep 2013)
6.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews