on 14 November 2011
The voice takes some getting used to but if you're patient you'll be rewarded. Ford Madox Ford and his chum Joseph Conrad embraced the fact that life isn't a straight line; we blunder round in a maze. So it's a complex novel, slipping from past to present without much warning and building character with subtle brushstrokes. There are no heroes and villains - we're all both - but there is love and wit and truth. I'll certainly tackle the next three in the sequence. Meanhwile Tom Stoppard, brave man, is apparently adapting it for the screen.
on 25 February 2012
Somehow without any of the characters being particularly attractive on first glimpse - some of them appear actually repellent - and with a continual, almost unconscious commentary by each character on class, this book is a compelling read. The flashbacks are very skilfully handled and by about a quarter of the way in, I felt I was in the hands of a master.
I agree with the other reviewer, Tom Stoppard is a very brave man indeed. The first book is maybe 80% percent dialogue and thought process so it is going to be one hell of a job if he pulls off a script that can be produced with enough movement/action for television. However if anyone can do it, he can. It could certainly be a hell of a theatre piece.
I've just downloaded the next two parts as I must read on.
on 26 September 2012
Having enjoyed the first episode of the tv adaptation of Parade's End, and having recently finished reading 'The Good Soldier' by Ford Madox Ford, I immediately downloaded the Kindle version of this book.
I read it and the three following volumes avidly. How can a book which takes pages to move on a few minutes in time when nothing much happens be so gripping? It must be the quality of the writing, the development of the characters and the sense of place and time the author conveys. If you value these in a book, then you will be rewarded. If you want a fast moving, action packed story then don't bother.