37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Evokes pain and sorrow,
This review is from: A Long Long Way (Paperback)
I don't like using big words when describing books. But I think I will have to do it this time around. A Long Long Way is one of the best novels I have read in a long time. Let me explain.
I've long been interested in fiction that takes place in a war or is in someway related to a war situation. At first because of the action, but as I grew up I liked to read about how people react in a war situation. Following Willie Dunne's ordeals I felt so many pains, so many sorrows. Sebastian Barry shows great depth in describing both the conflicts of war but more importantly the agonies of war, the fear and hopes of the soldiers. I'm not a big fan of poetry. But in this case I think the fact that Sebastian Barry is a poet as well as a novelist and dramatist may explain why his style is so good, so capable of conveying emotion (mind you I haven't read any of his poetry).
A Long Long Way is perhaps the best novel I've read in a long time. If I try to categorize it as war fiction it tops all the books I´ve read recently (Doctorow's The March - good -, Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried - very good -) and war related fiction such as Gunther Grass's Crabwalk - very good - and Ismail Kadare's General of the Dead Army - somewhat disappointing.