Customer Review

43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The single greatest undiscovered classic?, 21 April 2008
This review is from: Parade's End: Some Do Not...; No More Parades; A Man Could Stand Up - ; The Last Post (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I've never understood why this isn't regarded as one of the all time classics of English literature. Perhaps it's too long to have been widely read. But with novels about the First World War back in vogue it could be time for a reappraisal.
The plot: as a story of a changing society it is very much a novel of today - and the First World War never seems far from the media, school curriculum and popular imagination. The characters: take your pick from an array of complex, troubled humanity - is Sylvia Tietjens the most purely malevolent women to have taken shape on the printed page? The style: a rich and complex use of language, time shifts and scenic planning that creates an endlessly subtle evocation of time, place and character.
For me it is this style that I find most utterly compelling about the book: as rich a reading experience as you will ever find.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Sep 2012 16:54:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Sep 2012 17:02:44 BDT
Louise K says:
I disagree that Sylvia Tietjens is purely malevolent. She is a wounded woman, suffering everyday from the bull-like and insufferably smug, emotionally illiterate fool that she is married to. Never was there such an inarticulate man written about. His behaviour cuts her to the quick, all she wants from him is some kind of reaction, any at all. She feels like she is buried alive. I would too, he does not function as a human being! The most tedious and unattractive man in literature that I have yet encountered. He is a pompous, arrogant snob of a man with no self awareness or feeling at all. I would want to pinch him to see if he is even alive. Apart from the horrible dog incident I empathised with her most of the the way and had nothing but scorn for Christopher Tietjens the most truly idiotic and awful character I have had to endure in a long time. He was very far from being the good man that so many reviewers describe him as. He is a destroyer of souls.
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