Customer Review

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves, 30 Jan 2009
This review is from: Wilfred Owen: A New Biography (Paperback)
When I received this book last Christmas I was slightly shocked at how many pages there appeared to be. I admit that I knew very little about Wilfred Owen apart from the fact that he wrote poetry during World War 1 and he died very young(25 years of age). I immediately thought that there was no way that his life story could fill almost 500 pages but I was wrong. This is surely the definitive biography about him and a brilliant job is done by Dominic Hibberd.

Pretty much the first half of the book is about his pre-war years and the times that Owen spent at school, as a teacher, a vicar's assistant and the time he lived in France for a while. At times I did feel a little impatient as I really wanted to know what occured during his wartime experiences. I must admit though that Hibberd has done a staggering amount of research including trying hard to disect Owen's brother Harold's at times brutal censorship of the letters written by Wilfred. It was interesting to learn about Wilfred's weaknesses such as being a Mother's boy, a hypochondriac and the slow realisation that he was gay. As you read this book you do become aware that it all leads up to the horrors of war and the author takes you there slowly but very surely. When we finally arrive at 1917 and the true reality of what Owen and many thousands more went through it is chilling and makes for a rivetting read.

The true strength of this book is without a doubt the descriptions of the fighting, killing and pure fear of what so many men went through as they battled against the odds. At one time Owen's CO accused him of cowardice as he cracked under the strain of constant shelling and spending the night next to a colleague that had been blown to pieces. The fact that he was eventually awarded the Military Cross showed how ridiculous the accusation was but it was something that haunted him as he took several months to recover. This excellent book makes you wonder just how you would react in dreadful situations that so many brave men had to encounter. I won't go into all the detail about Wilfred's war experiences but suffice to say he did have a torrid time and it is because of this that he left us with his beautifully written poetry about war.

This is a superbly written book. Yes, I did wish there was more of Wilfred Owen's poetry and at times I did have a chuckle at the apparant pomposity of the circle of poets that shared a part of his life like Sassoon, Graves and Monro. The story of Owen's life is varied, interesting and ultimately very moving especially as he writes to his Mother about his hopes for the future. His future was to be cut tragically short but he left a legacy with his poetry that will last a lifetime and is still very relevant today.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.8 out of 5 stars (8 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
£12.99
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: uk

Top Reviewer Ranking: 724