Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vitriolic, but Powerful, 27 Oct 2008
This review is from: Death of a Hero (Paperback)
Surely this is a book about the Victorian Age and W.W.I that won't be forgotten. There's too much in it. I should say that it's about how the Victorian Age ended: with a bang, not a whimper. The story of Aldington's Hero (which is in part an autobiographical narrative) tells you how Victorian culture and mentality did not prepare young middle-class Brits to cope with the changes that are symbolized by the Great War. The protagonist of the novel, a young wannabe writer, makes a mess of his private life and then joins the Army for the wrong reason. Only the last part of the book (about 1/3 of Aldington's novel) deals with the war; the rest of it talks about why young British officers were so badly prepared to it, both psychologically and culturally; and why it was such a devastating collective shock. The book also includes venomous portraits of such modernist writers as T.S. Eliot and F.M. Ford, plus lenghty discussions of the Victorian approach to sexuality (including some moderately funny scenes). All in all, a little masterpiece of early 20th-century British fiction that deserves more attention...
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4.6 out of 5 stars (8 customer reviews)
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