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Customer Review

96 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest works of modern fiction, 5 Jan. 2004
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This review is from: The Balkan Trilogy: "Great Fortune", "Spoilt City" and "Friends and Heroes" (Paperback)
If only to contradict the entirely silly review currently on display, I feel I should say something about this remarkable trilogy. Before she died, Olivia Manning reckoned she had never received the recognition she deserved, and there are many today who would wholly agree with her. Her novels are among the finest works of twentieth-century English fiction, and her two war-time trilogies (which are in large measure autobiographical) deserve to be better known (and please don't be misled by the brief TV dramatization that tried to cram around six books into something like four hours). Manning is a prose stylist of remarkable ability, she has one of the best eyes for character in the business, she can write about British Council intrigue as readily as battle in North Africa. This trilogy takes the reader from Bucharest to Athens, the next on to Cairo and the struggle for Africa. Splendid locations, superb characters, profound insights, beautiful writing Ñ do yourself a favour, order this book now!
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Aug 2008 16:22:58 BDT
Having just read the Balkan Trilogy I have to say that Manning probably deserved her general lack of recognition. This not first-class novel writing by any means, but it is a perfectly good read. Like Powell she has simply changed the names to deflect the criticism that this is very close to being just a dramatised autobiography. When one looks at Waugh's Sword of Honour trilogy you see the opposite ; a true novelist turning experience into art. That is why Waugh will still be read in years to come and Manning will slide off the library shelves before too long.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Aug 2011 16:03:15 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Aug 2011 16:15:43 BDT
Obviously too girlie for him! It's a good read, with a good plot and a fair few striking images. I like it. I like it a lot. Millions of people like J.K Rowling. I don't. Taste is subjective and to be snotty and say it is not like Evelyn Waugh is just silly. I'm indifferent to Waugh and the famous banana story told by his children sort of fits his style. (Just google it!). I'm just happy that this book is now going to be available on Kindle.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Aug 2011 16:40:28 BDT
amantedofado says:
Don't be so pissanty. It is one of the finest trilogies in the English language, very finely written, observant, with a rich band of characters. It is much better than Waugh's Sword of Honour trilogy, which is his least successful work anyway. That is one of the most pompous and ill-informed comments I have ever read.

Posted on 17 Dec 2011 13:40:53 GMT
Netta Glover says:
I have a paperback edition of this book which I read many years ago. Always wanted to re-read it but the tight binding makes it very uncomfortable to read in bed! Now I can relish it once again in comfort. Thank you Kindle.
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