on 22 January 2006
I really enjoyed this book. I knew nothing of Rosenberg or his poetry and it is a great intro to both. It is a blend of fact and fiction and each chapter is prefaced by the poet's own work. His short life is really vividly recreated and I liked the insight I got into what life was like for a struggling family in WW1. I also liked the detail about the poet's contacts with other poets of the period. The author made me empathise strongly with Rosenberg and the description of his death and other war scenes was very moving. Also, despite the fact that this is a story of someone who had a pretty miserable life, I was left with a real sense of wonder and optimism about the strength and tenacity of his creative spirit.
on 7 June 2006
I found this book an absorbing read. I had not heard of Isaac Rosenberg before and I am grateful to Geoff Akers for his graphic fictionalised account of the brief life of this poet and artist.
The difficulties he had in the England of the beginning of the twentieth century, with its social and racial prejudices, are well described. The common soldier's view of the futility of the Great War is apparent in the dialogue and the horror of trench warfare comes through clearly. Yet from all of this came wonderful poetry which deserves to be much better known. This is a book I would recommend to others without reservation.
on 12 February 2006
An excellent read from start to finish. This moving story of First World War poet Isaac Rosenberg brings to life the appalling conditions of trench warfare. Akers achieves this through the use of scintillating dialogue, showing us how the poetic mind struggles to survive in such a hostile environment. Equally fascinating is the skillful depiction of life as the son of poor Jewish immigrants in London and the underlying awkwardness of the poet socially. A great read.
on 24 July 2013
A friend recommended this so I was new to the author and his subject, the first World War poet, Isaac Rosenberg. I was not disappointed. It's a real page-turner, a fictional account of the poet's life, beautifully written and deeply affecting bringing him, his poetry and times vividly to life. What really captured me was that unlike some of the other more well-known WW1 poets, Rosenberg wasn't an officer but a private soldier. It's a fascinating insight and brings Rosenberg's poetry into the narrative at the inspiring and tragic moments they were created. Couldn't put it down. A new author of considerable talent and one to watch.Highly recommended.