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The Good Soldier (Classic Fiction) Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Feb 2010
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Whether you know Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier or not, don't miss this reading by Kerry Shale, who varies his performance brilliantly as the story shifts from platitudes to a rollercoaster ride of intimate revelation. Written on the eve of the First World War and satirising the complacency and immorality of the age, the book is an experimental narrative, moving to and fro in time with explanations inserted as if recounted to a friend. 'This is the saddest story I have ever heard' is the opening line, but within seconds we are wondering how on earth it can be as we hear of the impeccable social credentials of the two couples at its core. Give it a few minutes, and you will be agog, uncertain whether to laugh at its first-person narrator's gullibility or cry at the tragic outcome. Poetically resonant and painterly in its word pictures, the book was regarded by Ford as his best. Don't be misled by the studiously ironic title: the only conflict in the story is that between the sexes. --Christina Hardyment, The Times
A brilliant and heart-rending evocation of destructive passion. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The story concerns two upper middle class couples who meet at a German spa at the turn of the 19th century and become good friends over many years. As the story unfolds it becomes clear that beneath their simple outings and picnics, sexual and emotional plate tectonics are at work. More and more is slowly revealed of what has been going on and the final pages are tragic and grim.
Much is made in literary circles of the fact that the narrator is unreliable and frequently contradicts himself or is plain wrong. This is a very neat device that covers up the fact that somehow the narrator has gotten to understand what everyone else in the story was thinking or feeling. His unreliability is really chaff to cover up this unlikely situation. Nonetheless it is well done and makes the tone and structure of the book enjoyable and unusual.Read more ›
The key characters are remarkably well created in some depth, and we also get a gradual awareness of the part the narrator in his ignorance has actually played in the unfolding tragedy too. For anyone seriously interested in the development of the novel as a way of understanding human existence this is a must read. For anyone who likes a good, gripping story with energy and a sense of movement making you want to read on, this is also hugely worth reading. The language is very accessible and the book very well structured.Don't miss this masterpiece written by an under-rated novelist.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The title was enticing and so it prove to be a story of compelling reading. The end proved to be thought provoking and perhaps it can be transferred to how our lives are similar in... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kindle Customer bdenver
I had already heard about this work and was curious about how I would react to it; it did not disappoint and I'm glad I sent for it.Published 5 months ago by Revisita
This is one of the best books I've ever read. The narrator is wonderfully unreliable: he tells the story as it comes to him, suddenly throwing in vital bits of information he... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Reading Reader
One of the best books, until the introduction of the final character, then it goes downhill.Published 12 months ago by drsox
I suppose it gives an insight into the upper class attitudes of the era but "nothing happens". Very boringPublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
Wealthy John Dowell comes to Europe with his new wife Florence. She is fragile, has heart problems, and basically is far too unwell ever to have sex with him. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Bob Ventos
A neglected great.
I urge anyone with a love of class literature who hasn't already read this masterpiece to order directly; read it before the larger and more complex... Read more