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Levant Trilogy: "Danger Tree", "Battle Lost and Won" and "Sum of Things" Hardcover – 10 Sep 1987

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 570 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; New edition edition (10 Sept. 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297792539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297792536
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.4 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 745,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

One of the "Five Best of World War II Fiction" -- Antony Beevor, "The Wall Street Journal" "Books not nearly as good are touted as definitive portraits of the war; very little on a best-seller list is more readable. Manning's giant six-volume effort is one of those combinations of soap opera and literature that are so rare you'd think it would meet the conditions of two kinds of audiences: those after what the trade calls 'a good read, ' and those who want something more." --Howard Moss, "The New York Review of Books" ""The Balkan Trilogy" A fantastically tart and readable account of life in eastern Europe at the start of the war. The follow-up "Levant Trilogy" is just as good, too." --Sarah Waters "Dramatic, comic and entirely absorbing." --Carmen Callil "I shall be surprised, and, I must admit, dismayed if the whole work is not recognized as a major achievement in the English novel since the war. Certainly it is an astonishing recreation." --Walter Allen, T"he New York Times" ""The Great Fortune, The Spoilt City," and" Friends and Heroes "comprise a remarkable impression of traumatic world events as they impinged on the daily lives of (mostly) British permanent or temporary expatriates, encountered...[Manning] writes with blessed economy, evoking the sights and smells of the Middle East, the spring-green deserts and a mosque at dawn, with beautiful precision rather than purple passages...She has been compared with Graham Greene and Anthony Powell. Anthony Burgess, who thinks the two trilogies may prove to be the 'finest fictional record of the war produced by a British writer, ' finds in her a kinship with Tolstoy." --Charles Champlin, "Los Angeles Times" "Her gallery of personages is huge, her scene painting superb, her pathos controlled, her humour quiet and civilized." --Anthony Burgess "Miss Manning is one of the very best of our novelists. She has a voice of her own." --Pamela Hansford Johnson, "The New York Times" "So glittering is the overall parade...and so entertaining the surface that the trilogy remains excitingly vivid: it amuses, it diverts and it informs'." --Frederick Raphael "Neither eye nor ear nor memory has failed the author. She has reproduced, in the atmosphere of wartime Rumania, exactly that miasma compounded of bravado and fear, extravagance and hunger, pretense and anguish, chicanery and stoicism, which hung over all the little, rumor-ridden capitals before their doom."--V. Peterson, "The New York Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The classic World War II trilogy: 'The finest fictional record of the war produced by a British writer' Anthony Burgess --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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great
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Excellent book. Well worth reading and most enjoyable. Take the time to read this really good book and enjoy it.
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A brilliant book!
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If you loved Olivia Manning`s The Balkan Trilogy,then you will equally love The Levant Trilogy which takes place in Egypt.
Most of the characters from The Balkan are gone,but don`t panic cause Guy and Harriet are still here(wouldn`t be the same without)and we are also introduced to a whole new group of characters who are equally interesting and likeable.
I agree with another reviewer on here.Mrs Mannings descriptions and observations of war are staggering and beautifull and you really feel like you are climbing up the pyramids with Guy and Harriet or driving along the Sphinx.It is funnier than the Balkan Trilogy and is moving without being sentimental.
Recommended to all fans of The Balkan Trilogy.You will be sorry to finish it,i was.
Fantastic stuff
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One of Olivia Manning's greatest achievements was to produce a second trilogy after the Balkan Trilogy that matches it in every way. She did not, as it were, go off the boil - something readers might have feared after the sheer triumph of the first threesome. Few authors have written better about war and its fallout. Her description of the war in the north African desert is staggeringly good, and if one did not know that she'd spent that time in Cairo, it would be hard not to conclude that she'd been out there herself with the SAS.
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My mother gave me "The Balkan Trilogy" more than thirty years ago: I have read and enjoyed it many times since then. I just puchased the sequel, "The Levant Trilogy" on amazon and since receiving it I have read it non-stop and enthralled. Finally, finally I know what happened to Guy and Harriet Pringle after the Germans invaded firstly Rumania and secondly Greece, and they were forced to flee across the Mediterranian. Although this book can be read by people interested in different aspects of life during World War II and in the Middle East it is basically the story of a marriage. Set in a fascinating and beautifully-crafted story, it leads me to the title of this review: can there be anywhere else in literature a more self-centered and egotistical husband than Guy Pringle ? And his wife Harriet: she has the excuse of being young, but why doesn't she do something to rectify the sad situations in which she finds herself over and over again ? However: read this book. Once started, especially if you have read "The Balkan Trilogy" first, you won't be able to put it down. And some of the twists and turns of the plot will have you gasping. Excellent !
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Jun. 2015
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The three books which make up The Levant Trilogy are “The Danger Tree,” “The Battle Lost and Won,” and “The Sum of Things.” These novels follow on from Oliva Manning’s, “The Balkan Trilogy,” in which we first met young married couple, Guy and Harriet Pringle. .” In the Balkan novels, we followed newlyweds, Guy and Harriet Pringle, as they embarked on married life in Budapest – later moving to Greece. “The Danger Tree” sees many of these characters reappear, such as Pinkrose, Dubebat, Lush and Dobson. There are also new characters, such as the young officer, Simon Boulderstone, who has been separated from his unit, and the beautiful Edwina.

“The Danger Tree,” sees the Pringles now in Egypt; having fled Greece at the end of the “Balkan Trilogy,” As before, the move has not seen them any more settled – there are constant rumours of the planned evacuation of Cairo and the city seems to have become the, “clearing house of Eastern Europe.” Guy, so trusting and naïve, is hurt when Gracey appears to have no use for him in the organisation and finds himself shunted off to Alexandria, where Harriet worries he will be cut off by the approaching Germans. Unwilling to accept he is not wanted by Gracey, and always giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, Guy attempts to bury himself in work.

As always, Harriet is in the unenviable position of seeing Guy always admired, and used, by his many friends; while he gives his attentions to his students, his friends and his acquaintances, but never to her. She feels ill-used, neglected and at a loss of how to help, making excuses for her husband, while the war continues to cause chaos around her.
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Having just read the Balkan Trilogy I couldn't wait to continue with this book. I wasn't disappointed the only regret is that I devoured them too quickly and in fairness must let a little time elapse before I read them again.
Now familiar with some of the characters seeing how things develop was engrossing and the reports of the war rang sadly true.
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