- Paperback: 846 pages
- Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd; New edition edition (25 Feb. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1857548922
- ISBN-13: 978-1857548921
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.9 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,678,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Parade's End (Carcanet Fiction) Paperback – 25 Feb 2006
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'the terrifying story of a good man tortured, pursued, driven into revolt, and ruined as far as the world is concerned by the clever devices of a jealous and lying wife' Graham Greene '[Ford] was the only Englishman who stood alongside the great "moderns" - Joyce, Eliot and Pound' Peter Ackroyd 'Of the various demands one can make of the novelist, that he show us the way in which a society works, that he show an understanding of the human heart, that he create characters whose reality we believe and for whose fate we care, that he describe things and people so that we feel their physical presence, that he illuminate our moral consciousness, that he make us laugh and cry, that he delight us by his craftsmanship, there is not one, it seems to me, that Ford does not completely satisfy. There are not many English novels which deserve to be called great: Parade's End is one of them.' --W.H.Auden, 1961
A masterpiece of wartime writing by one of the most esteemed novelists of the twentieth century --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Ford Madox Ford was a modernist and he loved to play with the chronological order of events, as can be seen right at the beginning of this book. Christopher Tietjens starts off on a train with a friend going to play golf, then the story back tracks into the events that led up to why. This happens throughout the book, indeed at one stage you read about the First World War ending, and then you are taken back to the War and the events that happened to Tietjens. This some people may find off putting, but Ford's reasons for this is that we don't think in a particular chronological order, which is after all correct. We may start talking about something that happened and then realise that we have mentioned an event that didn't happen until later in the main event. Also Ford was a great admirer of James Joyce's 'Ulysses', and thus this book or rather the four books that make up this story all contain stream of consciousness. As you can see to read all of this whilst on your daily commute is perhaps too tall an order, as you have to keep a lot in mind until you next pick the book up.
The basic storyline in itself is simple, a man marries a woman who is unfaithful, then himself falls in love with another woman.Read more ›
I wanted him to be rich (though with his propensity for giving money away, there was fat chance of that). I wanted him to get his woman. Most of all I fell for his High Toryism - his sense of obligation to his fellow man, to his country and most of all to his class. His wife was so evil I could not accept her but his 'friend' was oh so true to life. On war at the Front it is wonderful particularly in its focus on noise. Noise troubled Ford more than anything else when he served in France by the was. The minor characters are tremendous; his fellow officers, his father, Macmaster and his horrible wife all stay in the mind. Beware, if 'stream of consciousness' is anathema to you, you will not stay the course. Beware too that the last of the tetrology that this book is was written reluctantly. It drags and would have been better added in a shortened version to the third book.
The novel is very autobiographical and a biography of the author to accompany it would not come amiss. There are two or three good ones available from Amazon.
That led me onto this weighty quartet, which has lived with me for the last couple of months. And it confirms my suspicions that Ford is indeed one of our greatest writers, whether he is currently fashionable or no.
One of my first reactions was that - notwithstanding the publisher's blurbs and cover illustrations - this is NOT a novel "about" the First World War. Yes, the war is an important theme, but it is by no means the only one. In fact the military action, such as it is, features only in the third of the four novels making up the sequence.
No, this book belongs in the pantheon of the great "social" novels - it stands up extremely well against Galsworthy, Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf, Anthony Powell, James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald and even Marcel Proust, who are Ford's true contemporaries. Indeed, it shares with those writers' works an experimental approach to exploring characters' psychological motivations and thought processes that was so characteristic of the 1920s "Modernist" movement. Rarely has a writer captured so well the way in which peoples' minds REALLY work - with confusion, doubt and sudden impulsive decision galloping along in rapid succession. Ford has a rare gift for bathos - broad comedy and real human tragedy can inhabit the same page in a way which can be unsettling, but always rings true.
This is very much a novel of its time - and especially - social milieu.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was recommended by a friend as a favourite book. I persevered but it is written in a heavy style and I found it hard=going which is a shame because I am an avid reader.Published 9 months ago by Fernley
What a wonderful book this is! There are more famous books about life in the trenches of WW1, but this highly autobiographical piece of fiction is the best. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Ann McCabe
It's a beautifully written book but you do have to drag yourself through it. I'm sorry Ford, but I actually loved the series on BBC more than the book. Read morePublished 20 months ago by BookMania
Parade's End is totally absorbing. It really repays being re-read in a way that few other books do. It's a deeply moving book and rich with detail. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Daisy Murphy
Like many, I came to this after watching the TV adaptation. I got halfway through the second novel and then felt as if I too was up to my waist in the cloying mud of a WW1 trench. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Mr Venus