Private Angelo (Canongate Classics): 9 Paperback – 23 Jun 2008
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"He writes not only of an angel, but like one . . . "Private Angelo" is now a permanent portrait in the heavenly gallery of human frailty." --"Observer"
About the Author
Eric Linklater's memories of Orkney and student life informed his first novel, "White Maa's Saga" (1929), while the success of "Poet's Pub" in the same year led him to take up writing as a full-time career. A hilarious satirical novel, "Juan in America" (1931), followed his American trip, while the equally irreverent" Magnus Merrimen" (1934) was based on his experience as a Nationalist candidate for a by-election in East Fife.
Top Customer Reviews
This story was written just after the end of WW2 in 1946, it is written in beautiful English and is very engaging. It is a satire, a comedy but, at the same time, a moral story about the futility of war and how individuals of one nation interact with individuals of another nation at a time of conflict. I enjoyed it when I first read it some 50-odd years ago so I bought it so I could enjoy the story again.
This is rather an odd sort of book. It is ostensibly a comic novel, and is indeed often quite funny, but contains many tragic sequences, which are handled with aplomb. It contains, and I feel odd just writing this, perhaps the most lightly handled rape scene in any novel I've ever read. And yet - for a novel with death, secret police and rape - this is quite a funny book. Heaven knows how it works - but it does.
Mr Linklater's pen covers a wide range of the war, from village life to scheming aristocrats in Rome. From cheerful American drivers ("Hiya, toots!") to dashing British special forces to German soldiers carrying out collective punishment to wild French Colonial soldiers (the infamous Goums). There are battles, intrigues, love, cowardice and lots of pregnant women.
This book tends towards the amusing more than the hilarious and casts a fond eye on the Italians, demonstrating their good and their bad qualities. He was well positioned to do this, having served in the Italian Campaign of World War II, about which he later wrote a history book (this novel was originally published in 1946 and was written with the war ongoing). His characters are very human, his situations authentic and his writing vivid.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A splendid book as fresh as when I read it when it first came out. His subtle humour and brilliance of observation make it a classicPublished 12 months ago by Margaret Lough