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A Soldier of the Great War Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Oct 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Audiogo; Unabridged edition (Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602833125
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602833128
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 4.6 x 15.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,058,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

"Fit to stand alongside the works of Erich Maria Remarque, and, yes, Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms . . . . Helprin has written a monumental novel." - Front Page, The Washington Post Book Review
For Alessandro Giuliani, the son of a prosperous Roman lawyer, trees shimmer in the sun beneath a sky of perfect blue, and at night the moon is amber as Rome seethes with light. He races horses across country to the sea, climbs in the Alps, and is a student of painting and aesthetics. And he falls in love, deeply and eternally. Then the Great War intervenes. Half a century later, in August of 1964, Alessandro, a white-haired professor, finds himself unexpectedly on the road with an illiterate young factory worker. During a walk over days and nights, the old man tells the story of his life. How he was a soldier, a hero, a prisoner, and a deserter. And how he tragically lost one family, but gained another. Dazzled by the action and envious of the richness and color of the story, the boy realizes that the old man's magnificent tale of love and war is more than just a tale: it is the recapitulation of his life, his reckoning with mortality, and above all, a love song for his family.
"With riotous energy and sustained brilliance . . . Helprin lights his own way, in his own singular direction." - Time
"Tolstoy . . . Stephen Crane . . . Stendhal . . . Now - daringly, dazzlingly - Mark Helprin stakes his claim to membership in these latter ranks . . . . He succeeds triumphantly." - The Chicago Tribune
A New York Times Bestseller
Educated at Harvard, Princeton, and Oxford, Mark Helprin served in the Israeli army, Israeli Air Force, and British Merchant Navy. He is the author of, among other titles, Refiner's Fire, Ellis Island and Other Stories, Winter's Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, Memoir from Antproof Case, The Pacific and Other Stories, and Freddy and Fredericka.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Mark Helprin was educated at Harvard, Princeton, and Oxford and served in the Israeli Army, Israeli Air Force, and British Merchant Navy. He is the author of, among other titles, A Dove of the East and Other Stories, Refiner s Fire, Winter s Tale, and A Soldier of the Great War. He lives in Virginia. --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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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I had never read any of Mark Helprin's work before I picked up "A Soldier of the Great War." After finishing this wonderful book, all I can say is that apparently I've been missing out. Helprin has created a book that will move you to joy and sadness, and that will remind you of why you love to read. It is a truly great novel.
What will stick in your mind each time you put the book down are the compelling characters. Helprin has concoted a wonderful cast to populate the world of his protagonist, Alessandro Giuliani. From the mad dwarf Orfeo, to the Austrian princess hidden from sight, even the smallest characters in the book will leave an indelible imprint on your memory. They seem like real people, and that's hard for any writer to bring off consistently. Helprin manages it effortlessly.
If you've come this far in the amazon.com site, you're obviously considering reading this book. Do it. You won't be disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked this book up mistaking it for another. I am very pleased I did. It is not often that a book engages one from first to last, it was a captivating expereince. There were complaints through-out my household as to "what the heck is he doing with that book". It made me quite anti-social.
Some books rely on the scene setting to drag you along "ever hopeful" , some seem to perk up in the mid-riff and others entice one with the closing chapters and the "resolution". Here, I was picked up and carried along, constantly both satisfied and wanting more. I am unable to imagine a better conclusion to the story and have been left wondering what the heck I am going to read now.
Mark, you have given me great pleasure and now, untold grief!
This is a book who's time will come as people who have read it, recover and start to tell others. And all because a boy was late for a bus......
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Format: Hardcover
An extraordinary book, quite unlike anything else.
It covers the various adventures of a dashing young Italian around the time of WW1, including foolhardy student capers, colourful romantic entanglements, shocking combat scenes, dramatic mountaineering experiences, terrifying brushes with death and an epic love story, all told by an ageing man walking along a road having missed his bus. Some of the characters and episodes are a bit too surreal and uneven for some tastes, but the overall effect takes the breath away.
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Format: Hardcover
If you want to know why the recent list of the 100 greatest 20th century novels is such a farce, then read this book. Mark Helpin has more talent in his pinky than most of the writers who made that list. This book is stunningly awesome.
I am fascinated by turn-of-the-century Europe and the Great War, and Mark Helprin managed to lock into my mind and take me back to that period. Unlike others whose only critique was the slow build-up, I couldn't get enough of the long journey that Alessandro and Nicolo embarked upon. Alessandro was in the Great War and I hung on his every word and memory.
This book is powerful and moving. Helprin, through Alessandro, pleads with us to remember all of the soldiers who lie under the white crosses. Their lives were meaninglessly thrown away, but we have the power to restore meaning just by remembering them. The ending of this book is so perfect that I wanted to cry but I was too awestruck by the beauty and the power and the meaning of the book as a whole.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most beautifully composed and gripping tales I have read in a long long time. A thrilling journey through the life of an Italian Solider in the First World war it touches on topics much wider and more fundamental to life than to war. The book is masterfully written and the choice of words and use of language skillfully managed. It is not however a book that you can only read a page or two of so be prepared to fend of the "Just what is it you're reading that is so good" questions. Buy it and read it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mark Helprin, with the exception of Freddy and Fredericka, is one of those amazing writers most people don't know about.

I was introduced to him by an American academic and have now read all his novels.

It's wonderful. A love story, a story of friendship a story of the war in the Alps. The characters are amazing, the prose is luminous.

Try it you will not be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
This book tells the story of Alessandro Giuliani: both of his early life and his experiences in the Great War (World War I). Alessandro's story is framed within a long walk. In 1964, the 74 year old Alessandro, a retired professor of aesthetics, is travelling by streetcar from Rome to a village 70 kilometres away. At the edge of the city, he sees a young man running to catch the streetcar, but the driver will not stop to let him on. Alessandro demands to be let off the bus, and thus begins his walk with Nicolò, an illiterate 17 year old factory worker.
At first, the walk is about persistence - walking to a distant destination. But as Nicolò is stirred from complacence into curiosity, the walk becomes Alessandro's story of the Great War.

`There's nothing to tell about a war unless you tell how it began.'

Before the war, Alessandro lives a comparatively privileged life with his parents and his sister. He is a student of aesthetic theories, learning to experience many different aspects of life. And then the war intervenes. Alessandro's experience of war is complete: he is a soldier, a hero, a deserter and a prisoner. Each of these experiences has shaped him, and provides insights into the nature of war. The overwhelming sense was on successive losses: innocence; pride; belief and perhaps of love. Returning to Italy after the war, Alessandro finds that everyone he loves is either dead or vanished.

But the focus of the novel is not so much on disillusionment but on overcoming it. In Alessandro's world, it is possible to find beauty and joy in life almost anywhere. The strongest image for me is the one in which Alessandro looking into a marble quarry at night where men are splitting marble to make gravestones for the Italian dead.
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