And Such Great Names as These Paperback – 4 Apr 2007
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"Allen Makepeace evokes the time and place so convincingly, without shoving in research detail for the sake of it." Martyn Bedford, author of The Island of Lost Souls (Bloomsbury 2006), and fiction critic for the Literary Review"'... a gift for the language and landscape of the north-east and an ability to bring the period alive ...'Brighton Argus"... steeped in feeling for the period ... packed with incident ... you just lap it up ..."Northern Echo"... an engaging, fast-moving, page-turning style ..."Sussex Express"...you just lap it up ..."St Albans Observer
A military execution in France...a key event in this story of the conflicting demands of duty, loyalty and love. The war, with its horrifying, endless slaughter on the Western Front, is the backdrop. But it is in a north-east seaport where Dolly Weston, her husband reported missing, falls in love with a wounded army officer, who fears that he will shortly have to return to the Front. Did it show in his face? If they ever told him he was unfit for active service, he would dance for joy. Yet he also felt ashamed. To complicate things further, a deserter emerges, a soldier previously decorated for bravery, and unhealed wounds from a bitter past are reopened. And then there is 10 year-old Joshua, captive to the empty jingoism of his schoolteacher's tales of heroes. It is through small town bigotry and prejudice that the motherless Joshua is led into the world of three people whom he comes to admire and love, but who are destined to be driven cruelly apart. "And Such Great Names as These" is a graphic, sharply-etched novel, raw yet still tender - and above all, deeply convincing.With a skilfully judged plot, characters we identify with and dialogue authentic to the region and period, Allen Makepeace delivers a commanding narrative, both vivid and dramatic. See all Product description
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[Reviewer is the author SHAIKH-DOWN]
This is a richly layered drama with immensely skilful characterisations of the main protagonists, particularly Joshua, although all are totally believable. The boy's ideals, made so realistic by the stories of heroism told by his teacher, Mr.Pybus, his turmoil and insecurities regarding his mother, the chapel and the workhouse, his fears about his own imagined inadequacies, as well as the total joy he has in the company of Dolly and the Lieutenant, come alive for us, as we are invited inside the boy's head to live these feelings with him.
The dialogue is authentic and the story evolves cleverly and with much insight into the human condition.
Together with key events during WW1 and the appalling conditions, graphically drawn, including a military execution in France, we meet the soldier Dexter and the tangled web of deceit and fear that surrounds him.
When these characters come together like a thread woven between two parallel worlds the tone of the book changes to one of raw, gripping drama, with an outcome that is both gripping and poignant.
This book is an astonishing insight into the lives of four people. It is beautifully and thoughtfully written and if you're after a book that will keep you utterly enthralled and stay with you long after you've finished it, look no further.
Linda Cunniffe. Edinburgh.
Note: This reviewer, Martyn Bedford, is the author of five novels, including "The Island of Lost Souls" (Bloomsbury 2006), and is a regular fiction critic for the Literary Review.
jingoism and bigotry.
The young hero lives through a period in the workhouse where his Mother dies.He experiences snobbery and prejudice, meeting characters of 'Dickensian' quality in the patriotic schoolmaster and sanctimonious
trustee of the chapel that dominates the Northern town in which the novel
is set. Echoes of the native tongue resonate throughout. Such are the descriptions and details of this town one feels one is living there
alongside the lad.The author is never sentimental and obviously cares
deeply for Joshua and his other characters who suffer the vicissitudes
of the period in which they live and have their love affairs thwarted
by social class division.or are found to be an army deserter and
hounded .The young hero experiences and witnesses all these happenings
with great resilience and some puzzlement , surviving it all.
A great read to be read more than once.
A reader from Hertfordshire.
Allen Makepeace brings his characters and their environment vividly to life and shows great humanity and perceptiveness in his observation of human nature. It is refreshing to find a book dealing with what life is actually about, that is mainly decent people trying to deal with the problems that life brings them and not always getting it right, and making assumptions and having to deal with the consequences.
Makepeace has got right into the mind of Joshua,the main character, and paints a convincing picture of life at that time as seen through the eyes of a ten year old boy. The threads of the story gradually come together and may well, at the end, leave the reader with food for thought about love, loyalty and the far reaching effects of war and those who go to fight in it.