They Came Like Swallows (Panther) Paperback – 27 Dec 2001
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
In the Morison house the important goes unsaid and indirection is the operative mode--conversation stops where it should start and key terms such as fear, pain and pregnancy fail to be addressed. The younger son, an eight-year-old, passes his days deciphering adults' inaccessible discussions. "In this fashion they communicated with each other, out of knowledge and experience inaccessible to Bunny. By nods and silences. By a tired curve of his mother's mouth. By his father's measuring glance over the top of his spectacles". Bunny's older brother would rather escape to the outside world, and their father finds declaiming the day's headlines--the end of World War I and the onslaught of Spanish Influenza--far preferable to engagement. Only Elizabeth, their mother, is capable of holding the family together. The fifth main character in They Came Like Swallows is the house itself. Maxwell expresses the boys' reactions through this labile, interior landscape. Bunny finds the dining room can be "braced and ready for excitement"; later his brother realises "for the first time how still the house was, how full of waiting ... tense and expectant". Though war never makes it to Illinois, the flu changes all. First Bunny is stricken, and once he recovers Elizabeth, pregnant, dies from it. In quiet, piercing prose, William Maxwell's second novel, originally published in 1937, evokes the greatest of losses and the terrors of imagination. --Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"There aren't many truly great writers... William Maxwell is one of them" (The Times)
"A story of such engaging warmth that it will melt many a reader to tears" (Time Magazine)
"Very delightful" (V.S. Pritchett)
"Rare...exquisite...a cameo-like perfection" (New York Herald Tribune)
"A lovely, heartbreaking book" (New York Sun)
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Told in three parts, this story begins from the view point of young Bunny, who succumbs to the Spanish Flu and becomes very ill, requiring even more of his mother's devoted care; the story continues from the perspective of Robert, who feels his mother is someone he must try to protect; and part three of the story is told from the viewpoint of James, who loves his wife dearly and thinks of her as the foundation on which his family rests, knowing that without her, life would become intolerable. When more than one member of the Morison family falls ill with the terrible flu virus, their lives are altered irrevocably, but to say more would spoil this brief, but warm and sensitive portrait of American family life. Beautifully observed and deftly-composed, this novella is one that is best enjoyed in one sitting, as the reader becomes slowly drawn into the intensity of the Morisons' lives and of the fate that befalls them.
It is, however, true that his work is better known in his own country. All the more reason for this book to be republished in 2008 by Vintage Classics and the writing will certainly encourage readers to explore his 5 novels [The Château, 1961, being an excellent exploration of the love and sadness of a childless American couple in post-war France], collections of short stories and non-fictional work. It is true that post-war events in America do not feature in Maxwell’s work and his description of post-war France in The Château is very different from the perspective of other American writers of the time.
Delicacy may not be a widely-appreciated appreciated quality today but writing such as we have here shows how muscular and flowing such a term can be. There are autobiographical elements in this book, as in his other works - one brother having part of a leg amputated, the family’s Scottish ancestry, the very different characters of the siblings as well as other matters that are central to the story.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved ' So Long, See You Tomorrow, ' not so much this, felt a little distant.Published 17 months ago by sally meakins
A bit like the others. Too much so. But I have read all of William Maxwell's booksPublished 19 months ago by penrhynian
Beautiful, lyrical and moving. For such a short book based on a very simple premise, this book moved me profoundly. Read morePublished 23 months ago by lealswee
This family portrait was written in the 30's and is set in 1918. It takes you right into the spoken and unspoken aspects of family life, narrated in third person but from three... Read morePublished on 17 Mar. 2011 by Sabina
Just beautiful - I judge people by whether they like this book. Please, please read it.Published on 18 Oct. 2004 by C Graham