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A cumbersome read
on 7 April 2015
First published in 1915, the author in fact wished the title to be The Saddest Story, and when his publisher objected, suggested The Good Soldier as a joke and was horrified when it was taken up.
The plot revolves around two couples, one American and one English, both ill-matched and miserable, and how they head towards destruction, leaving two of them dead and others in ruins along the way.
It's a very difficult, uncomfortable read, with 234 "notes" at the end. As none of the characters are sympathetic or likeable, and the book is hard to plough through, I didn't enjoy it although the last quarter had rather more in the way of plot revelations, as much is hidden or only hinted at to start with.
It's probably "good literature" but not an easy read.
And the "Saddest Story"? It is according to Ford the fact that men's love for women passes, "as the shadows pass across sundials".