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The Good Soldier

A Tale of Passion

Ford, Ford Madox

(Book - 1991)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Good Soldier
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"This is the saddest story," the narrator notes of his friend Edward Ashburham's life. A superb soldier and the perfect English gentleman, the Ashburham has one fatal flaw with regard to affairs of love. Ford weaves a brilliant tale-long recognized as one of the masterpieces of twentieth century fiction-in which nothing is quite what it seems, including the narrator's telling of the tale.

Series that include this title

Publisher: New York : Knopf, 1991
ISBN: 9780679406655
0679406654
Branch Call Number: FICTION FORD
Characteristics: xlvii, 220 p. ;,21 cm

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Oct 21, 2014
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The fragile pre-World War I society which the novel's four characters inhabit is torn apart revealing deceit, hatred, infidelity and betrayal. The 'good soldier's' life appears unimpeachable. But behind the facade his 'good' life was rotting away. The novel has been called 'one of the triumphs of 20th centruy literature.'

Oct 21, 2014
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The fragile pre-World War I society which the novel's four characters inhabit is torn apart revealing deceit, hatred, infidelity and betrayal. The 'good soldier's' life appears unimpeachable. But behind the facade his 'good' life was rotting away. The novel has been called 'one of the triumphs of 20th centruy literature.'

Sep 03, 2014
  • patienceandfortitude rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

The characters in this novel were such horrible people that I found if very difficult to enjoy the book. The writing was very good, but that wasn't enough to make me happy.

Nov 04, 2012
  • Sarah1984 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

23/8 - I admit, I picked this book up because it's in the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die book and because I thought this book had something to do with WWI. I've read the first 20 pages so far and while I was reading it I kept expecting something war related to crop up. I have now been enlightened as to why nothing ever did crop up by the previous reviews for the book. While I was surprised by this, so far I'm not disappointed with the different plot. Check back later for further developments.

25/8 - This is the second book I've read this week where the author insists on being mysterious about the locations he's (or she, as was the case with the previous book) writing about. What's with M_____ as a substitute to actually giving the name of a holiday destination that the characters were heading to. The book is fictional, if you don't want to use real location names make up a place (argghh).
Other than that small but highly irritating niggle I'm enjoying the book. At the moment it appears to be a slowly revealed mystery (perhaps murder) about two perfect couples, at least they are on the surface. One couple, John and Florence Dowell are British and the other, Edward and Leonora Ashburnham, are American. The two couples meet at some kind of spa for the treatment of heart problems (it's set in 1913/14). By the end of the book Edward and Florence are both dead and the narrator, John, is retelling the tale of how they got that way through his and Leonora's recollections. It was a little slow moving, but it became more interesting when we learned that Edward was a serial philanderer and that he and Florence were having an affair leading up to their deaths. To be continued...

3/9 - Goodness, I didn't realise how long it had been since I last added to this review. At about the spot where I was up to with the last review I got a bit bored of the constant misdirections and back and forth in time tangents that Ford sent the story on. He'd be going on in a normal linear time line and then some little point of a conversation or anecdote would send us back in time some months or years. I started getting confused as to what order the events in the 'present day' time line actually happened, he jumped back and forth so often. I can say that like with most good horror movies, almost everyone dies.

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