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Paperback Parade's End Book

ISBN: 0099577062

ISBN13: 9780099577065

Parade's End

(Part of the Parade's End Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

Not just about the war but about a whole era and its destruction"quite simply, the best fictional treatment of war in the history of the novel"-Mary Gordon. "There are not many English novels which... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Engrossing, important

How I wish I could urge this enormous, engrossing, and satisfying novel on everyone who, for instance, loved Pat Barker's WWI Trilogy, or Ford's own THE GOOD SOLDIER, or Mary Renault's THE CHARIOTEER, or indeed anyone who cares about intricate characterization, a terrific love story, sweep and intricacy in serious fiction. The love story of Christopher Tietjens and Valentine Wannop, and Tietjens monumental battle with his vicious wife Sylvia and all the British ruling class who prop her up, will enthrall you. Let the Ford Madox Ford revival begin!

A tragedy of change, well told

Ford Madox Ford wrote prolifically, with a repertoire which experimented with style, character and narrative across a variety of settings and subject matters. Ford's Parade's End is among the very best of his works. The centerpiece, Christopher Tietjens, seems on the surface to represent a now-commonplace theme in English literature--the "last English gentleman" metaphorically swept away by modernity in the aftermath of the First World War. The first of this set of novels, "Some Do Not", features an opening passage which is laced with brilliant satire, crystal-clear character development, and a style which is utterly accessible and utterly enchanting. Through the rest of this novel, and well into the next volume, Ford seems to be telling a straightforward "passing of the noble old things" story. But Ford Madox Ford is rarely so straightforward, and these novels are no exception. What seems to begin as a mere bemoaning of a passing age turns into a demonstration of the inevitability, and even the desirability of its passing. Although Ford creates a perfect foil to Tietjens to apparently illustrate the vulgarity and superficiality of the modern age, things are not so simple. Tietjens views his world as irreparably fading, but Ford understands that Tietjens' world may never have existed at all. Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga and CP Snow's Strangers and Brothers novel cycle both try to show the passing of "old England" and the marching in of modernity. Neither Snow nor Galsworthy, though each is wonderful, does as much with narrative style as Ford does here. Ford's novels seem to take a simpler approach to the topic by creating Tietjens, the representative of the "old order", and his wife Sylvia, the representative of the "new", but by the time that the plot is worked out, the reader comes to understand that Ford has created a hall of mirrors and metaphors, and nothing is as simple as it seems. This is one of the great must-reads of 20th C. English literature. It's a shame that it's not required Brit lit reading in every college survey.

This Book is Obscure For No Good Reason.

One of the greatest books EVER written in the English language. Period. (Well, actually, it's four books, but they don't publish them separately anymore.) FMF is a modernist genius in the order of a Faulkner or a Woolf, with a beautiful style, incredibly human characters, and a mind-boggling knowledge of both the human heart and the physical world. FMF seems to be as quasi-omniscient as his noble last Tory, the main character, Christopher Tietjens. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that it's an easy book. Parade's End not a potboiler to read at the beach while you're getting a tan and sipping margaritas. It is a book that challenges the reader to let go of expectation and any hope of conventional structure, and to allow FMF's unique storytelling to settle into your gut slowly. It is a moral novel that doesn't moralize. A book about what it is to be good, to be a human being. FMF's beautiful style is even exceeded by his love for humanity and generosity of spirit. The sheer uncynicalness of the book--especially in this hollow, cynical age--is like a balm on this reader's eyes. This is one of those books, like Sound & The Fury, like Ulysses, like Pride & Prejudice, like Great Expectations, that EVERYONE should read.
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