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Birdsong

By Sebastian Faulks

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Format: Paperback, 528 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 07 July 1994
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Set before and during the great war, Birdsong captures the drama of that era on both a national and a personal scale. It is the story of Stephen, a young Englishman, who arrives in Amiens in 1910. Over the course of the novel he suffers a series of traumatic experiences, from the clandestine love affair that tears apart the family with whom he lives, to the unprecedented experiences of the war itself.

Promotional Information

The bestselling and much-loved classic - Birdsong is an epic tale of love and death during the Great War.

About the Author

Sebastian Faulks was born in April 1953. Before becoming a full-time writer in 1991, he worked as a journalist. Sebastian Faulks's books include A Possible Life, Human Traces, On Green Dolphin Street, Engleby, Birdsong, A Week in December and Where My Heart Used to Beat.

Reviews

Faulks's (A Fool's Alphabet, LJ 4/15/93) story of an Englishman serving with the French army in World War I was a best seller in Britain for almost a year.

"Magnificent - deeply moving" * Sunday Times * "With Birdsong Faulks has produced a mesmerizing story of love and war... This book is so powerful that as I finished it I turned to the front to start again" * Sunday Express * "Amazing... I have read it and re-read it and can think of no other novel for many, many years that has so moved me or stimulated in me so much reflection on the human spirit" * Daily Mail * "An overpowering and beautiful novel... Ambitious, outrageous, poignant, sleep-disturbing, Birdsong is not a perfect novel, just a great one" -- Simon Schama * New Yorker * "Engrossing, moving, and unforgettable" * The Times *

In 1910, England's Stephen Wraysford, a junior executive in a textile firm, is sent by his company to northern France. There he falls for Isabelle Azaire, a young and beautiful matron who abandons her abusive husband and sticks by Stephen long enough to conceive a child. Six years later, Stephen is back in France, as a British officer fighting in the trenches. Facing death, embittered by isolation, he steels himself against thoughts of love. But despite rampant disease, harrowing tunnel explosions and desperate attacks on highly fortified German positions, he manages to survive, and to meet with Isabelle again. The emotions roiled up by this meeting, however, threaten to ruin him as a soldier. Everything about this novel, which was a bestseller in England, is outsized, from its epic, if occasionally ramshackle, narrative to its gruesome and utterly convincing descriptions of battlefield horrors. Faulks (A Fool's Alphabet) proves himself a grand storyteller here. Enlivened with considerable historical detail related through accomplished prose, his narrative flows with a pleasingly appropriate recklessness that brings his characters to dynamic life. (Feb.)

EAN: 9780099387916
ISBN: 0099387913
Publisher: Vintage
Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 3.3 centimetres (0.27 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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1 review(s)
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Nadine on
 
Once you've read this book, you'll find it hard to ever read anything else (let alone a WWI novel) without coming away feeling disatisfied. Faulks portrays the stories of what soldiers endured on the front lines with a delicacy and authenticity that will chill you to the core. A difficult but absolutely compulsory read.

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