Published to international critical and popular acclaim, this intensely romantic yet stunningly realistic novel spans three generations and the unimaginable gulf between the First World War and the present. As the young Englishman Stephen Wraysford passes through a tempestuous love affair with Isabelle Azaire in France and enters the dark, surreal world beneath the trenches of No Man's Land, Sebastian Faulks creates a world of fiction that is as tragic as A Farewell to Arms and as sensuous as The English Patient. Crafted from the ruins of war and the indestructibility of love, Birdsong is a novel that will be read and marveled at for years to come.
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Readers who are entranced by the sweeping Anglo sagas of Masterpiece Theatre will devour Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks's historical drama. A bestseller in England, there's even a little high-toned erotica thrown into the mix to convince the doubtful. The book's hero, a 20-year-old Englishman named Stephen Wraysford, finds his true love on a trip to Amiens in 1910. Unfortunately, she's already married, the wife of a wealthy textile baron. Wrayford convinces her to leave a life of passionless comfort to be at his side, but things do not turn out according to plan. Wraysford is haunted by this doomed affair and carries it with him into the trenches of World War I. Birdsong derives most of its power from its descriptions of mud and blood, and Wraysford's attempt to retain a scrap of humanity while surrounded by it. There is a simultaneous description of his present-day granddaughter's quest to read his diaries, which is designed to give some sense of perspective; this device is only somewhat successful. Nevertheless, Birdsong is an unflinching war story that is bookended by romances and a rewarding read.From the Publisher:
Birdsong was voted one of the best books of the century in a poll conducted by Waterstone's booksellers and Channel Four TV in the United Kingdom. Here's a selection of the praise that has been pouring in:
"Birdsong moved me more profoundly than anything I've read in years ... A deeply compassionate, utterly thrilling work by a master of the form."
-- Frank Conroy
"The accounts of combat are among the finest I have ever read ... so powerful as to be almost unbearable ... a tribute to the author's remarkable skill and tact and dazzling virtuosity."
-- Los Angeles Times
"An amazing book ... among the most stirringly erotic I have read."
-- The Daily Mail (London)
"Magnificent -- gorgeously written, deeply moving, rich in detail."
-- The Times (London)
"Superb storytelling and craftsmanship ... a tribute to the durability of the human soul."
"Vividly imagined ... this strenuous and poignant effort to shore up memory deserves our gratitude."
"Superb ... a genuinely cathartic description of the war's last days."
-- New York Times Book Review
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Book Description 1997. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780679776819
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 935985
Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 196 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 Wraysford, a young Englishman who journeys to France on business in 1910 and becomes so entangled in a passionate clandestine love affair that he never returns home. Rootless and heartbroken when war breaks out in 1914, he joins the army and is given command of a brigade of miners, whose macabre assignment is to tunnel beneath German lines and set off bombs under the enemy trenches - thereby creating a pitch-dark subterranean battlefield even more ghastly than the air and trench warfare above them. As have many lost young men, Stephen finds a place and an intense camaraderie in this tortuous world, and through his eyes Faulks reveals not only the unspeakable carnage but the unexpected love and loyalty that took place in the fields of France a mere two generations ago. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780679776819