A Soldier of the Great War (Paperback)
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DescriptionFrom acclaimed novelist Mark Helprin, a lush, literary epic about love, beauty, and the world at war Alessandro Giuliani, the young son of a prosperous Roman lawyer, enjoys an idyllic life full of privilege: he races horses across the country to the sea, he climbs mountains in the Alps, and, while a student of painting at the ancient university in Bologna, he falls in love. Then the Great War intervenes. Half a century later, in August of 1964, Alessandro, a white-haired professor, tall and proud, meets an illiterate young factory worker on the road. As they walk toward Monte Prato, a village seventy kilometers away, the old man--a soldier and a hero who became a prisoner and then a deserter, wandering in the hell that claimed Europe--tells him how he tragically lost one family and gained another. The boy, envying the richness and drama of Alessandro's experiences, realizes that this magnificent tale is not merely a story: it's a recapitulation of his life, his reckoning with mortality, and above all, a love song for his family.
- Published: 01 June 2005
- Format: Paperback 860 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780156031134 ISBN 10: 0156031132
- Sales rank: 160,956
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Reviews for A Soldier of the Great War
The White War
This is a novel of the "White War" - a little known part of WWI history fought in the Italian/Austrian alps.
For more see:
https://www.facebook.com/citadelofice by Laurence May
A DREADFUL BOOK = EXCRUCIATING READING
Never was I MORE RELIEVED to be done with reading a book as I was with this one. This tale, in which Alessandro Giuliani, an aging First World War veteran in his dotage, speaks about his life to a young lad (Nicolo) in his late teens while the 2 make their way on foot from the countryside to Rome during August 1964, is ponderous and tiresome. Alessandro, who grew up and lived a life of ease and comfort up til the First World War, loves to pontificate on just about any subject. In this respect, he comes across as very annoying and pompous.
The prose also had a tendency to be clunky and superfluous. This novel I had had in a closet for almost a decade. But it was only a few weeks ago that I felt compelled to read it because it touched on the First World War (a subject I am more eager to learn about) and it had been a New York Times Bestseller. So, the more I read this novel, the more I found myself fighting it, hoping that I would find a more engaging tale. Alas, it was not to be.
To quote the character McBain from "The Simpsons": 'BYE, BOOK!' Begone! To the local library this book goes. by WES MONTGOMERY