Customer Reviews for

A Soldier of the Great War

Average Rating 4.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

The book I'd want, if stranded on a desert isle.

I'm a reader who tries to stay away from just about anything on a 'bestseller' list. I pride myself in discovering the hidden jewels...E.Annie Proulx,Thomas Mcguane,Mark Helprin, to name a few. There are so many great writers out there who are not churning out lawyer,de...
I'm a reader who tries to stay away from just about anything on a 'bestseller' list. I pride myself in discovering the hidden jewels...E.Annie Proulx,Thomas Mcguane,Mark Helprin, to name a few. There are so many great writers out there who are not churning out lawyer,detective,occult,and lust books,it's hard to get excited about the latest work of some formulaic writer. I was intrigued by the story synopsis on the inside cover of 'Soldier', so decided to give it a whirl. There are few books that are nearly perfect from beginning to end...A Soldier of the Great War is one! Mark Helprin composes, he doesn't write,and some of the passages in this great novel are so stunning in their beauty, I found myself rereading to savor the lines. Someone should tell Oprah's Book Club about this one! Mr. Helprin's masterpiece deserves to be read by anyone and everyone who considers a great novel one of life's treasures. Epic in scope and granduer, Awe inspiring in its prose. This is without a doubt one of my favorite books of all time.

posted by Anonymous on March 20, 2001

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

This is magic realism????

It truly pains me that people read this book as if it is true magic realism and consider it to be a masterpiece. This book is nothing but one enormous coincidence after the other. It's one of the most memorable "stories" I've ever read, but the way in which it is told i...
It truly pains me that people read this book as if it is true magic realism and consider it to be a masterpiece. This book is nothing but one enormous coincidence after the other. It's one of the most memorable "stories" I've ever read, but the way in which it is told is so butchered that I simply could not enjoy it. A scribe that controls the entire world war? Please. And how can we really believe that Alessandro truly loved the lady he married when he instantly fell in love with every woman he ever laid eyes on including his sister. Helprin does nothing but takes the easy way out and tries to pass it off as one of the most sacred forms of writing that ever existed. I'll never read him again. Read Marquez if you want to know what Magic Realism is, because this sure isn't.

posted by 901122 on April 13, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2010

    This is magic realism????

    It truly pains me that people read this book as if it is true magic realism and consider it to be a masterpiece. This book is nothing but one enormous coincidence after the other. It's one of the most memorable "stories" I've ever read, but the way in which it is told is so butchered that I simply could not enjoy it. A scribe that controls the entire world war? Please. And how can we really believe that Alessandro truly loved the lady he married when he instantly fell in love with every woman he ever laid eyes on including his sister. Helprin does nothing but takes the easy way out and tries to pass it off as one of the most sacred forms of writing that ever existed. I'll never read him again. Read Marquez if you want to know what Magic Realism is, because this sure isn't.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2015

    The book itself I would give three stars - the story is great bu

    The book itself I would give three stars - the story is great but the metaphysical blather is a bit too much at times - but I deduct a star for the eBook version. I counted at least 108 typos and I greatly doubt that these were from the original print edition. No, I believe that when they transcribed this book to electronic format, they neglected to closely proofread the result. There are misplaced hyphens and quotes; missing apostrophes; inappropriate paragraph breaks, particularly right in the middle of words but also in such ways as to confuse the speakers of dialogue; and most interestingly, typos like "ail" for "all," "so rar" for "so far," "weil" for "we'll," and "batde" for "battle" which seem to indicate their OCR needed some calibration. And it's not my reader device. I looked into the source html and found every typo in there, just as it was displayed on screen. Really a sloppy, disgraceful job.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2013

    I suppose one could say it is a fantastic story--which it is--bu

    I suppose one could say it is a fantastic story--which it is--but it became tedious for me fairly early as I just couldn't connect with the characters. I found myself continually seeing what page I was on because I choose to never abandon a book once I've started reading it. Nonetheless, the descriptions of World War I were magnificent and, for that alone, I'm glad I spent my time finishing it. Never again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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