The Good Soldier

The Good Soldier

3.6 37
by Ford Madox Ford
     
 

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The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion is a 1915 novel by English novelist Ford Madox Ford. It is set just before World War I and chronicles the tragedy of Edward Ashburnham, the soldier to whom the title refers, and his own seemingly perfect marriage and that of two American friends. The novel is told using a series of flashbacks in non-chronological order, a literary

Overview

The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion is a 1915 novel by English novelist Ford Madox Ford. It is set just before World War I and chronicles the tragedy of Edward Ashburnham, the soldier to whom the title refers, and his own seemingly perfect marriage and that of two American friends. The novel is told using a series of flashbacks in non-chronological order, a literary technique that formed part of Ford's pioneering view of literary impressionism. Ford employs the device of the unreliable narrator to great effect as the main character gradually reveals a version of events that is quite different from what the introduction leads the reader to believe. The novel was loosely based on two incidents of adultery and on Ford's messy personal life.

The novel�s original title was The Saddest Story, but after the onset of World War I, the publishers asked Ford for a new title. Ford suggested (sarcastically) The Good Soldier, and the name stuck.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940149597451
Publisher:
Bronson Tweed Publishing
Publication date:
03/20/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
177 KB

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The Good Soldier 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This arch narrative, covering the subtle, adult betrayals of four members of a pair of couples visiting spas and various grand estates in the early part of the 20th century, conveys as much tragedy as any play by O'Neill and tells you as much about England as any work of Shakespeare. Published in 1915, THE GOOD SOLDIER conveys a sense of Britain's decline not usually detailed in British literature until the 1930s. It seems extraordinarily modern. In some ways, it seems less naive than something written today. Its prose is Jamesian, but these characters are decadent to the core. James never quite describes decadence. It is, also, somehow, a very funny book. HAMLET can be funny, too, of course, so, beware: This is a dark tale indeed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The best French novel in the English language' lives up to its description (I forget by whom). I was lucky to find (and abscond with) it in my uncle's old book closet. It is a fascinating read; the characters slowly develop and morph as the book continues, and the reader has the pleasure of watching the narrator's own perception of the incidents morph upon extended reflection. I agree with the previous review: once you've finished it, you'll find it just begs to be read a second time.
RomiandHenri More than 1 year ago
Skip the intro. It tells you everything that happens and takes away the joy of discovery. You can read it after you finish the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿If for nine years I have possessed a goodly apple that is rotten at the core and discover its rotteness only in nine years and six months less four days, isn¿t it true to say that for nine years I possessed a goodly apple?¿ Amazing. Is ignorance bliss? This book is a classic case of the 'unreliable narrator.' Don't trust what Dowell says- draw your own conclusions. Therein lies the brilliance of the story. Read it again and you'll only discover more...
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book just proves there is nothing new under the sun. The narrator was so wrapped up into himself that he never realized til his wife was dead that she had played him like a card! The author writes this in a realistic vein. After learning that his entire marriage has been a sham, the narrator is so upset he has to journal the events on paper. I can't say chronicle because he didn't write anything in order.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Good Soldier is a truly brilliant book. While I was a little distressed to realize I was in my 30's by the time I got around to reading it, I also suspect I might not have fully appreciated this masterpiece at a younger age, and I don't say that very often. The Good Soldier's innocuous title masks a dark, complex, and perceptive portrait of "the falling to pieces of a people." Ford Madox Ford makes masterful use of the "dim witted" narrator trick to infuse much of this dark tale with a surprisingly effective wit, in a manner reminiscent of, but much sharper than, Wilkie Collins's Moonstone character Betteredge. Indeed, Ford takes several unconventional techniques and perfects them in this book, such as the use of a non-chronological narration a la Henry James. The novel will cause you to wade up to the knees in rich and often sinister word play, but it manages to seldom feel overwhelming. I highly recommend it.
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A riveting masterpieece.
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