Birdsong: A Novel of Love and War

Birdsong: A Novel of Love and War

by Sebastian Faulks
4.4 31

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Birdsong: A Novel of Love and War by Sebastian Faulks

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307820389
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/21/2012
Series: Vintage International
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 62,340
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Sebastian Faulks is best known for his trilogy of novels set in France: The Girl at the Lion d’Or, Birdsong, and Charlotte Gray, the latter two of which were bestsellers. After a period in France, he and his family now live in London.

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Birdsong 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Aphroditecrc More than 1 year ago
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this book. I was afraid that all the war descriptions would put me off but the book is written so well that you don't feel overwhelmed by the descriptions of the war. I also really like the way the author ties the different generations together. The characters are written brilliantly, even the lesser characters, but not in a way that confuses the story or makes it complicated. It wasn't a can't put down book but I felt very fulfilled when it ended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am an avid reader of all periods of historical fiction and had never read anything by SFaulks when I picked this book up. From page one he created such a consuming, emotionally gripping love story that progressed into a war story/details that I never would have guessed the book would contain. In the course of reading the book I think I actually read much of it twice out of awe for his beautiful mastery of the english language. His descriptions and understanding of human emotion, both strength and weakness, are brilliant and I found myself feeling as though I was right there in the midst of the trenches and as though I knew each of the men personally. What astounded me most was the honest realty which he wasn't afraid to portray, sometimes making the reader uncomfortable but lending such integrity to the story and the details. After reading the book I wanted to research The Great War more to have a better understanding of context for the characters. Since completing Birdsong, I have also read Charlotte Gray and The Girl at the Lion D'or, which are both excellent as well. Birdsong is truly a book that will stay with you and will change your life and the way you view history.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like psychological fiction and can stomach painfully real battlefield stories, this book is for you. Sebastian Faulks' Stephen Wraysford is a complex character even before he becomes a soldier. But I was in awe of how well Faulks depicts the mental stages Wraysford (and his comrades) pass through as the war trudges on and on and on. What was worse - to be aboveground watching someone's body parts get blown off or tunnelling below, where any day you could be buried alive? I give the book four stars rather than five because the beginning of the book dealing with his pre-war life seemed disjointed and the interspersed story of his granddaughter told more about her life than was necessary to the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have thoroughly enjoyed this, as well as other books by Sebastian Faulks. He is a wonderful author - very adept at developing his characters and the history surrounding them. I found myself totally immersed in their lives. I know I will be very reluctant to to leave these people when the story ends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was quite busy those days at the Studios. I work as a Broadcasting News Producer here in Madrid. We had lots of Press Conferences to attend plus lots of pictures to buy. But I was definitely flashed, amazed and in love. Wraysford character was the one. The truth is that I haven't finish it yet but I'm so deeply shocked by this narrative that I need to share it. There's something in it the makes you dive into your own personal hero. While in London a good British friend of mine A.Power told me; 'You better by this book, is touching indeed'-He says. And I really enjoyed it, It's fashing, deep and you wish to arrive home in order to dive again... Victoria and David were trying to find a 'Chalet' to buy here in 'La Moraleja' posh area.While I was in Brussels with Stephen granddaughter trying to make sure if her lover were about to leave his wife or not.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Birdsong is possibly one of the greatest novels of all time, having fought in both the battle of the Somme and the 3rd battle of Ypres i am yet to have found such a brilliant yet descriptive view of what went on during those fateful days. Along with a griping story of one mans love for a women he cannot have and the advance into the 70's for a look at how other generations viewed the war. 'Birdsong' is possibly the greatest novel of the last 10 years.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a voracious reader - and this simply is one of the best books I've ever read. It was just so unbelievably beautiful - even among all the horror and pain of WWI. I felt I was living every moment with the men trapped and doomed by the war. I highly recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked up Birdsong from a used bookstore purely on chance--I had never even heard of Sebastian Faulks before. From the moment I began reading I was entranced. I finished this book in a weekend and was thoroughly engrossed. It was a fantastically moving story of love and longing, survival and struggle. Although Wraysford's character seems detached and distant, I was caught up in his life throughout the book. The intensity of his desire for this woman left all his other experiences seeming pale, and I nearly cried for him in his need for her. Anyone who has ever felt the sting of love unrequited will relate with his longing. A completely wonderful read.
ESLLady More than 1 year ago
Didn't like the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WJean More than 1 year ago
A love and war story a little graphic but nothing you don't see in the movies now. It is a story you won't be able to put down.
Book-touched More than 1 year ago
Not my typical read, but I appreciated the historical aspect of this novel. I was touched deeply.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It has been a long time since I was sad to finish a book. Despite all 450 pages with too much devoted, in my opinion, to the war instead of the love story, I got lost during the winter nights in this book. I am better, enriched, for having read it, connecting with the process of a young man's journey through an affair and WWI in France. Which broke his heart more? How does one recover? Who loved him more, Isabelle, Jeanne, or Captain Weir in the midst of his isolation? It's hard to say. Thank you, Sebastian Faulks, for this modern, classic novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 16 years old and LOVED this book. I enjoy learning and reading about WWI and WWII. Once you pick up 'Birdsong', it will be hard to put down. The characters are brilliantly written and the love story will instantly draw you in. The description[s] of war are sometimes hard  to read, but are honestly and realistically portrayed. The love story is beautiful, and equally heartbreaking as well. Sebastian Faulks tied the different generations of the story together in a way that is not confusing to the reader. The ending is somewhat abrupt in my opinion. But overall, I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fictions.
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AmarieRL More than 1 year ago
AMAAAAAAAAAAAZING BOOK! absolutely left me breathless but heart-wrenching at some parts. The description of war and how the way he phrases the words to know what the characters are feeling but not directly describing it drew me in to love it more. I'm glad I bought it/
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My book club is reading this for May, so I will stick with it until the end, but if not for that, I'd give up on this too detailed, too male oriented, too dull novel. It doesn't even compare to Fall of Giants, another World War One novel which had me spellbound from page one. I'll just wait anxiously for its sequel, coming in September.
ishgh More than 1 year ago
Loved the book, alot of historical fiction, war was very intense, I will be sure to get other books by Sebastian Faulks. Good for book club discussion.
D-loves-books More than 1 year ago
Beautiful story that combines all the highlights and heartbreaks of life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, I was relieved to finish this book and find out who won The Great War. Other than that, I found it to be a dichotomous story of love and war with little connection between the two. Combined with largely irrelevant and lengthy descriptions relating to minor characters, it became somewhat tedious to complete this book. The modern day chapters further diluted the main themes and ended with a resounding dud. The only reason I gave it three stars was its excellent portrayal of the horrors of trench warfare.