After The War and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

After The War Hardcover – April 28, 1992

9 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$5.95 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Featured New Release in Literature & Fiction
Check out In a Dark, Dark Wood, by Ruth Ware, a featured new release this month. Learn more | See related books

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Just as Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County is a microcosm of the anguish of the post-Civil War South, so Marius's Bourbon County in eastern Tennessee is a mirror of the anxieties, racial tensions and xenophobia of mainstream America in the aftermath of World War I. Paul Alexander, the narrator of this magnificent novel, is a Greek immigrant raised in Belgium who is haunted by the specters of his two closest friends, both killed alongside him in battle. As Alexander, himself a wounded young veteran, adjusts to life in provincial Tennessee, where he works as a chemist in an iron foundry, the shades of his two dead buddies--or his hallucination of them--interact with him and comment ironically on the action. Bourbonville's crises turn on the conflict of values between Moreland Pinkerton, a crude, expansive foundry owner emblematic of untamed industrial progress, and Brian Ledbetter, an old independent farmer with five wayward stepsons. Writing with the depth and veracity of classic realist fiction, Marius ( Bound for the Promised Land ) spins subplots about Paul's search for the cowardly father who abandoned him; Paul's passionate but loveless affair with an older woman; and a black WW I pilot's visions of political revolution. A wondrous odyssey, this moving novel is a deep meditation on whether our lives are shaped by destiny or a chain of accidents.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Marius's background as Tennessean and historian is clearly reflected in his first novel since Bound for the Promised Land ( LJ 6/15/76) . It is a compex story of life in the small Tennessee town of Bourbonville following World War I, told from the viewpoint of a Greek refugee who finds himself thrust into the middle of a feud between the town's two leading citizens. Haunted by the ghosts of two dead wartime companions and his attempt to deny his own heritage, Paul finds himself inexorably drawn into the life of the town. He soon finds that everyone in Bourbonville is haunted--by xenophobia, racism, religious fanaticism, the frustration of unfulfilled dreams, and the memories of an earlier war. The result is an explosion of violence that is ultimately offset by the redemptive power of love. Marius, who dedicated this book to his father, obviously drew heavily on his family's personal history to construct this resonant, if at times somewhat melodramatic, tale that marvelously captures the sense of time and place. Highly recommended, especially for public libraries.
-David W. Henderson, Eckerd Coll. Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 621 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (April 28, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394583221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394583228
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,214,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one of the finest books I have read in some time. The book traces the life of Paul Alexander, a Greek by birth who fought as a member of the Belgian army during World War I. Wounded during the war, he comes to America and obtains employment as a chemist for a railroad car manufacturer in the small town of Bourbonville, Tennessee. In Bourbonville, he progresses from being the town curiousity to being a friend, father, business leader and farmer as he mentally recovers from his shattering war experiences. Instead of telling the story in a strictly linear fashion, Marius flips effortlessly back and forth from Paul's days as a university student in Belgium and his post-war life in Bourbonville. Marius is subtle enough to tell the reader just enough background to explain Paul's actions and emotions. We learn of Paul's complex family history, his friendships with Guy and Bernal, two university students, and of his first love, an older woman employed as a dressmaker. What we are not told much of are the horrors of his wartime experience, other than that he watched all his university friends die one by one in combat, and that he himself was badly wounded at Antwerp. Much of the book is a description of how he comes to terms with his wartime experiences, having watched the disintegration of all that was familiar to him. When we first meet Paul, he dwells in the past because he cannot conceive of a future. The ghosts of Guy and Bernal follow him in his post war experiences, both comforting him and haunting him at times. In the end, when he has internally resolved the conflicts of his early family troubles and his wartime memories, and truly comes to appreciate his life in the present tense, Guy and Bernal bid him farewell.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Sensitively portraying the aftereffects of World War I on the people of Bourbonville, Tennessee, this robust, dramatic novel is a triumphant celebration of the power of writing to create whole worlds and then lead the reader in exploring them. Spanning the years from 1890 - 1930, the novel moves back and forth in time, leisurely building detail upon detail until an entire community, several generations of its important families, its important businesses, and its religious and social organizations spring to life, tied together, as small communities often are, by custom, gossip, and a shared past, not all of it pretty. As the war wreaks its changes on the fabric of society, the author explores life's big themes--what makes life meaningful, how we connect with each other, how we deal with death of loved ones, and how we face the future--adding an extra dimension through the symbolism of Greek legends, especially that of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun.

Main character Paul Alexander (formerly Kephalopoulos), a Greek by birth and Belgian by education and social preference, arrives in Bourbonville, not fully recovered from a head wound received during the early days of the war. Through Paul, an outsider who speaks to the ghosts of his two best friends, the reader comes to know a variety of local characters--a grassroots industrialist who runs the car works foundry for the local railroad, a leading family whose members realize that their agrarian way of life is ending, a delightful moonshiner, the last of the family doctors who were truly part of the family, a brilliant black man whose technical achievements as a member of the French armed forces gave him a taste of life denied him in postwar Tennessee, and various members of Paul's own family back in Greece.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JoeV VINE VOICE on September 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I decided to pull this book off the shelf and re-read it after 10+ years. After the War is a sprawling narrative covering many years with a multitude of interesting characters and poignant tales. The book takes place in post-World War I Tennessee and captures all the idiosyncrasies and growing pains of both the country and its characters during that time.

The narrator, Paul Alexander, is a Greek immigrant who was raised in Belgium, served in the trenches of the Great War, was wounded and lost two very dear friends. His perspective, observations and journey through life are what drive this book as Paul is many things - sympathetic, frustrating, stubborn, disarming, naïve - as his life unfolds in this narrative.

This is a big, dense, magnificent novel and if you can find the time, is well worth the read - as are all of Marius' books.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
This being the third Marius' novel I have read, I anticipated the superb writing and the continuous reminder that all events, past and present, those deep emotional sequences that alter the internal psyche, ultimately help shape future responses to external stimuli. Paul Alexander, Greek by ancestry, comes to America after family strife and being wounded in World War I. His past continues to haunt him in the form of his heritage and the loss of two friends during the war. Yet his own gifts catapult him to become the owner/manager of a large company in a small town in Tennessee.

The events of Paul's life are well-chronicled in a seamless juxtaposition of the past and present. This style allows the reader to understand Paul's reactions and to champion Paul's own causes, his perceptions, and his intelligence. We cheer for Paul while recognizing his flaws and the driving forces that seem to motivate him, those hidden furies that propel the human spirit into action. The dramatic events of the complex story include racism, insanity, love, friendship, betrayal, business, violence, and religious overtones. One stunning scene in which Paul's involvement with an African-American results in murder, extreme prejudice, horrific detail, and tremendous fear serves as a reminder of the violence that bigotry can create.

The many warm and redeeming characters affecting Paul's life are balanced by sordid personalities and dark experiences that threaten to overwhelm the story, sending it into a region of evil of which there is no return. Yet, the remarkable integrity and human responsibility of Paul Alexander continually lifts the darkness back into light.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?