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"Rich in character and incident, An Ice-Cream War fulfills the ambition of the historical novel at its best."
--The New York Times Book Review
Booker Prize Finalist
"Boyd has more than fulfilled the bright promise of [his] first novel. . . . He is capable not only of some very funny satire but also of seriousness and compassion." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
1914. In a hotel room in German East Africa, American farmer Walter Smith dreams of Theodore Roosevelt. As he sleeps, a railway passenger swats at flies, regretting her decision to return to the Dark Continent--and to her husband. On a faraway English riverbank, a jealous Felix Cobb watches his brother swim, and curses his sister-in-law-to-be. And in the background of the
world's daily chatter: rumors of an Anglo-German conflict, the likes of which no one has ever seen.
In An Ice-Cream War, William Boyd brilliantly evokes the private dramas of a generation upswept by the winds of war. After his German neighbor burns his crops--with an apology and a smile--Walter Smith takes up arms on behalf of Great Britain. And when Felix's brother marches off to defend British East Africa, he pursues, against his better judgment, a forbidden love affair. As the sons of the world match wits and weapons on a continent thousands of miles from home, desperation makes bedfellows of enemies and traitors of friends and family. By turns comic and quietly wise, An Ice-Cream War deftly renders lives capsized by violence, chance, and the irrepressible human capacity for love.
"Funny, assured, and cleanly, expansively told, a seriocomic romp. Boyd gives us studies of people caught in the side pockets of calamity and dramatizes their plights with humor, detail and grit." --Harper's
"Boyd has crafted a quiet, seamless prose in which story and characters flow effortlessly out of a fertile imagination. . . . The reader emerges deeply moved." --Newsday
William Boyd’s first novel, A Good Man in Africa, won a Whitbread Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award; his second, An Ice-Cream War, was awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Brazzaville Beach won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; and The Blue Afternoon won the Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction. Boyd lives in London.
Not Mr. Boyd's best, but then his best are very, very good.Published 3 months ago by James M Sumner
William Boyd usually writes books that I can't put down: Waiting for Sunrise. Restless. Solo, to name three I thoroughly enjoyed. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Josh H. Knight
All too many wars are "sold" that way. Certainly some recent ones, as well as some that are now in the middle distance. Read morePublished 6 months ago by John P. Jones III
Very well written, but only continued to convince me that war does not make any sense at all!!Published 9 months ago by Nancy Olson
Absorbing historical novel about little known part of First World War. Characters fully drawn with believable flaws and fables. As usual, Boyd does not provide a fairy tale ending.Published 11 months ago by Mexall
This is the third novel by William Boyd that I have read. It was, however, his first as a novelist.... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Frank L. Smith
Compared to other bookss of W B I find this too heavy, but as I myself have lived in Africa.for many years I enjoyed it Very muchPublished 12 months ago by Jytte Roejkjaer
For some reason, despite being a huge fan of William Boyd's writing for going on twenty years, I'd never gotten around to reading this -- his second published novel -- until this... Read morePublished 13 months ago by A. Ross