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Back Paperback – April, 1981


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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions (April 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811207986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811207980
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #924,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The best writer of his time."-Rebecca West

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Henry Green was the pen-name of Henry Yorke, the son of a prosperous Midlands family with aristocratic roots. He was born in 1905 near Tewkesbury and was educated at Eton and Oxford. He entered the family business—producing beer-bottling machines—on the factory floor, and went on to run the firm while writing novels in his spare time. He is the author of Pack My Bag, a memoir, and nine novels including Blindness, Nothing, and Doting. Green died in 1973. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lydia on September 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
First, there IS no one who writes like Henry Green, and it is hard to describe the experience of reading him. He has his own cadences, both in words and phrasing, and in the passing of time. It is as if one has entered another universe, but one that is more firmly our own. It is not realism, except that it makes you feel piercing intense emotions that feel too real to bear.

Second, he isn't for everyone. I knew my husband wouldn't like it because the main character cannot expresses his emotions at the beginning, and cannot by the end. Also I gave my husband an outline of the plot, and he said, "But that is just too ridiculously unbelievable."

Then, just after I finished reading the book, I picked up the book my husband was reading, Roth's "American Pastoral," started reading it, and thought, wait, is this Henry Green I am reading? It sounds just like him. No doubt there are unexplored similarities between Roth and Green, but what I think was happening was that Green's voice is simply so all-encompassingly strong, that at that moment anything I picked up would have sounded like Green.

So it is great because it makes you see the world anew, I mean, that is a cliche of greatness that he does pull off, but what is it here that we see here? For me, an appreciation of the effects of war on the men caught up in it, even though the book only gives ever one small detail of the 4 years Charley has spent in a German prisoner-of-war camp. A feeling for how much confusion can be brought to us by love that doesn't work out as we would wish, and of the sheer stubbornness of the brain when it doesn't want to accept things.

It's also about how a writer can create characters out of bits and scraps, and we soon start rooting for them. But then it turns around and we see we are all just made up of bits and scraps.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Noddy Box on May 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Two quick but more or less final conclusions on finishing this quietly devastating English novel from 1946: You are never once allowed to forget that you are reading words intricately and even eccentrically arranged by the inimitable Henry Green. Yet the quixotically deranged character of one-legged Charley Summers is rendered so vividly and so indelibly as to make the writing appear all but invisible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ChristophFischerBooks TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
"Back" by Henry Green is a well written and impressive story about a man returning from World War II to find his love Rose dead. He is lame due to an injury in the war and has a hard time accepting normality back in the UK.
Thematically this is well done but the book was recommended to me for its style, mainly written in dialogue form. For me that did not work as well as it does for other readers, including John Updike.
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