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Energetic prose, poetic images of great intensity and an antic imagination combine in this gripping moral fable narrated by a septuagenarian irrevocably altered by WW I. This BOMC main selection was on PW 's hardcover bestseller list for eight weeks.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In summer 1964, a distinguished-looking gentleman in his seventies dismounts on principle from a streetcar that was to carry him from Rome to a distant village, instead accompanying on foot a boy denied a fare. As they walk, he tells the boy the story of his life. A young aesthete from a privileged Roman family, Alesandro Giuliani found his charmed existence shattered by the coming of World War I. The war led to an onerous tour of duty, inadvertent desertion, near-execution, forced labor, service high in the Italian Alps that took advantage of his (and Helprin's) skill at mountain climbing, capture by the enemy, and return home, dispossessed of most of his friends and family. Along the way, he gains, loses, and eventually rediscovers love. This rousingly good story of survival is all the more remarkable in the telling. The language is rich without cloying, complex yet luminous in Helprin's best style. In a number of thoughtful philosophical passages as engaging as any adventure story, Alesandro struggles to reconcile his appreciation of beauty and his religious faith with the horror around him. That he finally persuades us to believe in a "God without any hope, in a God of splendor and terror" is testimony to the indomitable human spirit. Highly recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/91.
-Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
We're introduced to the character when he's an older man, but we still see a firy spirit. It seems to be sometime in 1960's and Alessandro is on a bus in Italy. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Ezra Josef
One of my favorite authors. One of his better works (Winter's Tale being my favorite and in my opinion his best). Going to have to read it twice though, maybe three times. Read morePublished 29 days ago by TR Thurman
Forget the best of the year….A Soldier of the Great War now resides on my best ever list.
A number of books were suggested to me by the Penguin Books hotline... Read more
One of my favorite books. Historical context. Adventure. Outdoor spectacles.Published 1 month ago by Samuel Jones
I read a lot and this is probably one of the best books I have read. Long but unbelievably written and well worth it. What a writter!!Published 1 month ago by john quin
Excellent read! It provides a good history of World War I, with some humor thrown in as an added benefit!Published 1 month ago by Larry B. Campbell
This is the most intelligent, thought provoking and beautifully written novels that I have ever read in my 63 years. It is at the top of my five favorite books. A must read!!Published 2 months ago by Shallott R. Guerin
I read this book when it was first published and greatly enjoyed it. It never really left me. While on vacation in Italy I was inspired to reread it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Marie A. Huston