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The Four Feathers Mass Market Paperback – August 27, 2002


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket (August 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743448219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743448215
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,573,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Mason's 1902 classic adventure about British army officer Harry Feversham's endeavor to overcome the false label of "coward" is back again in an affordable paperback. Although this has already been filmed at least four times, it is about to go before the cameras once again, so be sure to have a few copies on your shelves.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

"Action on every page. Maybe in every paragraph."--Kirkus Reviews on Larry Bond's First Team
 
"The technothriller has a new ace and his name is Larry Bond."--Tom Clancy
 
"[A] fast-paced, complex thriller." --Publishers Weekly on Larry Bond's First Team: Angels of Wrath
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Lack of significant action may cause readers to consider it a very slow read.
Natalie E. G. H.
The characters in Mason's story have a Victorian simplicity, which, while limiting their outward emotions, adds to the conflict with which they have to deal.
Brent Wigen
Great story of friendship, loyalty, courage, redemption of reputation, restoration of relationships.
Bob Allen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Tsuyoshi on December 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
The front cover of the book might lead you to misunderstanding that "Four Feathers" is a book about war; actually, though it deals with the war in the Sudan in late 19th century, the book consists of superb descriptions of complicated psychology found in the hero, the heroine and their mutual friend. "Four Feathers" as a whole is not a book like "She" or "Beau Geste," but it is rather a special kind of romance which could be found only in this era.
To disprove his disgrace, the hero Harry Feversham, who quit his regiment just before being sent to the Sudan, decides to go to Africa, disguising himself as a Greek, and firmly is determined to give back three white feathers sent to him as a symbol of his being a coward. One clever touch is given here; his fiancee also added one feather to them, and rejected him in the face before their marriage. Now you think Harry must prove that he does not deserve such an act. And probably, you expect the book to draw you into the world full of adventure. No, you're wrong.
There are certainly descriptions of adventure under the sizzling sun of Africa, but you must wait. Before they come, we are introduced to the complex relationship between Harry and other characters that are involved in his action. Various feelings of love, regret, courage, and suspicion, all caused as aftermath of the crucial action of sending white feathers, follow with a surprisingly and deeply psychological insight. Though the story is, as you expect, very melodramatic and sentimental, the characters are well-drawn and convincing, and if not as insightful as Henry James, surely deserves much serious attention.
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61 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Roger Kennedy VINE VOICE on August 23, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is full of noble ideas and notions of Victorian honor in the days of the British Empire. Those who come to this book after seeing the 1939 Korda classic, or even the more stark 1979 re-make might be in for a suprise. Even as this review is written yet another cineamtic foray is being planned with a Fall 2002 re-re-make. No doubt 21st century notions of Political Correctness shall be heavy handed on this 19th Century classic.
Still, I think readers will be in for a bit of a disappointment here. Not for the book itself which is a sublime piece of writing, a work typical ot the pathos of the time, but because of the lack of action contained therein. This is a pyschological and emotional work. The main charcters have many inner feelings to deal with. The plot moves slowly at times, building to a gradual crescendo typical of Victorian novels of the day before it resolves itself in rapid sequences.
The film versions convey the general impression of the book, but there are not big clamatic battles of Omdurman or prison breaks which made the Korda movie such a rousing epic. Here Harry Faversham is very much on his own to resolve his fears and inner emotions, as are his friends. Its good to see a book like this revived, but readers who come to it from the movie theater or video are apt to be suprised at what they find here. Lets hope the find the suprise a pleasant and interesting one. I know I did.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Kalm on November 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is NOT Four Feathers. It may be Two and one half feathers. It is mercilessly abridged, but if you haven't seen the original, you won't know how you are being cheated. Be warned and stay away.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jenonthetrain on July 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
I read this book in anticipation of the Sept. 2002 Shekar Kapur movie of the same title.
I found The Four Feathers to be an engrossing character examination, with a bit of action as the background. The romance at the center was a bonus, as was the detailed glimpse of life in Britain at that time, the expectations that men and women held for one another and themselves.
I was, however, disappointed by the inaccuracy in the synopsis on the book's back cover and repeated on this website which states that Harry Faversham saves the lives of the three men who gave him the white feathers in order to be redemeed.
I'm not sure where the writer of the synopsis came by that idea but it sure doesn't happen like that in the book. Not to spoil the story for you, but Harry proves his bravery in rather more complex ways.
I also was pleasantly surprised that much of the book is told from the perspective of Ethne, Harry's beloved. Her struggle to "do the right thing" is just as compelling as Harry's struggle to make up for the one time he didn't.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Brent Wigen on January 9, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A.E.W. Mason's classic story of love lost and courage found is over a hundred years old, but its themes are timeless: love, friendship, and courage, along with the human desire to make right the wrongs of the past.
Harry Feversham is a young officer in the British army whose greatest fear is to be seen a coward, and disgrace those whom he loves. On the night he finds out that he is to be sent to war in Egypt, he resigns his commission in order to avoid any possibility that his fears may be realized. In response to Feversham's act, three of his friends send him three white feathers as a symbol that in their eyes, the decision makes him a coward. When Feversham's fiancee, Ethne Eustace, finds out about Feversham's act and the three feathers, she gives Harry a fourth feather, and casts him out of her life. A broken man, Feversham quitely resolves to redeem himself by proving his bravery to each of the four, forcing each to recant their accusation of cowardice and take back the feather that each person gave.
What evolves is a grand tale of adventure, as the lives of Feversham and his closest friends move along through the next few years. Ethne moves on with her life, while not entirely forgetting Feversham, nor forgiving herself for her harsh treatment of him. Harry's best friend, Jack Durrance, is blinded in the Sudan and returns to England to marry Ethne, but never forgets about Feversham, and wonders what happened to his friend. As details of Feversham's deeds begin to emerge, both Ethne and Durrance begin to understand Feversham's character; they realize their true feelings about him, and about each other.
The characters in Mason's story have a Victorian simplicity, which, while limiting their outward emotions, adds to the conflict with which they have to deal.
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