Qty:1
  • List Price: $12.00
  • Save: $2.29 (19%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The Good Soldier: A Tale ... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: **SHIPPED FROM UK** We believe you will be completely satisfied with our quick and reliable service. All orders are dispatched as swiftly as possible! Buy with confidence!
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

The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion (Penguin Classics) Paperback – December 18, 2007


See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, December 18, 2007
"Please retry"
$9.71
$4.80 $0.92

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
Enjoy this cautionary tale classic, depicting an America newly shaped by scarcity of our most vital resource. Learn more | See related books
$9.71 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion (Penguin Classics) + Mrs. Dalloway + To the Lighthouse
Price for all three: $29.20

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939) began his career writing fairy tales before collaborating with Joseph Conrad on several novels. After publishing successful solo works, he established the Transatlantic Review and divided his time between France and America.
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

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (December 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141441844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141441849
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Ebeling on July 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This has been on my reading bucket list since it first showed up on a recommended list distributed in a British lit survey course I took in college. It continued to show up, like "Best of the 20th Century" lists. Now I've found out why. From its great opening line that sounds a tad Russian--"This is the saddest story I have ever heard"--to its last revelation of many revelations of character and the human condition--it is always in top artistic form.

It predates The Great Gatsby by a decade and I'm guessing Fitzgerald read it. The first person narrative structure begins similarly, one man, the American John Dowell, discounting himself as a major player as he promises to tell the story of a bigger player, the British Captain Edward Asburnham, the "good soldier" of the title. Like Gatsby, the circles in which they move are largely affluent, and marriage conventions are flouted. But there the similarities begin to disappear. FMF's characters are more self-deceived than self-made, and there are the cultural contrasts of American vs. European character and protestant vs. Catholic tossed in for good measure. John Dowell proves to be a difficult narrator: though he suggests that it is the understandable problem of ordering memory that he builds the story hesitantly and thus sometimes doubles back to fill in more facts, the tangled story telling may be due as much to his own reluctance to deal with certain truths until he is finally ready. He may not be as much of a bystander as he initially suggests, or as innocent.

To say more would spoil the plot. This is an absorbing read, and relatively short. It is also worth reading as a model of modern literary art.
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 The Garden Interior on June 19, 2014
Format: Paperback
Life is mostly about sex and death for some people, and this book is full of both. Set in the fin de siècle years of the 1800s, the story concerns the lives and loves of two wealthy couples, the Dowells and the Ashburnhams. The former are American and the latter English, and they spend a dozen years or so in each others’ company, drifting luxuriously from European spas to resort towns and back to spas for pampering and the agreeable sensation of cosseted idleness. But beneath the veneer of wealth, sophistication and cultured civility everyone is having libertine sex with everyone else, except for the narrator Dowell, who is not having sex with anyone, not even his wife.

The novel is subtitled “A Tale of Passion”, and there is plenty of that to go around, apparently. The opening line is, “This is the saddest tale I have ever heard,” and certainly there is plenty of pathos here too. But the reason to read this book is its astonishingly sly and dark humor. Imagine a book written in 1913, all of whose major plot developments are shockingly adulterous and the whole thing is meant to be a dark comedy – unthinkable and revolutionary!

The story is told by the narrator Dowell as if he were an “omniscient” narrator, but much of the humor of the story flows from how far from omniscient he actually is. He fecklessly and fatuously misunderstands each plot development he retails, putting a humorously incorrect whitewash on all the main character’s evil motivations. Here are some examples of the tone of the story. Early in Part One, Leonora Ashburnham blandly tells Florence Dowell: “Very well, just put it that I killed her and that it’s a painful subject. One does not like to think that one has killed someone. Naturally not.
Read more ›
2 Comments 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 A. Kreutzer on February 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful book. This novel demands multiple readings--each one is increasingly rewarding. A book this challenging and with so peculiar and puzzling a narrator (and I'm offering my highest possible praise with these words, not criticism) also demands a really first-rate introduction and notes, and you will find them in this edition. The introductory essay is a compelling read itself and is an invaluable resource. It may very well offer the best explanation of the unreliable narrator that I've come across (and I read literary criticism all the time). This is definitely the edition to buy.
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 Verified Purchase
I'd known for years that this book was considered one of the best books of the last century. Really, only for that reason I took the plunge. I knew from other reviews that Ford's main character and first person narrator, John Dowell, was an unreliable narrator. That device always worries me, as I generally avoid books that mislead and misdirect.

I had no problems in that regard. To be sure, Dowell gives you the story in pieces. But the reader will have no trouble piecing the story together. The plot held my interest throughout. Dowell tied up the loose ends, sort of. Highly recommended.

I read the Penguin edition. Very good introduction. Wait until the end to read it as it gives away some of the plot.
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

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion (Penguin Classics)
This item: The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion (Penguin Classics)
Price: $9.71
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?