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The Unknown Soldier Hardcover – Illustrated, 1975


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Werner Soderstrom Osakkeyhtio; First Thus edition (1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9510024260
  • ISBN-13: 978-9510024263
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #865,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Historybuff on January 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you are interested in a different perspective on WWII, that is, from the view of front soldiers in a scandinavian nation struggling against one of the juggernaughts of WWII this is for you. Though not a selfbiografy, Linna served as a machingunner in the Finnish army during WWII and relates his experiences in this novel. National pride demands that the Finns launch an offensive war ("the continuation war") to take back land conquerd by the Soviets earlier in WWII but deep down the Finns know their struggle is doomed. The strength of the novel comes from its realistic (self experienced) depiction of the realities of forest war, as well as the personalities of the Finnish soldiers during an increasingly desperate struggle against the growing strength of the Soviet army. You will expreience everything from the triumphs of the early months to the everpresent threat of a sudden deadly sniper bullet to the smell of peat pulverized by artillery into a haze hanging over the trenches as the Finns succesively fall back before the onslaught of Soviet tanks and infantry.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kiwi on March 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
First and foremost, this review is a bit of a pastiche. I've sourced bits and pieces of information on the author, Väinö Linna, from various sources, quoted from a number of reviews from Finnish sources and added various comments of my own. I hope it presents a good overview of this outstanding novel - as well as some background on both the book and the author that will interest you in reading both this book and the "Under the North Star" trilogy. All of them great reading!

The Unknown Soldier (Tuntematon Sotilas), first published in 1954, was author Väinö Linna's (1920-1992) first major novel and, whilst almost unknown in the English-speaking world, is, in Scandinavia, widely recognized as among the greatest novels of the twentieth century. In Finland, a country with just over five million people, it has sold over 450,000 copies (it is Finland's all-time best-selling novel), been translated into 17 languages, filmed twice and is a classic of Finnish literature. Linna's other major work, the "Under the North Star" (Täällä Pohjantähden alla) trilogy, a historical family saga, is more widely known, easily available in English, and shares a few scenes and one major character (Vilho Koskela) with "The Unknown Soldier." Under the North Star was voted by Finns as the best piece of Finnish art of the 20th century (the title, incidentally, was borrowed from a popular song by Johan Fredrik Granlund). Linna's lack of greater renown probably reflects the obscurity of the language he happened to write in: Finnish.
Two movie versions of The Unknown Soldier have been made, one in 1955 and a second one in 1985, both of them very faithful to the original book. The 1955 film, directed by Edvin Laine, is among the most popular movies in Finland.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Horwood Michael on December 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Without doubt this is a major work of 20th century European literature. This translation is not all that one would hope but in the absence of a better, we should be grateful for this much. It ain't bad (`cept in some places it is, rather) and Linna's genius carries the day. So it's 5 stars, minus one for that weakness. My advice; read this with great enjoyment, then hope that Impola does a new translation.....or learn Finnish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lance on August 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was powerfully written. I understand the translation was not quite up to snuff and a few modifications were made.
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