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An Ice-Cream War: A Novel Paperback – October 5, 1999
"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game. Pre-order today
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From the Inside Flap
"Rich in character and incident, An Ice-Cream War fulfills the ambition of the historical novel at its best."
--"The New York Times Book Review
Booker Prize Finalist
"Boyd has more than fulfilled the bright promise of [his] first novel. . . . He is capable not only of some very funny satire but also of seriousness and compassion." --Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times
1914. In a hotel room in German East Africa, American farmer Walter Smith dreams of Theodore Roosevelt. As he sleeps, a railway passenger swats at flies, regretting her decision to return to the Dark Continent--and to her husband. On a faraway English riverbank, a jealous Felix Cobb watches his brother swim, and curses his sister-in-law-to-be. And in the background of the
world's daily chatter: rumors of an Anglo-German conflict, the likes of which no one has ever seen.
In An Ice-Cream War, William Boyd brilliantly evokes the private dramas of a generation upswept by the winds of war. After his German neighbor burns his crops--with an apology and a smile--Walter Smith takes up arms on behalf of Great Britain. And when Felix's brother marches off to defend British East Africa, he pursues, against his better judgment, a forbidden love affair. As the sons of the world match wits and weapons on a continent thousands of miles from home, desperation makes bedfellows of enemies and traitors of friends and family. By turns comic and quietly wise, An Ice-Cream War deftly renders lives capsized by violence, chance, and the irrepressible human capacity for love.
"Funny, assured, and cleanly, expansively told, a seriocomic romp. Boyd gives us studies of people caught in the side pockets of calamity anddramatizes their plights with humor, detail and grit." --"Harper's"
"Boyd has crafted a quiet, seamless prose in which story and characters flow effortlessly out of a fertile imagination. . . . The reader emerges deeply moved." --"Newsday"
About the Author
William Boyd’s first novel, A Good Man in Africa, won a Whitbread Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award; his second, An Ice-Cream War, was awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Brazzaville Beach won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; and The Blue Afternoon won the Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction. Boyd lives in London.
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Top customer reviews
Felix, the youngest of the Cobb family has pacifist and socialist leanings to begin with, due to the influence of his friend Holland and as he is rejected by the army due to his weak eyesight, continues with his studies at Oxford while Gabriel goes off to war.
He is doted upon by his mother but scorned by his father who places all his love and pride on the shoulders of the older brother.
Felix's life is turned upside down due to an indiscretion which leads to a terrible tragedy. His remorse and guilt force him to join the army (now in need of men regardless of physical handicaps) in an attempt to find his brother to seek some form of forgiveness.
The story continues then in East Africa with Boyd brilliantly describing the brutality of the war combined with his trademark humour.
Boyd has a wonderful sense of the ridiculous, causing laugh out loud episodes.
The book has a handful of central characters besides the Cobb brothers who are all flawed and yet have their own redeeming features.
I enjoyed this book very much for many reasons. A great plot, real characters and a clever blend of humour, horror, sadness and love.
If you loved A Good Man in Africa you will also love An Icecream War.
Most recent customer reviews
The first 100 pages of William Boyd’s 1982 prizewinning debut novel breathe...Read more