Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

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

Napoleon Symphony Paperback – February, 1980

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, February, 1980
$57.98 $0.01
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Featured Titles in Fiction
Beloved
Beloved
Beloved
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Review

“All of the Burgess embellishments are here, and they sing alluringly each to each.” (Sara Sanborn - New York Times)

“A reader who delights in succulent phrase, the zest of word play and a saucy paragraph must fall on each new work of Anthony Burgess with ravenous appetite. . . . Burgess at his most characteristic, craziest.” (Washington Post)

“One of Burgess’s most important and experimental works.” (Andrew Biswell - Daily Telegraph)

“Alive, lush, lyric, human, witty and wildly comic.” (Nation) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Anthony Burgess (1917–1993) is the author of many works, including A Clockwork Orange, The Wanting Seed, Nothing Like the Sun, Honey for the Bears, The Long Day Wanes, The Doctor Is Sick, and ReJoyce. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 365 pages
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc (February 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393009645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393009644
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 4.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,470,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Czipott on December 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
It's a mystery how this masterpiece came to be so misunderstood. Burgess' favorite among his novels (and mine), this work is a tour de force: a novel about Napoleon in four movements that follow the structure of Beethoven's "Eroica" symphony (originally dedicated to Bonaparte; then, when Boney crowned himself Emperor, re-dedicated "to the memory of a fallen hero"). Burgess has reconciled the repetitive, cyclic nature of music with the novel's need for narrative forward motion brilliantly, yet his text mirrors the musical structure with uncanny detail -- both short- and long-term. Tempo, texture, key changes, rhythm -- all are there in the book. (For rhythm, check out the beginning of the third chapter while listening to the Eroica's scherzo.) The true miracle of this book, however, is that independently of its stylistic conceit, it is profoundly insightful and profoundly moving. Try reading the second chapter -- counterpart to Beethoven's Funeral March movement, and describing the retreat from Moscow -- without emotion. Or the final chapter, about Napoleon's exile on St. Helena, his surprising friendship with his English gaoler's young daughter, and his death. (Here, Burgess replicates Beethoven's theme-and-variations structure with passages in different literary styles: Austen, Henry James, et al., yet without any feeling of pastiche.) Musicians resented the book because they thought it trivialized Beethoven by "making" his symphony "be about" Napoleon. Literary types resented it -- well, probably because they could never bring off such a feat, themselves. Or because they thought a book about Napoleon should be at least four times as long. Try this book, enjoy it, and be grateful for such a gift of words.
3 Comments 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ingenious, funny, eloquent
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
as expected
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
As someone who has read all Anthony Burgess' novels, I must say that while Napoleon Symphony has it moments, it falls considerably short of his better achievements (Clockwork, Nothing Like the Sun, Earthly Powers, Dead Man in Deptford). Casting about the Internet for other reviews, it seems this work draws raves or rants: Raves from those transported by Burgess' linguistic felicity, rants from those overwhelmed by it (or scandalized by his liberties with good ol' Ludwig van).

The best review I found, and it sums up my assessment perfectly, is by Sara Sanborn and appeared in the June 9, 1974, NY Times, but you will have to look it up as the link I provided was not posted by Amazon. Ms. Sanborn's assessment is spot on.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse