December 12, 2012

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks


Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
Publisher: Originally published by Hutchinson
Publication Date: September 1993 (UK)
Categories: Historical, Literary Fiction
Source: I bought this movie tie-in version at a book sale at my local library

Description:
Published to international critical and popular acclaim, this intensely romantic yet stunningly realistic novel spans three generations and the unimaginable gulf between the First World War and the present. As the young Englishman Stephen Wraysford passes through a tempestuous love affair with Isabelle Azaire in France and enters the dark, surreal world beneath the trenches of No Man's Land, Sebastian Faulks creates a world of fiction that is as tragic as A Farewell to Arms and as sensuous as The English Patient. Crafted from the ruins of war and the indestructibility of love, Birdsong is a novel that will be read and marveled at for years to come.

My Thoughts:
When I finished this book I wanted to go right back to the beginning and start reading it all over again. I don't think there's anything better than an epic, sweeping war story. This one? The best of the best.

The romance is beautiful and the battle scenes made my heart hurt. While reading about men crawling in tunnels beneath the earth during WWI I was terrified. Seriously. I don't ever remember being so uncomfortable while reading something. I felt trapped and claustrophobic. Those feelings were worth it. 

The only sections of the book that I wasn't in love with were the bits about the granddaughter of the main character. Those scenes take place in the 1970's. They were good but I was always itching to get back to the First World War. 

Birdsong came out in 1993 and I somehow missed it until now. That is nearly tragic! If you haven't read this yet do yourself a giant favor and do so.


30 comments:

  1. I'd probably be drawn to the same parts of the book. This does sound good. I didn't realize it was a movie too. I will have to check both out.

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    1. I'm going to have to find the movie as well. I think it was on PBS?

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  2. I've wondered about this before but seeing how much you love it I will have to hunt down a copy asap!

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    1. I hope you do and I hope you love it!

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  3. This does sound good! I need to read more epic, sweeping war stories. (Meaning, I need to read them at all)

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    1. Oooh, you might discover that you love stories like that. Or not, lol. I sure do though!

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  4. This sounds wonderful! I love the way you described how it brought the tunnels of WWI to life. I'm off to add this to my list. Thanks for the recommendation, Jennifer.

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    1. I mean, I'm a girl who gets into her books but WOW. I really felt short of breath and scared! It was pretty wild.

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  5. I haven't read this yet but it's on my shelf waiting for me :)

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    1. It's so good Rachel, I hope you get to it soon!

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  6. I think I'm going to have to read this! I saw the movie recently and it was "eh." However, from your review, it sounds like they cut out at least a third of the book (3 generations? The movie only had 1!).

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    1. I think I'd like to see the movie..but they are never as good as the books are they? :( I usually go in with low expectations, lol, or I try to anyway! I suggest that you DO read it. Money back guarantee if it doesn't blow the movie out of the water, lol

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  7. It actually sounds really good, but I'm just not into romance. Knowing somethings about my preferences, do you think I'd still like it?

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    1. The romance was definitely there but it wasn't all swoony and stupid, if you know what I mean? ;) If you like historical fiction you'll dig this Rebecca

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    2. Oh, so apparently the movie was a 2 part thing and I never saw the second part (or the first part...I'm not sure), so that might explain why so much was left out!

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  8. Same as Literary Feline - I think the aspects you liked most would be mine, too. The parts about the war sound fascinating, and it's almost surreal itself to hear that there's a surreality to it. The film trailer didn't interest me too much, but your review is another story, pun not intended!

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    1. Even if the pun wasn't intended it was a good one ;)

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  9. One of my all time favorite books! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I read it many years ago and think it is time for a re-read. :)

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    1. I can't believe I went all of these years without reading it! It is just so so GREAT. Man I love good books :)

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  10. I do want to read this because other friends have loved this author's other works. Plus I wanted to watch the Masterpiece version of this book!

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    1. I want to see the movie too. I'm afraid I'll be disappointed but I just want MORE of this story :)

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  11. I only read this for the first time a few months ago too. I loved it as much as you did. I must read more Faulks now.

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    1. I have to do the same Jackie! I need to seek out some more of his work :)

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  12. I really loved this book, I only read it a couple of years ago, it took me a long time to get around to it too. But what a book. Charlotte Gray is very good too, and Engleby is brilliant.

    Lindsay
    http://thelittlereaderlibrary.blogspot.co.uk/

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  13. This was the sort of book that makes me want to run out and scoop up EVERYTHING he's written ;)

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  14. After reading this review I felt guilty not to be reading it now! :)

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    1. Don't feel too guilty, but DO run out and get this book to read asap! :D

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  15. Wonderful review Jennifer, I'm getting myself this for Christmas!!

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    1. Merry Christmas to you, I hope you love it! :)

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  16. The best of the best? Well, crap. I guess you had to pay me back after all those books I convinced you to add to your wish list/TBR pile. Going on mine now!

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