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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

A Soldier of the Great War

by

A Soldier of the Great War Cover

ISBN13: 9780156031134
ISBN10: 0156031132
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $9.95!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For Alessandro Giullani, the young son of a prosperous Roman Lawyer, golden trees shimmer in the sun beneath a sky of perfect blue. At night the moon is amber and the city of Rome seethes with light. He races horses across the country to the sea, and in the Alps he practices the precise and sublime art of mountain climbing. At the ancient university in Bologna he is a student of painting and the science of beauty. And he falls in love. His is a world of adventure and dreams, of music, storm, and the spirit. Then the Great War intervenes.

Half a century later, in August of 1964, Alessandro, a white-haired professor, still tall and proud, finds himself unexpectedly on the road with an illiterate young factory worker. As they walk toward Monte Prato, a village seventy kilometers distant, the old man tells the story of his life. How he became a soldier. A hero. A prisoner. A deserter. A wanderer in the hell that claimed Europe. And how he tragically lost one family and gained another.

The boy is dazzled by the action and envious of the richness and color of the story, and realizes that the old man's magnificent tale of love and war is more than a tale: it is the recapitulation of his life, his reckoning with mortality, and above all, a love song for his family.

Review:

With energetic, often lyrical prose capable of poetic images of great intensity, coupled with an antic imagination unleashed in scenes of high adventure and bizarre and droll events, Helprin's (Winter's Tale) dramatic, sweeping narrative focuses on one man's experiences during a turbulent period of history. Septuagenarian Alessandro Giuliani, scion of a cultured Roman family, looks back on a life whose direction was irrevocably altered and thereafter shadowed by WW I. Idealistic Alessandro first sees action in the Tyrol (giving Helprin the opportunity to display his knowledge of mountain climbing), is part of a "phantom" unit sent to Sicily to capture deserters, becomes a deserter himself and later a prisoner sentenced to death — in short, undergoes experiences that encapsulate war's many horrors, ironies and tragedies. As counterpoint to brutal battle scenes, there is dark comedy in the character of the demented dwarf Orfeo Quatta, who pursues his awesome responsibilities at the Ministry of War with capricious maniawhy passive voice? doesn't dwarf himself pursue these responsibilities? Helprin uses Giorgioni's painting La Tempesta to convey the novel's message: that women, with the promise of love and new life, are civilization's salvation in the aftermath of war. The author himself again demonstrates his ability to create vivid settings: "as vivid as graphic representations"? magnificent landscapes teeming with activity and colored by extremes of weather, illuminated with the clarity of a classical painting . While the plot early on sometimes seems padded and digressive, the reader will soon find Alessandro's story a gripping, poignant and universally relevant moral fable. Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Extraordinary... a vast, ambitious, spiritually lusty, all-guzzling, all-encompassing novel" The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Intense, memorable...magnificent...a massive, soaring novel of ideas and ordeals." Entertainment weekly

Review:

"A rousing tale...riotous energy and sustained brilliance...Helprin lights his own way, in his own singular direction." Time

Synopsis:

Here is an old man's magnificent tale of love and war — a recapitulation of a life and a reckoning with mortality.

Synopsis:

"Fit to stand alongside the works of Erich Maria Remarque, and, yes, Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms . . . . Helprin has written a monumental novel." - Front Page, The Washington Post Book Review

For Alessandro Giuliani, the son of a prosperous Roman lawyer, trees shimmer in the sun beneath a sky of perfect blue, and at night the moon is amber as Rome seethes with light. He races horses across country to the sea, climbs in the Alps, and is a student of painting and aesthetics. And he falls in love, deeply and eternally. Then the Great War intervenes. Half a century later, in August of 1964, Alessandro, a white-haired professor, finds himself unexpectedly on the road with an illiterate young factory worker. During a walk over days and nights, the old man tells the story of his life. How he was a soldier, a hero, a prisoner, and a deserter. And how he tragically lost one family, but gained another. Dazzled by the action and envious of the richness and color of the story, the boy realizes that the old man's magnificent tale of love and war is more than just a tale: it is the recapitulation of his life, his reckoning with mortality, and above all, a love song for his family.

"With riotous energy and sustained brilliance . . . Helprin lights his own way, in his own singular direction." - Time

"Tolstoy . . . Stephen Crane . . . Stendhal . . . Now - daringly, dazzlingly - Mark Helprin stakes his claim to membership in these latter ranks . . . . He succeeds triumphantly." - The Chicago Tribune

A New York Times Bestseller

Educated at Harvard, Princeton, and Oxford, Mark Helprin served in the Israeli army, Israeli Air Force, and British Merchant Navy. He is the author of, among other titles, Refiner's Fire, Ellis Island and Other Stories, Winter's Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, Memoir from Antproof Case, The Pacific and Other Stories, and Freddy and Fredericka.

Synopsis:

From acclaimed novelist Mark Helprin, a lush, literary epic about love, beauty, and the world at war

 

Alessandro Giuliani, the young son of a prosperous Roman lawyer, enjoys an idyllic life full of privilege: he races horses across the country to the sea, he climbs mountains in the Alps, and, while a student of painting at the ancient university in Bologna, he falls in love. Then the Great War intervenes. Half a century later, in August of 1964, Alessandro, a white-haired professor, tall and proud, meets an illiterate young factory worker on the road. As they walk toward Monte Prato, a village seventy kilometers away, the old man—a soldier and a hero who became a prisoner and then a deserter, wandering in the hell that claimed Europe—tells him how he tragically lost one family and gained another. The boy, envying the richness and drama of Alessandro's experiences, realizes that this magnificent tale is not merely a story: it's a recapitulation of his life, his reckoning with mortality, and above all, a love song for his family.

About the Author

Mark Helprin has written for the Atlantic Monthly, the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, and the New York Times, among many other publications. His collection The Pacific and Other Stories was published in the fall of 2004. He lives in Virginia.

Table of Contents

i. Rome, August 1

ii. Race to the Sea 94

iii. His Portrait When He Was Young 211

iv. The 19th River Guard 249

v. The Moon and the Bonfires 297

vi. Stella Maris 388

vii. A Soldier of the Line 490

viii. The Winter Palace 634

ix. La Tempesta 733

x. La Rondine 782

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Elliott, August 8, 2012 (view all comments by Elliott)
Mark Helprin has written an amazingly beautiful novel. His use of language is magnificent. Alessandro, the old man, weaves his tales of being a soldier in the First World War and, like the young man he's telling them to, I became caught up in the narratives of his life and kept reading out of wanting to know what would happen next because anything could happen. When he's done with his moving tale, I didn't want to leave the rich stories of this 800 page book. It was magnificent.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Bootsie, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by Bootsie)
This was the best book I read in 2011. It tells the story of an Italian man, from youth to old age, including his service in the Italian army in WWI. It's beautifully written, exciting, and touching. Highly recommended as a good read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
rgrobertson, February 8, 2007 (view all comments by rgrobertson)
I first read this book in 1995 and as one commentator observed it is a bit slow to get going. Eventually I came to love it and relished escaping nightly into the life of Alesandro; perhaps a forerunner of Indanna Jones...

It is one of the few books to have affected my life; being both memorable for the adventure and so human for the love, loss, frustration, despair and truimph that is life.

A Soldier of the Great War is certainly an epic and one worthy of your time. It harks back to an gentler, more innocent time, speaks of the horrors and futility of war and rewards you with a rollicking adveture tinged with compassion and humanity that simply is superb. Give it your time and you'll be immensly rewarded...
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(14 of 21 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780156031134
Author:
Helprin, Mark
Publisher:
Harvest Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Italy
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Older men
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20050631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
880
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 1.75 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

A Soldier of the Great War Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 880 pages Harvest Books - English 9780156031134 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , With energetic, often lyrical prose capable of poetic images of great intensity, coupled with an antic imagination unleashed in scenes of high adventure and bizarre and droll events, Helprin's (Winter's Tale) dramatic, sweeping narrative focuses on one man's experiences during a turbulent period of history. Septuagenarian Alessandro Giuliani, scion of a cultured Roman family, looks back on a life whose direction was irrevocably altered and thereafter shadowed by WW I. Idealistic Alessandro first sees action in the Tyrol (giving Helprin the opportunity to display his knowledge of mountain climbing), is part of a "phantom" unit sent to Sicily to capture deserters, becomes a deserter himself and later a prisoner sentenced to death — in short, undergoes experiences that encapsulate war's many horrors, ironies and tragedies. As counterpoint to brutal battle scenes, there is dark comedy in the character of the demented dwarf Orfeo Quatta, who pursues his awesome responsibilities at the Ministry of War with capricious maniawhy passive voice? doesn't dwarf himself pursue these responsibilities? Helprin uses Giorgioni's painting La Tempesta to convey the novel's message: that women, with the promise of love and new life, are civilization's salvation in the aftermath of war. The author himself again demonstrates his ability to create vivid settings: "as vivid as graphic representations"? magnificent landscapes teeming with activity and colored by extremes of weather, illuminated with the clarity of a classical painting . While the plot early on sometimes seems padded and digressive, the reader will soon find Alessandro's story a gripping, poignant and universally relevant moral fable. Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. Publishers Weekly
"Review" by , "Extraordinary... a vast, ambitious, spiritually lusty, all-guzzling, all-encompassing novel"
"Review" by , "Intense, memorable...magnificent...a massive, soaring novel of ideas and ordeals."
"Review" by , "A rousing tale...riotous energy and sustained brilliance...Helprin lights his own way, in his own singular direction."
"Synopsis" by , Here is an old man's magnificent tale of love and war — a recapitulation of a life and a reckoning with mortality.

"Synopsis" by ,
"Fit to stand alongside the works of Erich Maria Remarque, and, yes, Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms . . . . Helprin has written a monumental novel." - Front Page, The Washington Post Book Review

For Alessandro Giuliani, the son of a prosperous Roman lawyer, trees shimmer in the sun beneath a sky of perfect blue, and at night the moon is amber as Rome seethes with light. He races horses across country to the sea, climbs in the Alps, and is a student of painting and aesthetics. And he falls in love, deeply and eternally. Then the Great War intervenes. Half a century later, in August of 1964, Alessandro, a white-haired professor, finds himself unexpectedly on the road with an illiterate young factory worker. During a walk over days and nights, the old man tells the story of his life. How he was a soldier, a hero, a prisoner, and a deserter. And how he tragically lost one family, but gained another. Dazzled by the action and envious of the richness and color of the story, the boy realizes that the old man's magnificent tale of love and war is more than just a tale: it is the recapitulation of his life, his reckoning with mortality, and above all, a love song for his family.

"With riotous energy and sustained brilliance . . . Helprin lights his own way, in his own singular direction." - Time

"Tolstoy . . . Stephen Crane . . . Stendhal . . . Now - daringly, dazzlingly - Mark Helprin stakes his claim to membership in these latter ranks . . . . He succeeds triumphantly." - The Chicago Tribune

A New York Times Bestseller

Educated at Harvard, Princeton, and Oxford, Mark Helprin served in the Israeli army, Israeli Air Force, and British Merchant Navy. He is the author of, among other titles, Refiner's Fire, Ellis Island and Other Stories, Winter's Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, Memoir from Antproof Case, The Pacific and Other Stories, and Freddy and Fredericka.

"Synopsis" by , From acclaimed novelist Mark Helprin, a lush, literary epic about love, beauty, and the world at war

 

Alessandro Giuliani, the young son of a prosperous Roman lawyer, enjoys an idyllic life full of privilege: he races horses across the country to the sea, he climbs mountains in the Alps, and, while a student of painting at the ancient university in Bologna, he falls in love. Then the Great War intervenes. Half a century later, in August of 1964, Alessandro, a white-haired professor, tall and proud, meets an illiterate young factory worker on the road. As they walk toward Monte Prato, a village seventy kilometers away, the old man—a soldier and a hero who became a prisoner and then a deserter, wandering in the hell that claimed Europe—tells him how he tragically lost one family and gained another. The boy, envying the richness and drama of Alessandro's experiences, realizes that this magnificent tale is not merely a story: it's a recapitulation of his life, his reckoning with mortality, and above all, a love song for his family.

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