A special anniversary edition of the bestselling and much-loved classic published for the centenary of the First World War.
A novel of overwhelming emotional power, Birdsong is a story of love, death, sex and survival. Stephen Wraysford, a young Englishman, arrives in Amiens in northern France in 1910 to stay with the Azaire family, and falls in love with unhappily married Isabelle. But, with the world on the brink of war, the relationship falters, and Stephen volunteers to fight on the Western Front. His love for Isabelle forever engraved on his heart, he experiences the unprecedented horrors of that conflict -- from which neither he nor any reader of this book can emerge unchanged.
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Readers who are entranced by the sweeping Anglo sagas of Masterpiece Theatre will devour Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks's historical drama. A bestseller in England, there's even a little high-toned erotica thrown into the mix to convince the doubtful. The book's hero, a 20-year-old Englishman named Stephen Wraysford, finds his true love on a trip to Amiens in 1910. Unfortunately, she's already married, the wife of a wealthy textile baron. Wrayford convinces her to leave a life of passionless comfort to be at his side, but things do not turn out according to plan. Wraysford is haunted by this doomed affair and carries it with him into the trenches of World War I. Birdsong derives most of its power from its descriptions of mud and blood, and Wraysford's attempt to retain a scrap of humanity while surrounded by it. There is a simultaneous description of his present-day granddaughter's quest to read his diaries, which is designed to give some sense of perspective; this device is only somewhat successful. Nevertheless, Birdsong is an unflinching war story that is bookended by romances and a rewarding read.From the Publisher:
Birdsong was voted one of the best books of the century in a poll conducted by Waterstone's booksellers and Channel Four TV in the United Kingdom. Here's a selection of the praise that has been pouring in:
"Birdsong moved me more profoundly than anything I've read in years ... A deeply compassionate, utterly thrilling work by a master of the form."
-- Frank Conroy
"The accounts of combat are among the finest I have ever read ... so powerful as to be almost unbearable ... a tribute to the author's remarkable skill and tact and dazzling virtuosity."
-- Los Angeles Times
"An amazing book ... among the most stirringly erotic I have read."
-- The Daily Mail (London)
"Magnificent -- gorgeously written, deeply moving, rich in detail."
-- The Times (London)
"Superb storytelling and craftsmanship ... a tribute to the durability of the human soul."
"Vividly imagined ... this strenuous and poignant effort to shore up memory deserves our gratitude."
"Superb ... a genuinely cathartic description of the war's last days."
-- New York Times Book Review
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Book Description Vintage Books, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099573091
Book Description Vintage Books, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 99573091