An Ice-Cream War was the debut novel of William Boyd who would go on to be recognized as 'the finest storyteller of his generation' (Sebastian Faulks). It follows the fortunes of several wildly different characters - including an expat farmer and a young English aristocrat - as they are swept up in the fighting in German East Africa during the First World War, their lives converging amid battle, betrayal, love, comedy and tragedy.
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"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"
William Boyd was born in 1952 in Accra, Ghana and grew up there and in Nigeria. His first novel, A Good Man in Africa (1981), won the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Somerset Maugham Prize. His other novels are An Ice Cream War (1982, shortlisted for the 1982 Booker Prize and winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Stars and Bars (1984), The New Confessions (1987), Brazzaville Beach (1990, winner of the McVitie Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize), The Blue Afternoon (1993, winner of the 1993 Sunday Express Book of the Year Award), Armadillo (1998), Any Human Heart (2002, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet) and Restless (2006, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year Award). His latest novel is Ordinary Thunderstorms (2009). Some thirteen of his screenplays have been filmed, including The Trench (1999), which he also directed, and he is also the author of four collections of short stories: On the Yankee Station (1981), The Destiny of Nathalie 'X' (1995), Fascination (2004) and The Dream Lover (2008). He is married and divides his time between London and South West France.
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Book Description Hamish Hamilton, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 141041986