1914

1914

A Novel

Book - 2014?
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Baker & Taylor
Five Frenchmen go off to war, including two brothers who leave behind Blanche, a woman they both love, who longs to find out whether either one will be coming home to her.

Perseus Publishing
Jean Echenoz, considered by many to be the most distinguished and versatile living French novelist, turns his attention to the deathtrap of World War I in 1914. In it, five Frenchmen go off to war, two of them leaving behind a young woman who longs for their return. But the main character in this brilliant novel is the Great War itself. Echenoz, whose work has been compared to that of writers as diverse as Joseph Conrad and Laurence Sterne, leads us gently from a balmy summer day deep into the relentless—and, one hundred years later, still unthinkable—carnage of trench warfare.

With the delicacy of a miniaturist and with an irony that is both witty and clear-eyed, Echenoz offers us an intimate epic: in the panorama of a clear blue sky, a bi-plane spirals suddenly into the ground; a piece of shrapnel shears the top off a man’s head as if it were a soft-boiled egg; we dawdle dreamily in a spring-scented clearing with a lonely shell-shocked soldier strolling innocently toward a firing squad ready to shoot him for desertion.

Ultimately, the grace notes of humanity in 1914 rise above the terrors of war in this beautifully crafted tale that Echenoz tells with discretion, precision, and love.

Jean Echenoz, considered by many to be the most distinguished and versatile living French novelist, turns his attention to the deathtrap of World War I in 1914. In it, five Frenchmen go off to war, two of them leaving behind a young woman who longs for their return. But the main character in this brilliant novel is the Great War itself. Echenoz, whose work has been compared to that of writers as diverse as Joseph Conrad and Laurence Sterne, leads us gently from a balmy summer day deep into the relentless?and, one hundred years later, still unthinkable?carnage of trench warfare.

With the delicacy of a miniaturist and with an irony that is both witty and clear-eyed, Echenoz offers us an intimate epic: in the panorama of a clear blue sky, a bi-plane spirals suddenly into the ground; a piece of shrapnel shears the top off a man’s head as if it were a soft-boiled egg; we dawdle dreamily in a spring-scented clearing with a lonely shell-shocked soldier strolling innocently toward a firing squad ready to shoot him for desertion.

Ultimately, the grace notes of humanity in 1914 rise above the terrors of war in this beautifully crafted tale that Echenoz tells with discretion, precision, and love.


Publisher: New York : The New Press, [2014?]
Description: 119 pages ; 19 cm
ISBN: 9781595589118
1595589112
Branch Call Number: Eche
Additional Contributors: Coverdale, Linda

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bibliofinn
Jun 19, 2014

This book is humane, beautifully crafted, and not a moment too long --everything the First World War was not. In a succession of concise chapters, Jean Echenoz tells the story of five friends who leave the idyllic Loire region in the summer of 1914 as volunteers and march into the hell of trench warfare. What awaits them is indescribable, but Echenoz conjures it up with memorable scenes powered by cool, understated prose. 100 years on, this novel is more than another ccentenary reminder of the folly and horror of war --it transports us into the swirl of the pre-war period and shows how easily even the finest can succumb to war fever.

l
looper46
Mar 03, 2014

Want a primer on the horrors of WWI? This very well written slim volumn is what your looking for, if you want a basic view of slaughter of in WWI.

k
kkt4052
Feb 13, 2014

A behind the front lines of World War I life. The fear, the love, the envy and the salvation of new life.

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