Birdsong

Sebastian Faulks, Author
Sebastian Faulks, Author Random House (NY) $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-679-43545-7
Reviewed on: 01/29/1996
Release date: 02/01/1996
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7451-2751-4
Compact Disc - 978-0-7540-5352-1
Paperback - 528 pages - 978-1-78470-003-4
Paperback - 528 pages - 978-0-09-938791-6
Hardcover - 407 pages - 978-0-09-177373-1
Paperback - 503 pages - 978-0-09-952838-8
Hardcover - 640 pages - 978-1-909621-01-5
Hardcover - 503 pages - 978-0-09-959345-4
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-04472-2
Open Ebook - 528 pages - 978-1-4070-5256-4
Paperback - 503 pages - 978-0-09-949692-2
Open Ebook - 356 pages - 978-0-307-82038-9
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-0-679-77681-9
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In 1910, England's Stephen Wraysford, a junior executive in a textile firm, is sent by his company to northern France. There he falls for Isabelle Azaire, a young and beautiful matron who abandons her abusive husband and sticks by Stephen long enough to conceive a child. Six years later, Stephen is back in France, as a British officer fighting in the trenches. Facing death, embittered by isolation, he steels himself against thoughts of love. But despite rampant disease, harrowing tunnel explosions and desperate attacks on highly fortified German positions, he manages to survive, and to meet with Isabelle again. The emotions roiled up by this meeting, however, threaten to ruin him as a soldier. Everything about this novel, which was a bestseller in England, is outsized, from its epic, if occasionally ramshackle, narrative to its gruesome and utterly convincing descriptions of battlefield horrors. Faulks (A Fool's Alphabet) proves himself a grand storyteller here. Enlivened with considerable historical detail related through accomplished prose, his narrative flows with a pleasingly appropriate recklessness that brings his characters to dynamic life. (Feb.)
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