Thursday 25 February 2021

Ford, Ford Madox "Parade's End"

Ford, Ford Madox "Parade's End" (Tetralogy: Some Do Not - 1924, No More Parades, 1925, A Man Could Stand Up 1926, Last Post 1928) - 1924-28

I have read a lot of books about WWI and WWII and most of them were great reads. I never know what to say when I read a book about a war and "enjoyed" it. Because, obviously, I don't enjoy reading about cruelty and death but I do prefer these kind of books to rose-tinted stories about love and similar stuff. I'm definitely not a chick-lit girl.

As this is a highly acclaimed book by "one of Britain's finest novelists", I was really looking forward to it. Also, it's huge, almost 1,000 pages, I usually love that.

But you can already guess from my introduction that this was not my book. Not at all. The book was not just confusing by jumping from one setting to the next without any further explanation, it wasn't much about the war (could have been about any war or even any time), it wasn't much about the military but it also wasn't much about interesting characters. None of them was even remotely likeable but also too boring to get upset about them.

I hardly ever skim through pages but I was very tempted to do it here. But I was afraid I would "get" the story even less if I did that. However, not skimming didn't help, either.

The only question I have now, there is a BBC miniseries. Should I try it or leave that, as well? I do like Benedict Cumberbatch (I mean, who doesn't?) but the story ...

From the back cover:

"The Great War changes everything. In this epic tale, spanning over a decade, war turns the world of privileged, English aristocrat Christopher Tietjens upside down. It forces him to question everything he holds dear - social order, morality, marriage and loyalty. And it rocks the very foundations of English society.

This is a powerful story about love, betrayal and disillusionment in a time of horror and confusion by one of Britain’s finest novelists.

If you want to read good books about how the soldiers in WWI fared, check out
Faulks, Sebastian "Birdsong
Malouf, David "Fly Away Peter"
Remarque, Erich Maria "All Quiet on the Western Front"

or any of the other books I reviewed in War: WWI.


  1. How odd that the books turned out to be so disappointing. I have not read many books published in 1920s. Have you?

    1. True. I didn't expect them to be that boring. I have just counted, I read 22 books from the 1920, most of them I liked, some not.

      I probably should start a list where I put the books in chronological order. Mmmmh. But if you like, I can send you the titles of those I did read now.

      Anyway, thanks for the comment.

  2. I have only read The Good Solder by him. However, the way you describe the writing it sounds like the book I read. Similar writing he keeps, it seems.

    1. So, it looks like I won't need to read that one, either. Thanks.