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A Soldier of the Great War Audiobook

A Soldier of the Great War

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Publisher's Summary

On his last long walk, septuagenarian war hero, deserter, and professor Alessandro Giuliani shares his past with an illiterate young factory worker, spinning a remarkable tale of heart-stopping escapes, of loves unrequited and won, of madmen, dwarfs, and mafiosi. But overshadowing all is his most miraculous and terrible adventure, the Great War: a surreal parade of horrors that devastated and defined Alessandro, yet enabled him to experience fully the magic and beauty of the absurd human comedy called life.

©1991 Mark Helprin; (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks America

What the Critics Say

"Extraordinary....a vast, ambitious, spiritually lusty, all-guzzling, all-encompassing novel." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A rousing tale....riotous energy and sustained brilliance....Helprin lights his own way, in his ownsingular direction." (Time)
"A gripping, poignant and universally relevant moral fable." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (363 )
5 star
 (191)
4 star
 (91)
3 star
 (58)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (8)
Overall
4.3 (212 )
5 star
 (126)
4 star
 (47)
3 star
 (28)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.3 (212 )
5 star
 (128)
4 star
 (46)
3 star
 (26)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Majorie 05-11-16
    Majorie 05-11-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
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    28
    12
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    Story
    "An epic story of war and salvation."

    It took me awhile to finish this book as the tragedy of Italy in the first World War portrayed in this book was not always easy to listen to. The adventures of the protagonist, his near executions and the depiction of the thousands upon thousands of lives lost in a senseless war were gut-wrenching. However this is a fascinating look at WW I from the Italian side as they fought against the Germans, Austrians and Hungarians. This is a book to be savored again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dominic 03-07-16
    Dominic 03-07-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    20
    5
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    Story
    "Listened to it three times now."

    I was captured right away by the story of Allesandro and the beautiful country that he lived and fought in. I feel drawn to go and visit the painting and the mountains. What a beautifully written story of a tragic yet full life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott ESCONDIDO, CA, United States 01-18-15
    Scott ESCONDIDO, CA, United States 01-18-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    23
    8
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    Story
    "Beautiful in every way"

    One of the great reads of my lifetime. Story, characters, word choice, imagery, humor, thought provocation, action, inspiration, love... This book has it all!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Bradenton, Florida, United States 06-24-09
    Andy Bradenton, Florida, United States 06-24-09 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
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    841
    17
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    8
    Overall
    "Wonderful listen."

    This is well worth your time. Well written and well read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penny K 07-02-16
    Penny K 07-02-16 Member Since 2006

    psyki

    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
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    55
    16
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    Performance
    Story
    "A great yarn superbly performed"

    An intelligently written fictional account of one soldier of WW1 "the Great War" At times his exploits and narrow escapes make the book stagger dangerously near the sharp edge between fiction and fantasy writing. However the author is to be forgiven his desire to bring into focus the full range of war's folly and tragic consequences. Had the book's central character not been inclined to consider all the great and insoluble existential conundrums it would have failed to grip me through 28 long hours of listening. (Coincidentally I heard a live performance of Mahler's Resurrection Symphony, #2, which amplified the novel's concluding lines. Transcendent!). Still it falls a hair short of being one of the worlds great works.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Autodidact New York 06-29-16
    Autodidact New York 06-29-16 Member Since 2008

    Library wall

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    106
    6
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    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Read and loved-Listened and couldn't continue"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I adored this book when I read it many years ago and was looking forward to happy hours hearing it. The narrator was, in my opinion, too young and too modern sounding for the story. His voice made it 'cute' This is not a cute book. Save that sort of narration for comedy or a modern tale. Not this. VERY disappointed


    How could the performance have been better?

    Another reader altogether as described in the first box


    Did A Soldier of the Great War inspire you to do anything?

    Turn it off


    Any additional comments?

    too bad I didn't return it in time. Total waste of a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dmary 06-18-16
    dmary 06-18-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "A must read(listen)"

    One of my all time favorite books. Mark Helprin is brilliant in his detailed storytelling. Title might suggest it's all about the war but there are several stories going on.
    The reader Colacci is a bit overly dramatic at times but I gave the performance a 5 Star nonetheless.
    I HIGHLY recommend this work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nicole 04-10-16
    nicole 04-10-16 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    47
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing "

    I really loved this book. Great narrator, fantastic story. It feels like i now have a personal understanding of this time period and life during a time of war

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth 04-08-16
    Beth 04-08-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    40
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    "WOW, best read/listen in a long time!"
    What did you love best about A Soldier of the Great War?

    The writing was exceptional and wise. I love a work that stretches my edges, challenges my unperceived biases, and instructs in a manner that demands I reach my own conclusions rather than its rigid pedagogy. All that bound in two beautifully interwoven personal stories. The aged, remarkably tested, and wise imparts his mentoring on the young, inexperienced, and uneducated, with the real pressure of realization of accelerating mortality. Listen, read, remember, and absorb. You will exit a better creation!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John NJ, United States 12-04-15
    John NJ, United States 12-04-15 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    156
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    REVIEWS
    136
    104
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    Story
    "A bit long, good saga - 3 1/2?"

    I wanted to like this more than i did - like there were really good parts... if i could - i'd probably go 3 1/2 stars. It just seemed like, given the age of the narrator at the beginning, that the story was going to cover more of his life. But it's really about just before the war, the war, and then it's impact on his life. I quite enjoyed it, just found it a bit long given the scope of time it covered. And this may be totally my own incorrect expectations (after all, it is named for the "Great War"), but there were whole sections i found just seemed to go on too long. Well written, well narrated overall tho. Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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