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Birdsong | [Sebastian Faulks]

Birdsong

Set before and during the great war, Birdsong captures the drama of that era on both a national and a personal scale. It is the story of Stephen, a young Englishman, who arrives in Amiens in 1910. His life goes through a series of traumatic experiences, from the clandestine love affair that tears apart the family with whom he lives, to the unprecedented experiences of the war itself.
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Publisher's Summary

Set before and during the great war, Birdsong captures the drama of that era on both a national and a personal scale. It is the story of Stephen, a young Englishman, who arrives in Amiens in 1910. His life goes through a series of traumatic experiences, from the clandestine love affair that tears apart the family with whom he lives, to the unprecedented experiences of the war itself.

© Copyright image: IWM

©1993 Sebastian Faulks (P)2011 Random House Audio Go

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (45 )
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4.3 (39 )
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  •  
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 08-20-12
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 08-20-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    222
    ratings
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    93
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    Story
    "YES, this is the audiobook you must pick!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I could not stop listening to this book. It is wonderful. I just finished. I haven't been able to do anything except listen to this book. Excellent narration by Peter Firth. I loved it. I loved all the emotion - horror of war and passionate love. And great lines and so much to think about...... Can I collect my thoughts?!

    This book has everything. It is exciting and horribly moving and oh so wonderful. It is like life: full of the worst and most wonderful.

    There are lines you must ponder. Why does one fight in a war? Who do we fight for? Do you fight for your land, your family, your friends....or for those comrades who have fought and died next to you? You are in the trenches and in tunnels, in the middle of bombardments. You are in a tunnel and you may be suffocated and buried alive. This book is about fear. This book is about the warfare of WW1.

    But there is humor and passionate love too. Their is death and there is birth. There is hope and despair. The story takes place during WW1 in the trenches in France. It also has events set later, in the 70s. Most authors cannot switch between different time periods. In this book the two are wonderfully intertwined.

    This book rips you apart, scares you to death, rolls you in passionate, sensual love, one minute has you giggling and then later pondering the essence of life and death and fear. The book is an emotional roller coaster. And you will learn what it was really like to fight in the first world war. You can swallow the horror because it is balanced by humor and love and passion and even hope and happiness.


    Ooops, I think I am gushing!


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 09-20-12
    Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 09-20-12 Member Since 2015

    Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Didn't live up to my expectations"

    I was very much looking forward to reading this book set in a period which fascinates me, the early 20th century and WWI, and had big expectation considering it was the recipient of many awards and mentions and seemed to be highly appreciated by many people on LibraryThing. Though there were many elements there to hold my attention, I never quite connected with the story or the characters. Stephen Wraysford finds himself on a business visit in Amiens, France in 1910, where he quickly falls in love with his host's wife, Isabelle Azaire. She is the much younger wife of a local textile baron with whom she has little in common, and in no time at all she and Stephen are exploring their passion and sexuality in very explicit erotic interludes which had me blushing and simultaneously worried I'd picked an erotica book by mistake. As the author probably deliberately planned, the reality of war and trench warfare comes in stark contrast to this love affair. This part of the novel, which makes up a good part of the story is just as explicit in describing the battles and countless deaths and maimed bodies, and while the anti-war message is made amply clear, the disillusionment Stephen goes through failed to touch me, because the spectacle of blood and gore and flying body parts made me feel like an indecent voyeur and as such cut off from complex emotions. The added layer of story, with Stephen's granddaughter attempting to decipher some of the encrypted diaries he left behind felt awkward and unnecessary. If it was meant to provide a different perspective from which to view the events, it didn't quite work for me.

    To give credit where it is due, Peter Firth is a wonderful narrator I would love to listen to again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanne 01-01-13
    Joanne 01-01-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Magnificent"
    Any additional comments?

    I commend this book to anyone and everyone. It is magnificently researched, the love interest is a compelling juxtaposition to the brutality of the war, and the constraint of time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry Shrimpton 04-07-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    3
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    "have listened to this book at lest 2X"
    Where does Birdsong rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    up there with the best


    What did you like best about this story?

    Interesting, in every way..even though slow going... parts of it that is.

    Love how he can draw you into characters experiences...including the terrors of war.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    His visit to England and spiritual healing...


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no...i needed to listen to chapters over again as deep


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynda Maleny, Australia 03-11-13
    Lynda Maleny, Australia 03-11-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A must read for lovers of good literature"
    If you could sum up Birdsong in three words, what would they be?

    Story, Characters and writing


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes, by the sheer power of the craft of his writing and story.


    Which character – as performed by Peter Firth – was your favorite?

    The main character whose life was fundamentally shaped by the dramas of love and war


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, one needed to absorb the intricacies of the drama and the graphic images of a world wracked by war.


    Any additional comments?

    I have said it all I think for me

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    Camberley, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Not bad"

    I wasn't sure about this book to begin with. I thought it was slow to start with but it did get better. I particularly enjoyed listening to his time in the trenches, I felt he really brought this period to life.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amy
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    8/29/12
    Overall
    "Beautiful"

    An amazing book and a great audiobook. I listened to this having read the book with high expectations and am pleased to say that it met those expectations

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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