Edward Thomas was perhaps the most beguiling and influential of the First World War poets. Now All Roads Lead to France is an account of his final five years, centered on his extraordinary friendship with Robert Frost and Thomas’s fateful decision to fight in the war. The book evokes an astonishingly creative moment in English literature: a generation that included W. B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, and Rupert Brooke.
These larger-than-life characters surround Thomas, who is tormented by his work and his marriage. Ultimately the decision to fight in the war costs Thomas his life, and it is the roads taken - and those not taken - that are at the heart of this remarkable book.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
The poetry loses something in the transfer to audiobook format; visual line breaks are important. That said, I completed the book weeks earlier than I would have by reading only.
What other book might you compare Now All Roads Lead to France to and why?
None I can think of
What does Joanne Giaquinta bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I am grateful that audible secured a reader and produced this version of a book that has sold in only small numbers. The narration was good, but the narrator's inability to articulate such words as "certain" and "Britain" was a little distracting.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Any additional comments?
From my review of the kindle version on Amazon: With his account of the final years of Edward Thomas's life, Hollis takes readers on a tour of the literary world, and, to a lesser extent, the world at large, at a time that everything must have seemed in turmoil to those who lived through it. Literary revolutions. Social revolutions. Wars fought by machines as much as they were fought by people. With Hollis's book (and bibliography) as a starting point, even someone who knows the era quite well could take a fresh look. Of especial interest is the effect Thomas had on other writers, most notably Robert Frost (and Frost on Thomas).If still unsure, search for Robert Macfarlane's review of the book in The (Manchester) Guardian; the review does Hollis justice far better than I could hope to.