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Book Title: The Soldier's Return|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 638 KB
City - Country: No data
The author of the book: Melvyn Bragg
Edition: Arcade Publishing
Date of issue: January 31st 2000
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Loaded: 1555 times
Reader ratings: 7.3
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I struggled a bit with this, but think it's rather better than my fractured enjoyment of it suggested.
I remember reading 'Lark Rise to Candleford' when I was at school (compulsory reading, small book, tiny print, story by which I was unriveted), and 'The Soldier's Return' affected me in something of the same way. I hazard that it's because they are both books that lie somewhere between the novel and a eulogy to a place. In respect of the latter, I thought 'The Soldier's Return' worked well, and the deep affection felt by Ellen and the the writer for Wigton and Cumberland and a sense of community was strikingly and convincingly described in prose that was simple and clear - unaffected, suiting the people (apart from Mr Kneale, perhaps, who struck me as a rather sinister, rather insensitive, rather unsettling presence) and the place they lived.
I liked the characterisation, though I found that towards the end Bragg spent more time than I was interested in examining the inner thoughts of Ellen and Sam. Joe's role in the narrative I was never easy with, though: whose point of view is being considered - Ellen's, Sam's Joe's? This shifting perspective didn't work for me.
Structurally, the novel struck me as a bit picaresque in order to accommodate not just the sequence of events in the lives of the Richardsons', but also the events in the post-war Wigton calendar. In this respect, I felt Bragg perhaps was slaved by it, and was not able ever to decide what his focus was. Did he have too many foci, perhaps? Perhaps the unsettling narrative is a reflection of the unsettled circumstances of post-war Britain?
Anyway, I certainly wouldn't wish to put anyone off reading a novel that deals with war, relationships, a small community making the best of itself, readjustment. For some reason, I and it didn't quite hit it off - that's all.
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Read information about the authorMelvyn Bragg, Baron Bragg, FRSL, FRTS (born 6 October 1939) is an English author, broadcaster and media personality who, aside from his many literary endeavours, is perhaps most recognised for his work on The South Bank Show.
Bragg is a prolific novelist and writer of non-fiction, and has written a number of television and film screenplays. Some of his early television work was in collaboration with Ken Russell, for whom he wrote the biographical dramas The Debussy Film (1965) and Isadora Duncan, the Biggest Dancer in the World (1967), as well as Russell's film about Tchaikovsky, The Music Lovers (1970). He is president of the National Academy of Writing. His 2008 novel, Remember Me is a largely autobiographical story.
He is also a Vice President of the Friends of the British Library, a charity set up to provide funding support to the British Library.
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