Book Review: Birdsong: A Novel of Love and War by Sebastian Faulks

[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”0679776818″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51lkSckd0gL._SL160_.jpg” width=”104″][simpleazon-link asin=”0679776818″ locale=”us”]Birdsong: A Novel of Love and War[/simpleazon-link] by Sebastian Faulks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Birdsong was passionate and yet dispassionate, graphic yet cold, unflinching yet painful. It was a study in contrasts as is often the case with the subjects of love and war. The author does not glorify love or war but rather exposes their ugly underbellies – what happens when desperation takes hold. The descriptions of war were almost poetic in their brutality. Love was not as romantic as dreamers like to think it is. I felt the horror of it all, particularly the battle of the Somme, and saw how it could destroy a man or change him irrevocably. The ending was appropriate but seemed almost cliche compared to the rest of this remarkable book. I highly recommend it for readers of historical fiction, especially those interested in World War I.

Favorite quotes:

“What happened a few miles away was kept secret. None of these men would admit that what they saw and what they did were beyond the boundaries of human behavior” (p. 136).

“There were in their own view a formidable group of men. No inferno would now melt them, no storm destroy, because they had seen the worst and they had survived” (p. 270).

“The random violence of the world ran supreme; there was no point in trying to find an explanation” (p. 328).

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