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The book of kingsUser Review - Book Verdict
The saga of bringing Thackara's World War II novel to the public is the stuff of modern publishing legend: 20-plus years in the making, a 1400-page manuscript bounced from editor to editor, an author rebuking those who would change its length or correct grammatical mistakes or historical inaccuracies. Adding to the mystique was a 1997 New Yorker article about the mercurial author and the eventual publisher's hype likening the novel to Tolstoy's War and Peace. Behind all the publicity is an ambitious but ultimately underwhelming story about four students who become friends at the Sorbonne and whose lives are cast against the backdrop of wartime Europe, which most of them have some part in. After a long and dull exposition which establishes the main characters' relationships and prewar rumblings, Thackara recovers somewhat when the fighting begins; in general, he's more at home on the battlefield than in the home. The wide scope of the novel invites more study than emotion, and the prose is stamped with "Epic," including much dialog that is solemn and stale. There's nothing here to compete with the pure drama of Herman Wouk or James Jones's pulpy war stories--this is possibly not the point, but without the drive of those novels, this work, like the war itself, is a long haul. For larger collections.--Marc A. Kloszewski, Indiana Free Lib., PA ...
Review: The Book of KingsUser Review - Marius van Blerck - Goodreads
“The time has come (the walrus said) to speak of many things … of ship, of shoes, of sealing wax, of cabbages and kings.” A rather strange book – a cross between a script for a mini-series and an ... Read full review