A Soldier of the Great War

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Harcourt, May 16, 2005 - Fiction - 860 pages
23 Reviews

From acclaimed novelist Mark Helprin, a lush, literary epic about love, beauty, and the world at war

 

Alessandro Giuliani, the young son of a prosperous Roman lawyer, enjoys an idyllic life full of privilege: he races horses across the country to the sea, he climbs mountains in the Alps, and, while a student of painting at the ancient university in Bologna, he falls in love. Then the Great War intervenes. Half a century later, in August of 1964, Alessandro, a white-haired professor, tall and proud, meets an illiterate young factory worker on the road. As they walk toward Monte Prato, a village seventy kilometers away, the old man--a soldier and a hero who became a prisoner and then a deserter, wandering in the hell that claimed Europe--tells him how he tragically lost one family and gained another. The boy, envying the richness and drama of Alessandro's experiences, realizes that this magnificent tale is not merely a story: it's a recapitulation of his life, his reckoning with mortality, and above all, a love song for his family.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - melydia - LibraryThing

I don't generally like novels about war, but a friend bought me a copy of this book out of the blue because she had absolutely loved it. So I gave it a try. And did not love it. An old man and a young ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Widsith - LibraryThing

Confusing ‘epic’ with just ‘very long’, this book has entertaining sections but cannot justify an investment of 860 pages. It tells the story of one Alessandro Giuliani, an Italian soldier who goes ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

MARK HELPRIN is the acclaimed author of Winter's Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, Freddy and Fredericka, The Pacific, Ellis Island, Memoir from Antproof Case, and numerous other works. His novels are read around the world, translated into over twenty languages.

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