Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
Publisher: Originally published by Hutchinson
Publication Date: September 1993 (UK)
Categories: Historical, Literary Fiction
Source: I bought this movie tie-in version at a book sale at my local library

Published to international critical and popular acclaim, this intensely romantic yet stunningly realistic novel spans three generations and the unimaginable gulf between the First World War and the present. As the young Englishman Stephen Wraysford passes through a tempestuous love affair with Isabelle Azaire in France and enters the dark, surreal world beneath the trenches of No Man’s Land, Sebastian Faulks creates a world of fiction that is as tragic as A Farewell to Arms and as sensuous as The English Patient. Crafted from the ruins of war and the indestructibility of love, Birdsong is a novel that will be read and marveled at for years to come.

My Thoughts:
When I finished this book I wanted to go right back to the beginning and start reading it all over again. I don’t think there’s anything better than an epic, sweeping war story. This one? The best of the best.

The romance is beautiful and the battle scenes made my heart hurt. While reading about men crawling in tunnels beneath the earth during WWI I was terrified. Seriously. I don’t ever remember being so uncomfortable while reading something. I felt trapped and claustrophobic. Those feelings were worth it. 

The only sections of the book that I wasn’t in love with were the bits about the granddaughter of the main character. Those scenes take place in the 1970’s. They were good but I was always itching to get back to the First World War. 

Birdsong came out in 1993 and I somehow missed it until now. That is nearly tragic! If you haven’t read this yet do yourself a giant favor and do so.

30 thoughts on “Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

  1. This sounds wonderful! I love the way you described how it brought the tunnels of WWI to life. I'm off to add this to my list. Thanks for the recommendation, Jennifer.


  2. I think I'm going to have to read this! I saw the movie recently and it was \”eh.\” However, from your review, it sounds like they cut out at least a third of the book (3 generations? The movie only had 1!).


  3. I think I'd like to see the movie..but they are never as good as the books are they? 😦 I usually go in with low expectations, lol, or I try to anyway! I suggest that you DO read it. Money back guarantee if it doesn't blow the movie out of the water, lol


  4. Same as Literary Feline – I think the aspects you liked most would be mine, too. The parts about the war sound fascinating, and it's almost surreal itself to hear that there's a surreality to it. The film trailer didn't interest me too much, but your review is another story, pun not intended!


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