Set before and during the great war, Birdsong captures the drama of that era on both a national and a personal scale. It is the story of Stephen, a young Englishman, who arrives in Amiens in 1910. His life goes through a series of traumatic experiences, from the clandestine love affair that tears apart the family with whom he lives, to the unprecedented experiences of the war itself.
©1993 Sebastian Faulks (P)2011 Random House Audio Go
"An exceptionally well told story........"
Being of that generation to whom the First World War still arouses deep passions (my grandfather undured & survived the Somme & Ypres) I was a initially anxious that this book was not going to portray an accurate picture of that dreadful period in history.
This impression arose from the first part of the story which detailed in perhaps too graphic a manner, the principal character's exploits in France in 1911.
However, my anxieties were allayed - although my emotions were truly stirred - by the subsequent descriptions of life in (and under) the trenches as the Great War developed.
Faulks' story line is really quite brilliant and Peter Firth's rendition of it is of the highest order.
The end of the story, when it came, was not unlike the end of the War itself....not so much a time to celebrate a job well done but to reflect on what it was really all about.
I drew my conclusions and I recommend that you listen to it & draw your own.
"Modern classic, beautifully narrated"
Truely enjoyed this book, it's pretty epic, covering the great war and more. The character development is excellent and the words of Sebastian Faulks paint an wonderful picture of pre war France and the struggles of the soldiers in the war itself, the description of the Battle of Somme is especially heart-rendering.
What made this audiobook for me was the narration by the great Peter Firth (more known for his lead role in BBC drama "Spooks"). For the first 15 minutes I thought it was a little monotone and lacking in emotion however as the story developed I discovered his tone was in fact perfect for the drama to come.
The book is beautiful phrased and a true modern classic and the narration does in justice. A rewarding book well worth the investment and effort.
A final point, the book obviously revolves around World War One, however the book is more than a "war novel", it's a broad tale of the struggles of identity and includes some very well written female characters.
"Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks"
A wonderful evocative tale. It takes the reader into the nineteen hundreds in France, and the reader can live the horrors of trench warfare during the first world war. Faulks has that magic knack of weaving an entire world for the reader to inhabit. I had previously read this book and enjoyed it, but it lends itself really well to the audio book format, and Peter Firth is well up to the job of narrating this involving and moving story.
"An epic novel. Highly recommended"
What a brilliant and moving book - of love and endurance set during the WW1. The horror of war is depicted so amazingly well. The description of the trench warfare was very emotional. Faulks' wonderful narrative is beautifully written and gripping with Stephen, a complex and hard to pin down character and what happened to him is both ordinary and remarkable which seems like most of the men to have fought for their country. The other thread of Elizabeth, is one of hope and the importance of knowing where you came from an history.
Never wanted it to end. Gripping story of life, love, death. Missed the tv version, so can't compare.
Peter Firth's reading of Bird Song breathed life into the engaging narrative of Sebastian Faulks'. The reading complimented the text and caught the way in which I had imagined the character's to be, while conjuring up the images of not only the rural French villages but also the claustrophobic mines. An excellent and exciting audio book, which does not allow your mind to wander.
I wasn't sure about this book to begin with. I thought it was slow to start with but it did get better. I particularly enjoyed listening to his time in the trenches, I felt he really brought this period to life.
An amazing book and a great audiobook. I listened to this having read the book with high expectations and am pleased to say that it met those expectations
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