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A Long, Long Way

Tekijä: Sebastian Barry

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

Sarjat: Dunne Family (2)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1,2575815,789 (4.05)85
Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

Praised as a "master storyteller" (The Wall Street Journal) and hailed for his "flawless use of language" (Boston Herald), Irish author and playwright Sebastian Barry has created a powerful new novel about divided loyalties and the realities of war.

In 1914, Willie Dunne, barely eighteen years old, leaves behind Dublin, his family, and the girl he plans to marry in order to enlist in the Allied forces and face the Germans on the Western Front. Once there, he encounters a horror of violence and gore he could not have imagined and sustains his spirit with only the words on the pages from home and the camaraderie of the mud-covered Irish boys who fight and die by his side. Dimly aware of the political tensions that have grown in Ireland in his absence, Willie returns on leave to find a world split and ravaged by forces closer to home. Despite the comfort he finds with his family, he knows he must rejoin his regiment and fight until the end. With grace and power, Sebastian Barry vividly renders Willie's personal struggle as well as the overwhelming consequences of war.

.… (lisätietoja)
  1. 20
    Länsirintamalta ei mitään uutta (tekijä: Erich Maria Remarque) (starfishian)
  2. 10
    The Absolutist (tekijä: John Boyne) (SandSing7)
    SandSing7: Both poignant, moving takes on World War I by Irish writers.
  3. 00
    The Red and the Green (tekijä: Iris Murdoch) (cf66)
    cf66: Molto diverse narrativamente,si rifanno allo stesso momento storico
  4. 00
    The Ghost Road (tekijä: Pat Barker) (shaunie)
    shaunie: Barker's book, although more plainly written, is if anything more powerful than Barry's, which is so beautiful and poetic.
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englanti (57)  hollanti (1)  Kaikki kielet (58)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 58) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Long Enough
Read by: John Cormack
Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins

I never thought I would not enjoy a book written by Sebastian Barry. But it’s wise words that advise “never say never”.

There are so many excellent WWI books out there now, and the time has come that a new slant is needed for a book that solely revolves around WWI trench warfare to hold the readers’ interest. The plot and events in the book are now banal with their overuse and progressive manicuring. Nothing we haven’t read or seen in books and films in the last 120 years. Of course Barry has the gift of perfect pitch prosee, but even Pavarotti couldn’t do much with Achy Breaky Heart.

There’s little apart from the surfeit of metaphors and similes to set A Long Long Way apart from other WWI novels. There is to be fair, the introduction of the Home Rule conflict, that caused some Irish soldiers in the British army to turn against Irish civilians. But even there I’m not so sure if the incidents as described are true, as there are many factual errors in the book - the repeated mention of mustard gas being employed long before it was manufactured, and its effects being just one example.

The over-wordiness has the effect of immunizing the reader against the horrors foot solders were exposed to, for example as they had to stumble in retreat, over the bodies of the dead.

Death was a muddle of sorts, things thrown in their way to make them stumble and fall. It was hard and hard again to make any path through the humbled souls. The quick rats maybe had had their way with eyes and lips; the sightless sockets peered at the living soldiers, the lipless teeth all seemed to have just cracked mighty jokes. And it doesn’t stop there but goes on and on with graphic descriptions illustrating not the horror, but instead Barry’s word-craft.

Are we meant to dwell on the prose or feel the horror of the soldiers? I kept reading in the hope something would happen to gain my interest or expand my comprehension of the horror of war. But there were just too many words and it took a long long time to reach the end. I was not even mentally exhausted, I was mentally lulled.

Another Barry fan may get more from A Long Long Way than I did, but for me it was a long long way from deserving my recommendation. ( )
  kjuliff | Jun 1, 2024 |
Long Enough

Read by: John Cormack
Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins

I never thought I would not enjoy a book written by Sebastian Barry. But it’s wise words that advise “never say never”.

There are so many excellent WWI books out there now, and the time has come that a new slant is needed for a book that solely revolves around WWI trench warfare to hold the readers’ interest. The plot and events in the book are now banal with their overuse and progressive manicuring. Nothing we haven’t read or seen in books and films in the last 120 years. Of course Barry has the gift of perfect pitch prosee, but even Pavarotti couldn’t do much with Achy Breaky Heart.

There’s little apart from the surfeit of metaphors and similes to set A Long Long Way apart from other WWI novels. There is to be fair, the introduction of the Home Rule conflict, that caused some Irish soldiers in the British army to turn against Irish civilians. But even there I’m not so sure if the incidents as described are true, as there are many factual errors in the book - the repeated mention of mustard gas being employed long before it was manufactured, and its effects being just one example.

The over-wordiness has the effect of immunizing the reader against the horrors foot solders were exposed to, for example as they had to stumble in retreat, over the bodies of the dead.

“Death was a muddle of sorts, things thrown in their way to make them stumble and fall. It was hard and hard again to make any path through the humbled souls. The quick rats maybe had had their way with eyes and lips; the sightless sockets peered at the living soldiers, the lipless teeth all seemed to have just cracked mighty jokes. “ And it doesn’t stop there but goes on and on with graphic descriptions illustrating not the horror, but instead Barry’s word-craft.

Are we meant to dwell on the prose or feel the horror of the soldiers? I kept reading in the hope something would happen to gain my interest or expand my comprehension of the horror of war. But there were just too many words and it took a long long time to reach the end. I was not even mentally exhausted, I was mentally lulled.

Another Barry fan may get more from A Long Long Way than I did, but for me it was a long long way from deserving my recommendation. ( )
  kjuliff | May 14, 2024 |
From the opening line (“He was born in the dying days.”) Barry is clear about the theme and trajectory of this work of historical fiction which takes place mostly during WW1. Shifting between the tensions in Ireland, from the Easter Rising and the independence movement, to the infamous fields of Flanders and battle-scarred Belgium, Barry personifies the Lost Generation through the character of Willie Dunne. The babies born in 1896 are grist for the millstone of war, their delivery nurses blood-stained uniforms likened to butcher’s aprons.

Although the language is often beautifully rendered and a real sense of Irish sensibility permeates the book, the problem lies in its lack of revelation: there are no real surprises along the way, in either character development or narrative arc. We learn nothing we did not already know. Perhaps for those unfamiliar with 20th century Irish history or who have not read novels such as All Quiet On the Western Front and many other fine novels about the horrors of the First World War, this book may introduce new perspectives. At times, it almost felt like a checklist: innocent young Everyman, youthful lust/ love, father and son symbolizing dying of old world and the inability of the previous generations to understand the new, bromance, explanation of war (gas, attrition, no man’s land, trench, officer vs private) all dutifully employed.

One expects a war novel to describe harrowing scenes. The descriptions of gas attacks were relatively restrained and other soldier deaths were not prolonged pages of horror. The more disturbing imagery was reserved for the mutilation and rape of a woman and the butchering of an animal. Too many authors employ these scenes as a lazy way to announce The Moral Decay of War, the degradation and sheer vileness at work, while sparing the male characters similar graphic portrayals.

There are some exquisite phrasings and an immediacy to the work that certainly warrant admiration. But it is a book most of us have read before; the individual characters a little too subsumed by theme. ( )
  saschenka | Apr 6, 2024 |
Really good story of the First World War and the mental confusion caused by the Easter Rising. Gets into the soldiers' minds plausibly. What it was like in the trenches.
  jgoodwll | Mar 1, 2024 |
The third novel by Sebastian Barry (from the ones still in print anyway; 5th if you count the two he published in the 80s) returns to the formula of the previous two (Eneas McNulty and Annie Dunne) - a child born close to the start of the century in Ireland comes of age and lives through the craziness that follows allowing Barry to explore the lives of the people who lived through all the changes, all the hopes and all the misery.

Willie Dunne cannot wait to grow up. Born to a a policeman, he proves to be too short to become one and instead enrolls into the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and crosses the channel to fight. Except that the war is not the only thing happening - Ireland erupts in revolt at around the same time and Willie finds himself on both fronts.

It is a hard to read novel in some places - the rawness and awfulness of WWI is all here on display and the disillusionment of Willie and his generation is a fitting companion to the bleakness of the landscape - usually lush and full of life but now covered in mud and death. And if you also happened to be Irish, you also had to deal with what was happening back home - the struggle for independence, the attempt to get the English off everyone's neck. Willie has the added burden of his upbringing and his father's lack of understanding for any changes.

If you had read the novel Annie Dunne or you had read or seen the play The Steward of Christendom, you already know how this tale needs to finish. Because Willie is Annie's brother - the boy who came back as a ghost to his father bed-side when the old policeman was slowly losing his mind in the county home, the only son of a man who had to see all he believed in crumble.

If you never read any of them, the surprise may come as a surprise although it fits the novel and no other ending would have worked.

It is a novel about WWI and the Irish in WWI - split between home and the war, trying to fight for their country in different ways. It may be one of the best WWI novels you can find out there - both brutal and lyrical. And Barry manages to weave into the narrative enough personality and personal loss to make it as much a WWI story as the story of a man called Willie Dunne. ( )
  AnnieMod | Mar 28, 2023 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 58) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä (2 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Barry, Sebastianensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Jonkers, JohannesKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Lévy-Paoloni, FlorenceTraductionmuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Oeser, Hans-ChristianÜBers.muu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Posada, María CandelariaKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (2)

Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

Praised as a "master storyteller" (The Wall Street Journal) and hailed for his "flawless use of language" (Boston Herald), Irish author and playwright Sebastian Barry has created a powerful new novel about divided loyalties and the realities of war.

In 1914, Willie Dunne, barely eighteen years old, leaves behind Dublin, his family, and the girl he plans to marry in order to enlist in the Allied forces and face the Germans on the Western Front. Once there, he encounters a horror of violence and gore he could not have imagined and sustains his spirit with only the words on the pages from home and the camaraderie of the mud-covered Irish boys who fight and die by his side. Dimly aware of the political tensions that have grown in Ireland in his absence, Willie returns on leave to find a world split and ravaged by forces closer to home. Despite the comfort he finds with his family, he knows he must rejoin his regiment and fight until the end. With grace and power, Sebastian Barry vividly renders Willie's personal struggle as well as the overwhelming consequences of war.

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