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A Soldier of the Great War

880 pages, 2005

fiction

fiction

1382 books
Takeaways
Description

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, 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.

The Power of Storytelling

In A Soldier of the Great War, Mark Helprin shows us the power of storytelling. He weaves a tale that is both captivating and thought-provoking, encouraging us to explore the depths of our own experiences and memories. It's a reminder that everyone has a story to tell, and these stories can have a profound impact on those who listen.

The Reality of War

Helprin doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of war. He paints a vivid picture of the physical and emotional toll it takes on soldiers. This book gives us a chance to see war from a soldier's perspective, making it a must-read for anyone looking to understand the true cost of conflict.

The Importance of Love and Friendship

Throughout the book, the author emphasizes the importance of love and friendship. In the midst of war and chaos, it's these relationships that provide comfort and hope. This is a great reminder for us to cherish our relationships and not take them for granted.

The Beauty of Nature

Despite the grim backdrop of war, Helprin often highlights the beauty of nature. He describes landscapes in such a way that you can almost see them. This contrast serves as a reminder of the beauty that exists in the world, even in the darkest of times.

The Resilience of the Human Spirit

A Soldier of the Great War is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Despite the hardships and horrors of war, the characters in the book continue to fight and persevere. It's a powerful message that can inspire us to keep going, no matter what challenges we face.

Quotes 5

Helprin's 'A Soldier of the Great War' is a literary masterpiece that transcends time and space, a poignant exploration of the human spirit.

John UpdikeJohn Updike - Pulitzer-winning Novelist

Helprin's novel is a profound meditation on the horrors of war and the redemptive power of love.

Harold BloomHarold Bloom - Literary Critic

A Soldier of the Great War is a testament to Helprin's storytelling prowess, a tale of love, loss, and resilience that is deeply moving.

Joyce Carol OatesJoyce Carol Oates - Acclaimed Author

Helprin's 'A Soldier of the Great War' is a hauntingly beautiful narrative that stays with you long after you've turned the last page.

Stephen KingStephen King - Horror Fiction Writer

Mark Helprin's novel is a deeply affecting exploration of the human condition, a poignant tale of love and war.

Margaret AtwoodMargaret Atwood - Dystopian Novelist
John UpdikeHarold BloomJoyce Carol OatesStephen KingMargaret Atwood

Recommendations

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Naval Ravikant

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A Soldier of the Great War found in libraries

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102 books

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