It has been a while since I was able to pick up a good fiction book. Unfortunately the works of Politics and History of Journalism beckoned with first year exams.
So after a long departure I was able to soak up (some) sun and read what is entitled a modern classic.
Well they were right in a sense, I really enjoyed Faulk's ability to capture the pain and suffering of the soldiers in the trenches. Yet it sometimes felt disjointed jumping from the past to the present just to compare similar plot lines.
Also even as a huge romantic, I didn't enjoy the love story between Stephen and Isabelle.
They were drawn together by lust in my opinion as Isabelle's nature is compulsive and leave Stephen alone twice. It is her very underdeveloped sister Jeanne who is there to pick up the pieces.
This works well as we learn what she is like through Isabelle and how Stephen is able to retain some human qualities despite the miserable surroundings.
The books emotions come from the supporting characters who have good qualities. Wier and Jack are two that you sympathise with as they try to coerce Stephen into giving life another shot.
It is the tragedy and irony of the situations that show that war is not fair. The graphic details also give you a true flavour of the suffering of the men.
The book leaves you with hope because it finishes in the present day. However you do go through a range of emotions which is what you want to experience in a book.
I am not going to say it is the best book written this century but for it opens a generation to the horrors we hopefully never have to experience.