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Julian Meynell's Books

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Ford's The Good Soldier

The Good Soldier - Ford Madox Ford, Kenneth Womack, William Baker

I have mixed feelings about this book. It's delivery is more impressive than its substance. It is told by an unreliable narrator in a chatty fireside style, but the narrator reveals that he wrote it over a long period and the information that he gives away and also his attitude shifts throughout the book to the other characters. The book is ostensibly about adultery, but this is a vehicle to explore wider themes of love, commitment, trust and moral character. I guess, I feel that that exploration is not the best and I'm not sure that I am all that interested in what Ford things or presents. He exposes the hypocrisy of Edwardian England right before World War I and that is not exactly hard. However, two characters, the narrator and Leonora are fascinating characters, but one character, the girl Nancy, I found unbelievable. The structure is really interesting. The technique is very good. But I don't know that Ford understood people all that well. So a very interesting book, but one that is hard to love.