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The Good Soldier ()

Modern Library Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century (30)

The novel tells the story of the 9 year friendship between two couples. The Good Soldier of the title has a "bad heart" and a wife he doesn't love.  The narrator's wife has a "bad heart" also and when the two couples meet in Europe they seem to form an ideal foursome.  However, as the story unfolds, the
narrator reveals that none of these people are who they seem to be on the surface.

The writing is very witty & the novel is structured almost like a mystery.  But as with a number of other books on this list, it is hard to like any of the characters &, therefore, hard to care what happens to them.

N.B.--I wrote this review in Fall '98, it was one of my first.  But I recently reread the book (for Ford's birthday) and this edition had an Intro by Ford that caused an epiphany and tied into my recent review of Madame Bovary.  Please take a look at that review, specifically the note following it, for more on The Good Soldier.

Thanks;  OJ (12/17/99)


Grade: (B-)


Ford Ford Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Ford Maddox Ford
    -REVIEW: of FORD MADOX FORD by Max Saunders (Min Wild, TLS)

Book-related and General Links:
    -Ford Maddox Ford
    -Malcolm Bradbury: 'Nothing But a Writer' REVIEW: of Ford Madox Ford by Alan Judd (NY Review of Books)
    -REVIEW: of  Ford Madox Ford: A Dual Life by Max Saunders (Julian Barnes, NY Review of Books)
    -REVIEW: of  The Fifth Queen by Ford Madox Ford (R.W. Flint, NY Review of Books)
    -BOOK CLUB: Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion (1915).  (Presented by Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World)