Friday, April 10, 2015

Parade's End - Ford Madox Ford

Parade's End
Title: Parade's End
Author: Ford Madox Ford
Publication Date: 1928
Pages: 836
How I Found It: 100 Best Novels list
Date Completed: 3/19/15

Summary: Christopher Tietjens stands in love triangle with his perpetually unfaithful wife, Sylvia, and a young family friend Valentine. Meanwhile, WWI erupts and the world becomes a wholly unrecognizable place. 

What I Thought: Sigh. This book took me months to get through. It's a beast. Two years into this challenge and I know that these long ones can take far longer than I expect. Thank goodness for audiobooks. 

I have to be honest. I didn't love this book. It was just so long.

I'm not afraid of a long book. I really enjoy them when they are rightfully long. But, sometimes, I feel as though stories can get drawn out for the sake of getting drawn out. I have a sneaking suspicion I would have enjoyed Parade's End a whole lot more had it been around the length of Ford's other 100 Best Novel book,  The Good Soldier. Cutting the length in half would have eliminated a lot of the philosophizing and aimless conversations and stiff, British social situations. 

I also did not find a single character in this book to be particularly likeable, even Tietjens himself. 

I can recognize the skill of the writing and the powerful social changes it captured. In its day, I understand why it garnered attention and praise. Personally, though, I did not find much to which I could relate and thought the whole thing too lengthy. 

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Doubtful
If You Liked This Try: Howard's End / A Room with a View / Sons and Lovers
Other Books By Ford Madox Ford: The Good Soldier

A Reduced Review: In a novel that feels as long as the war itself, a British gentleman navigates an unhappy marriage and the monumental transitions that accompanied WWI.

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