Birdsong

by Sebastian Faulks | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0099387913 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Pooker3 of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 4/15/2017
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Pooker3 from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, April 15, 2017
I don't know where this came from. It's a paperback and not in the best shape, but I've been hanging on to it thinking I should read it. The cover blurbs suggest I be missing something if I didn't. Hmmm

Journal Entry 2 by Pooker3 at Second Cup – Graham & Edmonton in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, April 21, 2018

Released 1 yr ago (4/21/2018 UTC) at Second Cup – Graham & Edmonton in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

This one has been languishing on my TBR heap for way too long. With some regret I'm setting it free.

To the finder of this book:
I hope you enjoy your new read.

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Journal Entry 3 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, April 21, 2018
I've seen the movie made from this book and it was very moving. And we all know the book is better than the movie, so how could I resist when it turned up on Pooker3's stack of books to release. Thank you (although I really have too many books and I can't seem to release them until I've read them).

Journal Entry 4 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Every book I read about World War I fills me with horror but this one is in a class by itself. And yet there is a redeeming quality about the story in that it describes beautifully the comradeship that developed between men under fire. I thought it was a brilliant evocation of the time.
Stephen Wraysford spent time in Amiens France before World War I started. He was there on behalf of his employer to learn all he could about the fabric trade. M. Azaire (a textile manufacturer in Amiens) hosted Wraysford allowing him full access to his business and his home. Mme Azaire was quite a bit younger than her husband being his second wife. As the weeks pass Stephen and Mme Azaire (Isabelle) develop a passion for each other and consummate it with wild scenes of lovemaking. They announce their love to Azaire one evening and immediately leave the house. They live together for some time with Stephen earning a living as a woodworker. When Isabelle discovers she is pregnant she decides not to tell Stephen and leaves him to return to her parents’ home. When the war breaks out Stephen joins an infantry unit which takes part in some of the bloodiest battles of the war. Amazingly Stephen survives although he is seriously wounded twice. Once the medical staff disposed of his body with dead men but he was found by someone who knew him. Jack Firebrace was one of the tunnellers who would dig under German lines to listen and to lay explosives. His unit was stationed next to Stephen’s and his commanding officer (Weir) was a good friend of Stephen’s. Almost all of the company who started out with Stephen are killed as time goes along so Firebrace and Weir are some of the few who Stephen knew from the beginning. They have strong ties to each other. This is rare for Stephen as he has no relatives (he was orphaned as a young child) and no friends to speak of since he had severed ties with England to be with Isabelle but when that fell apart he stayed in France getting jobs here and there. Almost all the other men get letters and parcels from home but Stephen never receives anything until a leave spent in Amiens. In a small bar he sees a woman who resembles Isabelle and who Stephen knows is Isabelle’s sister Jeanne. He stops her and learns that Isabelle had returned to Azaire before the war. When the Germans occupied Amiens they required hostages from the able-bodied men and Azaire went to Germany. Shelling damaged their house and then damaged the apartment Isabelle had moved to and injured Isabelle. Jeanne came to look after her. Stephen says he wants to see her and Jeanne agrees to ask Isabelle. The meeting occurs but Isabelle is now in love with a German soldier and plans to live with him as soon as it can be arranged. Isabelle does not tell him of the child. Stephen accepts that his passion for Isabelle is over. However Jeanne starts a correspondence with him and he is glad to have someone to write to and visit. As he continues to lose friends and companions he treasures having a connection with someone outside of the war.
The details Faulks gives of life in the trenches are extremely specific. Like how the lice infest all their clothing and how the trenches are constructed and the different brands of cigarettes the soldiers get. He must have read reams of recollections from soldiers who fought the war as a book published in 1993 could hardly have used much in the way of first-hand accounts. Any veterans still alive then seventy-five years after the war ended would have been ancient and they would be unlikely to talk about such specifics as how their clothing was fumigated or what was in their packages from home (one account that still boggles my mind is that some of them received hand knitted socks almost every week). Yet it is those specific details that make this work so impactful. Truly a masterpiece.

Journal Entry 5 by winggypsysmomwing at Shell Station on Highway 3A West in Nelson, British Columbia Canada on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Released 3 mos ago (8/21/2019 UTC) at Shell Station on Highway 3A West in Nelson, British Columbia Canada

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I left this book close to the coffee area. This release is for the 2019 52 Towns in 52 weeks release challenge - Town #15 and for the One Word Title release challenge and for the Keep Them Moving release challenge.

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