Book Reviews

Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington

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List Price: £6.95

 

Paperback: 400 Pages.

Published: September 1984 by The Hogarth Press Ltd

Edition: New edition

ISBN: 0701206047

EAN: 9780701206048

Against the background of trench war in France, this is the story of a man and two the women who share his life. They are not conventional people – could Aldington ever write about the conventional? - a man who shares his wife with another man and a mistress who shares him with others.

Death of a Hero shocked people by its advanced views when it was first published, and even today it still has the capacity to startle the reader with ideas socially ahead of our times. (Circa 1929?)

Reviews

5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Bill Stilling

World War 1, a man, and the women he loved.

 This book is a biography of Winterbourne, Edward Frederick George, soldier, Killed in action, written by a friend and colleague of his in the army. It also encompasses the lives of George's parents who played a very significant part in creating George's character. Just as he was leaving school they became bankrupt which meant that the funds for his preferred career, to be an artist, were no longer available.  After many rows with his parents he left home and set off to make a career for himself.

The first half of the book is concerned with George's young days, his maturity, and of people's attitudes in the years coming up to the start of the first world war, particularly as regards sex, and the commonplace approach to extra-marital sex.

George eventually met, and married, Elizabeth, and in due course took Fanny as a mistress.  Both the women accepted this arrangement, and they themselves had affairs with many others.  By this time the threat of war was approaching fast and as a result of a squabble between the two women George signed up for the army.

The remainder of the book is devoted to George's experiences in the army, and most specifically his time spent in the trenches at the front line in France.

The characterization and the writing in general in the book is, in my view, outstanding. The realism of the description of the conditions and the lifestyle of the soldiers in the trenches does, as is said proverbially “Makes one's hair stand on end!”.

Language ___ Violence XX_ Sex X__

 
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