Book review: Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford


Parade's EndParade’s End by Ford Madox Ford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a tetralogy composed by the following books: Some Do Not (1924), No More Parades (1925), A Man Could Stand UP (1926) and Last Post (1928).

Even if these four novels have been reissued in 1948, after Second World War, the first omnibus version was published by Knopf in 1950.

It is interesting to find out that I have the same opinion as stated by Graham Greene: “an afterthought which he (Ford) had not intended to write and later regretted having written.” In addition, “…the Last Post was more than a mistake—it was a disaster, a disaster which has delayed a full critical appreciation of Parade’s End.”

Lets go back then to the review of the four novels.

In the fist book of this series, the author describes the main character, Christopher Tietjens, “the last English Tory” after the World War I and his involvement with two women in his life: his faithless wife, Sylvia (a quite annoying woman in my opinion) and his lover, Valentine Wannop, a pacifist and suffragette.

In the second volume, the author describes the Chistopher’s engagement in the Great War, who lives his aristocratic world and moves to the chaos of the French trenches.

The third volume – A Man Could Stand Up, is the best one in my opinion. It starts with the Armistice Day and the author describes the feelings of the main characters in a magnificent way. The author also describes Christopher’s emotional and psychological responses under fire. As consequence, he decides to retreat and decides to live with Valentine, selling antiques as a way of economically survive.

And the last one, the worst of this series, does have almost nothing to do with the previous ones. It seems that the author was looking for some kind of redemption or some other feeling which we cannot fully understand.

All four novels area available at the Public Domain:

Free download available at eBooks@Adelaide.

Free download available at eBooks@Adelaide.

Free download available at eBooks@Adelaide.

Free download available at eBooks@Adelaide.

In 2012, HBO, BBC, and VRT produced a television adaptation Parade’s End (2012) written by Tom Stoppard and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall.

3* The Good Soldier
4* Some Do Not
4* No More Parades
4* A Man Could Stand Up
2* Last Post
TR The Fifth Queen
TR The Young Lovell
TR The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
TR Henry James, a critical study

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