Book - 1996
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Random House, Inc.
A bestseller in Britain for nearly a year, this novel about the horror and passion of World War I is destined to be compared to classics such as All Quiet on the Western Front and A Farewell to Arms. "An extremely good novel, and a considerable addition to the fin-de-siecle flowering of first world war literature."--Penelope Lively, The Spectator (London).

Baker & Taylor
In 1910, Stephen Wraysford, a young Englishman, journeys to France on business, becomes embroiled in a series of traumatic events, including a clandestine love affair, and never returns home, only to be trapped amid the horrors of the First World War. 25,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
Set before and during the Great War, Birdsong captures the drama of that era on both a national and a personal scale. It is the story of Stephen Wraysford, a young Englishman who journeys to France on business in 1910 and becomes so entangled in a passionate clandestine love affair that he never returns home. Rootless and heartbroken when war breaks out in 1914, he joins the army and is given command of a brigade of miners, whose macabre assignment is to tunnel beneath German lines and set off bombs under the enemy trenches - thereby creating a pitch-dark subterranean battlefield even more ghastly than the air and trench warfare above them. As have many lost young men, Stephen finds a place and an intense camaraderie in this tortuous world, and through his eyes Faulks reveals not only the unspeakable carnage but the unexpected love and loyalty that took place in the fields of France a mere two generations ago.

& Taylor

In 1910, Stephen Wraysford, a young Englishman, journeys to France, becomes embroiled in a series of traumatic events, including a clandestine love affair, and is later trapped amid the horrors of the First World War

Publisher: New York : Random House, [1996], c1993
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780679435457
Branch Call Number: F FAU
Characteristics: 402 p. ; 25 cm


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Apr 20, 2017

This book starts off really slowly and in my view is a bit too long. BUT the ending chapters are fantastic. So hang in there if you start to feel the story is going nowhere.

Feb 02, 2017

This book starts off with a romance and it almost lost me there because I thought the romantic scenes were cheesy. I am so glad I pushed through because it turned into a great novel of WWI with some of the best descriptions I have ever read of wartime conditions and experiences. It had its ups and downs but generally this was a very worthy read.

Dec 28, 2014

A well done narrative. Good characterization however the prose though good is not exceptional. Worth reading for anyone.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 07, 2014

A tale of love and war: the lingering love of a young man for a woman following a brief passionate affair, and the love of a simple soldier in France in 1916 for his dying son at home. At the centre is an enigmatic young British officer caught in the unbelievable horror of trench warfare on the Somme. One is reminded of All Quiet on the Western Front. Gripping and intensely moving.

Oct 15, 2013

One of the best books I have read about WWI. Was a little confused at first but, when the story got going, it was a great read about the personal lives of the people actually involved in the fighting. Would highly recommend this book!

Sep 12, 2013

It started slow with an illicit affair but then switched to the trenches of WW1. It is here that the book excels in describing the total depravity that men inflict on each other in the name of war.
It is very ugly and obscene but if that is what happened how could WW2 ever happened knowing what we knew of all the horrors.

May 04, 2013

Sebastian Faulks is one of my favourite authors.

Jun 21, 2012

Excellent book, the second story in Faulks' France Trilogy: The Girl at the Lion D'or, Birdsong, and Charlotte Gray

kbraunizer Jan 23, 2012

This story has been dramatised on BBC Drama on 22/1/2012 so hopefully it will be on Canadian TV before long. It is filled in 2 parts.

Jan 08, 2012

After reading teen lit in my last group of books, I wasn't looking forward to reading another title off the BBC list. I knew nothing of Faulks or of the book, but was drawn in by the introduction which was written by Faulks himself, as he reminisced about how the book came to be. I am familiar with Northern France, having spent time there in school and travelling in my early 20s. So I could picture vividly the life in Amiens and the fields of Normandy after the war. Faulks writes of extremes of emotion: passion, despair, acceptance, humiliation. The idea of brotherhood was something that was well-conveyed through Stephen and Weir, and then Levi and Stephen. The book ended in such joy with the birth of John that it took me back to the birth of my own children. Romance, intrigue, war, this book was full of interest. I look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy (The Girl at the Lion d'Or and Charlotte Gray).

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Oct 22, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Oct 22, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.


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