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The Great Fire (2003)

de Shirley Hazzard

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1,802377,798 (3.44)134
In war-torn Asia and stricken Europe, men and women, still young but veterans of harsh experience, must reinvent their lives and expectations, and learn, from their past, to dream again. Some will fulfill their destinies, others will falter. At the center of the story, a brave and brilliant soldier find that survival and worldly achievement are not enough. His counterpart, a young girl living in occupied Japan and tending her dying brother, falls in love, and in the process discovers herself.… (més)
Afegit fa poc perDeborama, mattorsara, Laura_J_D, hkaur1003, biblioteca privada, JKraft, joucy, ASLarkana, ae17
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Es mostren 1-5 de 37 (següent | mostra-les totes)
The Great Fire is a novel set in the aftermath of World War II. Aldred Leith is a thirty-two year old British officer, who is writing a book about the destruction in China and Japan and initial rebuilding efforts. Severely wounded in the European fighting, Leith has recovered sufficiently to spend months traipsing across China and is now entering Japan. There he takes quarters on the grounds of the Driscoll compound and soon befriends the young Driscoll's, Ben and Helen. Intelligent and innocent, the adolescents represent both the culture of the past and the hope for the future.

Despite having been written in 2003, the novel feels like a novel of an earlier time. Frocks, gentlemen callers, and afternoons spent reading poetry make much of the action seem disembodied from the setting. Although the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are alluded to, they are never discussed. The Japanese are servants only, and there is little interaction with them, despite Leith speaking the language. Most of the action centers around the love affair between Leith and Helen, made scandalous by the fifteen year age difference. There was great potential for a book set in this time and place, but the author focuses on the domesticity of a European love story instead. ( )
  labfs39 | Jun 26, 2022 |
On aurait pu nommer ce livre "sous les cendres"... Une ambiance, une époque, cicatrisante mais encore douloureuse. ( )
  Nikoz | May 29, 2021 |
I was not impressed - Bored Stiff ( )
  MAR67 | May 5, 2021 |
It took me a while to get into this book. The actual plot is not that exciting but the characters are interesting and the setting is quite remarkable, casting a light on WWII veterans living in China and Japan to write reports, their coping with getting back to some kind of normal. ( )
  WiebkeK | Jan 21, 2021 |
Ugh! This was tedious and a bit painful. Aldred Leith and Helen Driscoll are blah characters. There was nothing truly interesting about either of them as presented. You would certainly expect something to grab you about Aldred given his war experiences and subsequent travels in Asia. There is no romance in Aldred and Helen's romance. I wanted to yell at Aldred to either pursue his love or to withdraw. To Helen, I wanted to say love is not supposed to be this depressing. The subplot involving Peter's illness seems to promise more insight, but Aldred appears to withdraw from his friend's challenge to make sense of life. The Great Fire, at least in how the title refers to Hiroshima, is almost non-existent.

I recognize that this novel may have a treasure that I have left undiscovered. But I tried, and found little that I could embrace.

( )
  afkendrick | Oct 24, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 37 (següent | mostra-les totes)
 
What makes The Great Fire such a special novel is the lush and palpable desire present in so many of its pages, desire not just for physical consummation but for human connection and hope, made all the more meaningful by the backdrop of the cruelty and violence of war.
 
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In war-torn Asia and stricken Europe, men and women, still young but veterans of harsh experience, must reinvent their lives and expectations, and learn, from their past, to dream again. Some will fulfill their destinies, others will falter. At the center of the story, a brave and brilliant soldier find that survival and worldly achievement are not enough. His counterpart, a young girl living in occupied Japan and tending her dying brother, falls in love, and in the process discovers herself.

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Mitjana: (3.44)
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