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The Balkan Trilogy (1960)

de Olivia Manning

Séries: The Balkan trilogy (1-3), Fortunes of War (1-3)

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9372916,652 (4.04)206
Living and working in Rumania, Guy and Harriet Pringle are forced to evacuate to Greece before the steady advance of the German army. The Balkan Trilogy is the remarkable portrait of their marriage, a haunting evocation of a vanished way of life and a delightfully ironic comedy of manners in a breaking world.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 29 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I need to stop this for now. I just don't really care what happens and the size of this book is stressing me out. I wanted to make it to the end of book one, but I just. don't. want. to. Maybe after I watch the miniseries!

Note to self on plot:
-The Jewish family has been dispossessed and the son is missing
-Christmas dinner has happened
-Yakimov is mooching off everyone
-Sophie is pissing off Harriet, and Guy is starting to see it
-Clarence thinks Harriet was flirting with him
-The Rumanians think the Russians will take over the continent
-British wives have returned to Rumania, for the moment
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
fortunes of war, Harriet and Guy in Rumania and Greece in WWII, their love eventually confirmed
  ritaer | Apr 7, 2020 |
Realistic portrayal of diplomatic life in early WW2-affected Bucharest and Athens. ( )
  Kakania | Dec 21, 2019 |
Another keen observer of the human condition and esp humans in challenging circumstances (impending war and war) and foreign landscapes/cultures. While Manning provides a well painted landscape of the "Paris of the East", Bucharest, with its Brit ex-pats, British military and cultural organizations, and other assorted (mainly "upper crust") characters from various parts of Europe, she deftly also weaves in thought provoking observations about the late 1930s-early 1940s European world, its various political pts of view, the complexities of marriages in this society, and even elements of friendship, identity, even meaningful existence - and all of this against the backdrop (and it is the backdrop -not the focus) of the growing war between the Axis powers and the Allies. Her main narrator, a young, somewhat diffident English woman, Harriet, who has recently married Guy Pringle, an idealistic, gregarious professor of English language and literature, is the lens through which Manning achieves this scrutiny, and gradually draws us readers in. It reminds me so much of the better black & white classic films from this time-period, with many colorful characters, all mixing it up in foreign clubs/bars, circling each other as they respond to the swirling events of European capitals & their response to the growing reach of Nazi Germany (yeah, like Casablanca!) but without the overwrought emotions...well, not at first. Manning does allow Harriet her moments of despair, passion, tearful grief - but this is such a British mid-20th century novel, even the horrifying or potentially romantic (hint of sex) moments are couched in restrained prose. And what wonderfully varied prose it is- this authors knows how to provide a fully descriptive passage, or convey a wealth of insight through tense, realistic, clipped dialogue. Nevertheless, her observations about life, death, what sort of marriage emerges for a young couple, the idiosyncrasies of one's friends and acquaintances - all are explored while we barrel through the disintegrating peace for Romania, and then Greece- among other nations which succumb to the Axis threats, and eventually military advancement. The Balkan Trilogy ends with Guy and Harriet escaping Athens with one suitcase apiece, on a rusty commercial steamer with other British nationals, hurriedly rounded up and deported to safer territory: Cairo, Jerusalem, etc - I'm looking forward to the next trilogy to see how these two survive and build their lives together, in spite of being so (to Harriet's great chagrin and despondency) incredibly different in temperament, political & spiritual beliefs, and insights into various individuals they encounter. Not for the faint of heart: this trilogy is 924 pages long. Yep. It's a winter read book... ( )
1 vote BDartnall | Nov 26, 2018 |
Reading this novel was a deeply satisfying experience. I learned about WWII actions in Romania and Greece that I had not known about. The author's take on the life of government workers living abroad during a time of war came from her own experiences, so I felt that they were authentic. The characters represented types to be found everywhere, but were brought to life so that I felt connected to them. The theme of commitment, whether in marriage, in political or personal beliefs, or to community was thoroughly explored, and was thought provoking. Most of all, I felt I gained some insight into the experience of being at the mercy of the fortunes and misfortunes of war. Entire countries, not just the characters in the story, lived with moment-to-moment anxiety of which way the proverbial wind would blow, and whether their troops would prevail, and what their choices were if they did not. I certainly was reminded to be grateful for the stability of my life in the United States. ( )
  hemlokgang | Jul 27, 2017 |
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SOMEWHERE NEAR VENICE, Guy began talking with a heavy, elderly man, a refugee from Germany on his way to Trieste.
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Living and working in Rumania, Guy and Harriet Pringle are forced to evacuate to Greece before the steady advance of the German army. The Balkan Trilogy is the remarkable portrait of their marriage, a haunting evocation of a vanished way of life and a delightfully ironic comedy of manners in a breaking world.

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O livro de Olivia Manning, Fortunes of War, estava disponível em LibraryThing Member Giveaway.

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Média: (4.04)
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2 edições deste livro foram publicadas por NYRB Classics.

Edições: 1590173317, 1590177037

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