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A Long, Long Way (2005)

de Sebastian Barry

Séries: Dunne Family (2)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,0774713,846 (4.04)73
"In 1914, Willie Dunne, barely eighteen years old, leaves behind Dublin, his family and the girl he plans to marry in order to enlist in the Allied forces and face the Germans on the Western Front. Once there he encounters violence on a scale he could not have imagined and sustains his spirit with only the words on the pages from home and the camaraderie of the mud-covered Irish boys who fight and die by his side. Dimly aware of the political tensions that have grown in Ireland in his absence, Willie returns on leave to find a world split and ravaged by forces closer to home. Despite the comfort he finds with his family, he knows that he must rejoin his regiment and fight until the end. Sebastian Barry renders Willie's personal struggle as well as the overwhelming consequences of war."--BOOK JACKET.… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porDComedian, Karamel_Empire, naratemari, kellyn, TCAPLIB
  1. 20
    All Quiet on the Western Front de Erich Maria Remarque (starfishian)
  2. 00
    The Ghost Road de Pat Barker (shaunie)
    shaunie: Barker's book, although more plainly written, is if anything more powerful than Barry's, which is so beautiful and poetic.
  3. 00
    The Red and the Green de Iris Murdoch (cf66)
    cf66: Molto diverse narrativamente,si rifanno allo stesso momento storico
  4. 00
    The Absolutist de John Boyne (SandSing7)
    SandSing7: Both poignant, moving takes on World War I by Irish writers.
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A LONG LONG WAY is, hands down, one of the saddest, most tragic novels of men at war that I have ever read. Written in a beautiful and ornate run-on style, it plunks you right down into the mud, blood and gore of WWI trench warfare in France and then Flanders, as it follows the fortunes of young Dubliner, Willie Dunne, who joins up because, at five foot six, he is too short to follow in the footsteps of his father, the city's Chief Police Commissioner. Willie makes it through four years of the war, while tens of thousands of Irish soldiers perish. You get a close-up look at how the Irish rebellion figures into the war, and Willie finds himself right in the middle of much of it, questioning his own role in the British Army and finding himself at odds with his beloved father, a widower who lovingly raised Willie and his three sisters. Sebastian Barry aptly demonstrates there is nothing glorious about war, but there is something very special about the friendships made among the men who fight them. Barry has created a very memorable cast of supporting characters around Willie, in the crusty, obscene Sergeant Major Christy Moran; the chaplain, Father Buckley; the young objector who refuses to fight and is executed; the various officers who command briefly before becoming casualties; Willie's sisters and his girlfriend, Gretta, and more.

A LONG LONG WAY is a masterful coming-of-age story set in the trenches of war, and Willie Dunne is a character that will haunt me for a long time. This story caught me up and still has not put me down. My highest recommendation.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER ( )
1 vote TimBazzett | Mar 15, 2019 |
A story of an innocent, Irish boys experience in WWI fighting for the British with the promise of Home Rule after the war. The horrors of the fighting, the betrayal of Home Rulers by Britian and the desertion of his loved ones at home add up to a tragic life, The descriptions of his time in Belgium are unforgettable. ( )
  ghefferon | Nov 16, 2018 |
(39) This really has to be one of the best War novels ever written -- and there are A LOT of War novels. This is about a young Irish boy who volunteers for WW1 without thinking too much of it. He thinks of defending the Flemish Women and girls who are being invaded by the Boche and wants to defend them as he would his beloved sisters. Thus, William Dunne - too short to join the police like his revered father, joins the King's army. Indeed, it is a bad time to volunteer for an Irishmen. Not only because going over the top of the trenches means almost certain death by the thousands, but because just then in Northern Ireland fighting for the King makes you a traitor to Home Rule. Ireland for the Irish; the beginnings of Sinn Fein. And poor Willie without a political bone in his body learns to become a man in the trench.

Gruesome, heart-wrenching tales of what this type of warfare must have been like. I have read Faulk's 'Birdsong' and Barker's 'Regeneration' trilogy as well as 'All Quiet on the Western Front.' but I do believe that this is the most harrowing descriptions of the depravity, the inhumanness of this War. Of all Wars to be sure. But to be stuck in airless holes in the ground for days at at time with dead rotting bodies of friends, surrounded by your own excrement, infested with lice, and terrified that a bullet or poison gas meant for you was any minute on the horizon. . .

While much of this novel is exquisite and I stand by my assertion that it is one of the best pieces of War fiction I have read, I find I struggle to place it in my highest rating categories. It actually took me quite some time to read despite its rather unassuming page count, and I found it hard to get into at times. It definitely does not spoon feed you Irish history and politics and I was as bewildered as Willie at times. And then the ending, the ending. While it could not be other than it was, I felt defeated by it. That is all I will say. This is only the second novel by this author I have read, but I am interested in reading more. Well-done, affecting, heart-wrenching. ( )
  jhowell | Aug 4, 2018 |
One of the most powerful novels I have ever read about World War I is Erich Maria Remarque's classic novel, All Quiet on the Western Front. Now I can add Sebastian Barry's 2005 novel, A Long, Long Way to that very short list.
The Irish author and playwright sends barely eighteen-year-old Willie Dunne to Flanders in this harrowing account of divided loyalties and the realities of war. Willie's story begins with one of the most beautiful first lines I have ever read: He was born in the dying days. The first chapter follows a simple, short recap of Willie's young life and stops when he sees in love at first with the beautiful young Gretta Lawlor.
Next, it's 1914, and Willie finds himself on the front lines, a Dubliner fighting with the Allied forces against Germany on the Western Front. Readers experience the horrors of life in the trenches and the devastating affects of the gas attacks. Willie has never encountered such violence and such a tragic waste of life. Letters from home and his buddies help keep his spirits bolstered, but as friend after friend becomes a statistic in the wounded and dead toll, Willie struggles to understand the new world around him.
When he does get a leave and goes home, Dublin is much different than when he left. While his sisters are overjoyed he's home, his father is deeply disappointed in some of Willie's views, and his sweetheart, Gretta, has bad news for him. He rushes back to the front, more comfortable with the war and the havoc it wracks than he is at home.
While A Long, Long Way is not a page-turner, it is compulsive reading. It was short listed for the 2005 Man Booker Prize. Nobel Prize-winning author J. M. Coetzee sums up Barry's work best, A deeply moving story of courage and fidelity" that should be mandatory reading in high school. ( )
  juliecracchiolo | May 23, 2017 |
Such a harrowing book and yet so tender. Sebastian Barry is so good at both. ( )
  b.beaumont | Jan 22, 2017 |
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"In 1914, Willie Dunne, barely eighteen years old, leaves behind Dublin, his family and the girl he plans to marry in order to enlist in the Allied forces and face the Germans on the Western Front. Once there he encounters violence on a scale he could not have imagined and sustains his spirit with only the words on the pages from home and the camaraderie of the mud-covered Irish boys who fight and die by his side. Dimly aware of the political tensions that have grown in Ireland in his absence, Willie returns on leave to find a world split and ravaged by forces closer to home. Despite the comfort he finds with his family, he knows that he must rejoin his regiment and fight until the end. Sebastian Barry renders Willie's personal struggle as well as the overwhelming consequences of war."--BOOK JACKET.

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