EPS Review #196 - The Good Soldier

The Good Soldier , by Ford Madox Ford, Oxford 2008(1915), 307pp.

Our book club chose this as another classic, much praised for its "unreliable narrator" and clever construction by slow revelations. I figured it would be another tale of icy English infidelity, redeemed probably by the writing, the period detail, and maybe some poignancy.

But it bored me. I marked no inspiring passages, and had to cudgel myself to get to the end of what is a relatively short book. The four main characters are idle rich and do nothing much interesting besides betraying each other. My pulse quickened once when I thought the two suicides were faked and narrator had killed his wife and friend himself. The introduction says that a minority of critics have actually held that view. But no, the narrator is too dull.

Besides producing an excellent baked chicken with tahini, Archie also produced this Guardian audio link, that wittily sums up the plot.