The Good Soldier
Here, for the first time as an unabridged audiobook, this enigmatic modern classic details the adulterous entanglements of two couples on seemingly normal, friendly terms. The truth of these liaisons emerges, retrospectively and in fragments, from the viewpoint of the innocent and unsuspecting John Dowell. Dowell’s perpetual failure to grasp and understand the nature of the infidelities of the people around him makes this a compelling and intriguing first-person narrative. The gap between one person’s interpretation of events and the reality is deftly illustrated in what has been critically acclaimed as a near perfect novel and one of the greatest English classics of the twentieth century. Kerry Shale’s reading is superb, evoking all the suspense and the subtleties of this fine novel.
Whether you know Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier or not, don’t miss this reading by Kerry Shale, who varies his performance brilliantly as the story shifts from platitudes to a rollercoaster ride of intimate revelation. Written on the eve of the First World War and satirising the complacency and immorality of the age, the book is an experimental narrative, moving to and fro in time with explanations inserted as if recounted to a friend. ‘This is the saddest story I have ever heard’ is the opening line, but within seconds we are wondering how on earth it can be as we hear of the impeccable social credentials of the two couples at its core. Give it a few minutes, and you will be agog, uncertain whether to laugh at its first-person narrator’s gullibility or cry at the tragic outcome. Poetically resonant and painterly in its word pictures, the book was regarded by Ford as his best. Don’t be misled by the studiously ironic title: the only conflict in the story is that between the sexes. – Christina Hardyment, The Times