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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Good Soldier, post ii

Whatever problems I was having with "The Good Soldier" appear to have been my own inability to read between the lines. Finally, the novel is beginning to appear like a lineal plot. I got in the groove last night and finished "Book One."

The Ashburnhams and the Dowells are two couples who meet yearly at the fashionable German spa town of Nauheim. The plot really centers around Edward Ashburnham's infidelities to his wife. The narrator, John Dowell, and his wife Florence are Americans who visit Europe yearly seeking "cures" for Florence's weak heart. I am not particularly sure yet if the narrator is a reliable voice. Like the good British subject she is, Edward Ashburnham's wife, Leonore, puts up with quite a bit from her husband. Like I said, the action shifts from 1904 to 1915 rather quickly, and one is prone to get lost for lack of attention. There are interjections by the narrator that give away a certain amount of the story beforehand. For example, John Dowell touches very lightly on the fact that Florence and Edward have an affair. Perhaps this would have been better revealed later; that or else Ford has a genius twist in store for us at the end. That's the problem with this type of plot, one expects that to happen later in the book and if it doesn't, one becomes disillusioned by the story's lack of resolution or even climax. I plan on starting "Book Two" today.

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At 11:13 PM, Blogger Susan Abraham said...

My accompanying thoughts:
Were you then disturbed by what you may have perceived to have been that slight bit of carelessness in giving away too much too soon?
Were you then not thoroughly satisfied with Bk.1 in the way you had imagined you would be?


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