BKMT READING GUIDES



 
Epic,
Inspiring,
Beautiful

2 reviews

A Soldier of the Great War
by Mark Helprin

Published: 2005-06-01
Paperback : 880 pages
0 members reading this now
2 clubs reading this now
2 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members

From acclaimed novelist Mark Helprin, a lush, literary epic about love, beauty, and the world at war

 

Alessandro Giuliani, the young son of a prosperous Roman lawyer, enjoys an idyllic life full of privilege: he races horses across the country to the sea, he climbs mountains in the ...

No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to

Introduction

From acclaimed novelist Mark Helprin, a lush, literary epic about love, beauty, and the world at war

 

Alessandro Giuliani, the young son of a prosperous Roman lawyer, enjoys an idyllic life full of privilege: he races horses across the country to the sea, he climbs mountains in the Alps, and, while a student of painting at the ancient university in Bologna, he falls in love. Then the Great War intervenes. Half a century later, in August of 1964, Alessandro, a white-haired professor, tall and proud, meets an illiterate young factory worker on the road. As they walk toward Monte Prato, a village seventy kilometers away, the old man—a soldier and a hero who became a prisoner and then a deserter, wandering in the hell that claimed Europe—tells him how he tragically lost one family and gained another. The boy, envying the richness and drama of Alessandro's experiences, realizes that this magnificent tale is not merely a story: it's a recapitulation of his life, his reckoning with mortality, and above all, a love song for his family.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Compare and contrast this novel's main character, Alessandro Giuliani, with Don Quixote. In what ways is this novel structured like Cervantes's Don Quixote?
What is the purpose of the character Nicolo, the young man that Alessandro meets in the opening episode?
Of all the professions that Alessandro might have, why does the author make him a professor of aesthetics?
by spacer5 (see profile) 08/29/14

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

La Tempesta by Giorgione is mentioned several times.
by wren2 (see profile) 08/29/14
A detail of this work graces older copies of the book. Seeing the whole painting will enlarge the readers\\\' understanding of the story.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Soldier of the Great War"by wren2 (see profile) 08/29/14

Helprin's prose is masterful and, in certain passages, breathtaking, transcendent. Follow Allesandro's odyssey through the beauty that was Italy when the world was still young, skirt the edges of World... (read more)

 
  "A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin"by spacer5 (see profile) 08/29/14

A novel of epic length and scope--A Soldier of the Great War explores the search for beauty and meaning in life during a time of war and chaotic disorder. Inside its framework tale of the elderly Alessandro... (read more)

 
  "Epic about a young man in Italy during WWI"by kfoulks (see profile) 07/14/08

This book was so moving, I couldn't put it down. With books that are this large (800+ pages), I usually can find several parts that i could've done without. NOT SO with this one. Every se... (read more)

Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search
FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...