Based on the author’s experiences on the Western Front, Richard Aldington’s first novel, Death of a Hero, finally joins the ranks of Penguin. Death of a Hero has ratings and 40 reviews. Douglas said: This book initially came into my hands when I was fifteen years old, and found, by chance. Death of a Hero: Richard Aldington: best and best known novel, Death of a Hero (), to which All Men Are Enemies () was a sequel, reflected the.
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Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington.
First published inDeath of a Hero was described by its author as both a jazz novel and a memorial to a generation. The hero is George Winterbourne. Leaving the Edwardian gloom of his embattled parents behind him, George escapes to Soho, which buzzes, on the eve of war, with talk of politics, pacifism and free love.
He paints, he marries, he takes a mistress: Paperbackpages. Published by Hogarth Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Death of a Heroplease sign up. Lists with This Book. May 17, Douglas rated it it was amazing.
Death of a Hero Reader’s Guide
Deaath book initially came into my hands when I was fifteen years old, and found, by chance, the first unexpurgated edition in a bookstore in Paris. For decades it was censored in England on account of the sheer venom that Aldington brought to his depiction of pre-World War One British society, and of the war itself as conducted by the British High Command. The novel tells the story of George Winterbourne as in Winter-borna young modernist British painter who before the war lives marginally in This book initially came into my hands when I was fifteen years old, and found, by chance, the first unexpurgated edition in a bookstore in Paris.
The novel tells the story of George Winterbourne as in Winter-borna young modernist British painter who before the war lives marginally in London, focused mainly on his art, and has relationships with two young women: Aldinvton the coming of war, he on principle joins up as an enlisted man, though his education would entitle him to become an officer.
Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington
Eventually, the sheer attrition rate of officers obliges him to become one. The novel graphically and eloquently depicts both the hypocrisies of British pre-War society, and the horrors and follies of the War itself. While it was censored in Britain, it became very popular in the Soviet Union: As I was living in France at the time, this book more than any other I can think of helped me to get a sense of the extremity of horror and societal upheaval that lay aldingfon the vast and silent cemeteries of Verdun, the Somme, and Ypres, and that had helped shape the twentieth century.
Nov 02, Dan rated it aldingtno was amazing Shelves: A largely autobiographical novel about a British soldier, George Winterbourne, and his experiences in WW1 as an infantryman and then an officer.
The novel is broken into thirds. In the middle of the novel we see George strike out on his own to London aldinggton an author and then marry a young woman named El A largely autobiographical novel about a British soldier, George Winterbourne, and his experiences in WW1 as an infantryman and then an officer. In the middle of the novel we see George strike out on his own to London as an author and then marry a young daeth named Elizabeth.
George and Elizabeth end up in an open marriage and each take different lovers that makes for some unique situations. The writing style used by Aldington is a mix of beautifully poetic paragraphs interspersed with realism and its shocking descriptions of trench warfare. At times there is very choppy dialogue. Aldington was a poet so this may explain the lack of continuity between sentences and his reluctance to use many conjunctions to extend sentences. So the novel is a little quirky but so authentic in disposing of and railing at many of the Victorian sentiments seen in novels just a decade or so earlier.
This novel was banned on its publication in because of vulgar language, sexual dalliances and graphic descriptions of trench warfare. There is probably little in this novel that would be objectionable to a teenager today.
Aldington is an excellent narrator although the dialogue is pretty average. Here is an example of his views in a wonderful prologue. Winterbourne had rather hoped he would be killed, and knew that his premature demise in the middle twenties would be borne with easy stoicism by those who survived him. But his vanity would have been a little shocked by what actually happened.
May 07, Elliott rated it it was amazing Shelves: Most World War 1 literature aldibgton popular culture seems to begin and end with All Quiet on the Western Front, which I hesitate to refer to as “overrated. Remarque concentrates on a group: Paul Baumer’s friends are Most Ceath War 1 literature in popular culture seems to begin and end with All Quiet on the Western Front, which I hesitate to refer to as “overrated.
Paul Baumer’s friends are picked off until there’s just Paul, and then he too is claimed by the war at the very end of the novel. The tragedy being that Baumer’s death as with his comrades is just so common that it doesn’t even aldkngton mention in the reports of the day: Remarque obviously wants the reader to imagine themselves within the same situation.
Remarque goes for empathy. The problem is that where Remarque has his group of characters go from close friends doing very unmilitary things together: He has few close friends, he has romantic partners sure enough, but he is not really attached to people.
He easily acquires and loses many people with only passing notice. His father is a bit of a Quixote character who simply exists on a separate plane of existence from his son, while his mother rather likes the consecutive ideas of: That relationship cuts to the heart of the book, and the difference between Remarque and Aldington.
Remarque would fully acknowledge that this group of youth he portrays are used as tools, but sldington focus is on the breaks between individuals that this war causes, the loss of life as national tragedy, that is his focus. Aldington is not interested in this. His focus is that on how the individual is used, how the individual progresses from body to corpse, and corpse to memory.
George was not important for any social reasons, George was important because he was a soldier pointing his gun in the correct direction.
His death is important because it goes back to and help props up that authority which sent him there in the first place. You can see this with the banality of the corpses in the final scenes-they hrro at best obstacles in ones path whether they are French or German is immaterial. It is a numbers crunch. Again, this is something that Remarque would no doubt totally agree with, but since his focus is elsewhere it is not fleshed out nearly so well.
This is a book of contrasts. The title and start of the novel tells the reader that the central character, George Winterbourne is a soldier in the First World War, killed a week before the signing of the armistice.
Published init is one of the many novels from the war which in part helped define its historical significance by presenting characters who were seen as victims rather than victors. Not only this, but also, with the increasing mechanisation of warfare, their actual significance This is a book of contrasts. Not only this, but also, with the increasing mechanisation of warfare, their actual significance to the outcome of the war was vastly reduced.
And many of them realised this. After telling us about George’s demise, the narrator takes us back to his earlier life, his background, childhood and young manhood, his parents, friends, wife and mistress. This part of the book is very funny, almost a social comedy, but as we already know the outcome there is an obvious pathos to it. The humour is dark, the characters who stay in England pathetically ill-informed and unable to comprehend what is about to happen.
When the war begins, and carries on, they still have no idea what it is really like; to them the British Tommies are heroic gentlemen, and the Germans are barbaric scum.
The final section of the book aldinton with George’s time in the trenches in France, first as a Private, and then as an Officer, a suitably more somber time, filled with some of the most graphic details of life and death on the Western Front that I have read. On leave in George returns to England where he cannot settle into a ‘normal’ existence, sleeping during the day and walking around London at night. The following passage made me realise yet again it seemsthat things do not change very much: He noticed that there were very few occupants of the benches – the War found work for everyone.
Odd, he reflected, that in War-time the country could spend five million pounds sterling a day in trying to kill Germans, and that in peace-time it couldn’t afford five million a year to attack its own destitution.
Feb 20, legolasik rated it hrro was amazing Shelves: I enjoyed this book despite the tinge of misogyny well, maybe not a tinge, because the specific attitude to women almost made me drop the book in the beginning. But it was worthwhile, still. This book is everything I think about the world today. Jun 15, Bobiczdoh rated it liked it.
Death of a Hero
This novel is about George Winterbourne who is drafted into the British Army during WWI, and as an infantryman, is sent to the Western Front, France, to fight and survive as best he can in the trenches. Due to attrition he becomes a lieutenant along the front lines. During battle in the trenches as they are beating back retreating German troops out of their trenches, George, seeing many aldintgon his troops dead astound him, pushes himself up to run and gunned down by German machine gun.
Great character This novel is about George Winterbourne who is drafted into the British Army during WWI, and as an infantryman, is sent to the Western Front, France, to fight and survive as best aldingtom can in the trenches. It makes the development of the plot inevitable, believable, authentic. Makes one think about the lunacy of trench warfare. However, to war generally, the novel makes intelligent, thought provoking points about the sanity of war by nations, and how war changes the soldiers fighting it.
Do not buy this edition! It’s the redacted version. A sensible adult can read the word Bugger and still be okay. Do yourself a favor and read Aldington’s original, unbowdlerized text in this edition: Death Of A Hero. Aug 18, Elena rated it it was amazing. The author shows how terrible it was to be a soldier.
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