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One of 15 limited edition Vintage Future Classics published to celebrate Vintage's 15th birthday. The 15 titles were voted for by reading groups all over the UK as being books that would still be read in 100 years time.

Birdsong is a novel about the tenderness and the limits of human flesh, it is about men and women living at the edge. Set mostly in France spanning the years before and during the First World War it captures the drama and destruction of that era as it tells the story of Stephen, a young Englishman who is impelled through a series of extreme experiences, from a traumatic clandestine love affair which rips apart the bourgeois French family he lives with, through grim insanity of the Great War. In the vast scenes of suffering and the tender depiction of human love, Birdsong is at times almost unbearably moving to read.

Reviews

Magnificent - deeply moving

Sunday Times

With Birdsong Faulks has produced a mesmerizing story of love and war... This book is so powerful that as I finished it I turned to the front to start again

Sunday Express

Amazing... I have read it and re-read it and can think of no other novel for many, many years that has so moved me or stimulated in me so much reflection on the human spirit

Daily Mail

An overpowering and beautiful novel... Ambitious, outrageous, poignant, sleep-disturbing, Birdsong is not a perfect novel, just a great one

Simon Schama, New Yorker

Engrossing, moving, and unforgettable

The Times

This is a great love story

Prue Leith, Daily Express

One of the finest novels of the last forty years

Mail on Sunday

This is literature at its very best: a book with the power to reveal the unimagined, so that one's life is set in a changed context. I urge you to read it

Time Out

So powerful is this recreated past that you long to call Birdsong perfect

The Times

A powerful novel that is difficult to put down

Independent on Sunday

My favourite novel of all time because it’s not just the most moving First World War story, it also has a wonderful romance

Kate Garraway, Daily Express

It broke my heart.

Matthew Lewis, Buzzfeed

Magnificent. A classic that everyone should have read.

Sandra Howard, Daily Express

A sweeping historical drama, it’s also erotic, poignant and tear-inducing. I read it and wept buckets. I don’t think anything else Faulks has written before or since surpasses the brilliance of this one.

Reading Matters

'This is literature at its very best: a book with the power to reveal the unimagined, so that one's life is set in a changed context. I urge you to read it'

Nigel Watts, Time Out

This is literature at its very best. A book with the power to reveal the unimagined, so that one’s life is set in a changed context. I urge you to read it.

Andrew Denham-Davis, DISCUS

'With Birdsong Faulks has produced a mesmerizing story of love and war...This book is so powerful that as I finished it I turned to the front to start again'

Andrew James, Sunday Express

While marked by poppy wearing and memorial ceremonies, the First World War is also sustained through family history, handed down from one generation to the next. No book better articulates the impact of this narrative than Stephen Faulks’ Birdsong.

Lucy Middleton, Reader's Digest

'I have read it and re-read it and can think of no other novel for many, many years that has so moved me or stimulated in me so much reflection on the human spirit '

Quentin Crewe, Daily Mail

So powerful is this recreated past that you long to call Birdsong perfect

Sue Gee, The Times

'This is literature at its very best: a book with the power to reveal the unimagined, so that one's life is set in a changed context. I urge you to read it'

Nigel Watts, Time Out

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099496922

    October 14, 2014

    Vintage Classics

    544 pages

    RRP $14.99

    Online retailers

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  • EBook

    9781407052564

    May 1, 2010

    Vintage Digital

    528 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
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  • Paperback

    9781784700034

    September 1, 2014

    Vintage

    528 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au