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About the book
  • Published: 1 April 2014
  • ISBN: 9780099589235
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $19.99

The Middle Parts Of Fortune




Set in the mud and stench of the Somme this is a grim, sardonic tale of war that led William Boyd to say ‘this is the finest novel to come out of the First World War’

'They can say what they bloody well like, but we're a fuckin' fine mob.'

Deep in the mud, stench of the Somme, Bourne is trying his best to stay alive. There he finds the intense fraternity of war and fear unlike anything he has ever known.

Frederic Manning's novel was first published anonymously in 1929. The honesty with which he wrote about the horror, the boredom, and the futility of war inspired Ernest Hemingway to read the novel every year, 'to remember how things really were so that I will never lie to myself nor to anyone else about them.

  • Pub date: 1 April 2014
  • ISBN: 9780099589235
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Frederic Manning

Frederic Manning was born in Sydney, Australia, in 1882. Prevented by asthma from attending the usual educational institutions, he was taught largely at home, and at the age of sixteen was sent to England. In 1914 he joined the army, and as a soldier in the ranks ultimately fought in the terrible battles on the Somme. In 1929 he published, privately and anonymously, The Middle Parts of Fortune, his novel about military life.

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Praise for The Middle Parts Of Fortune

“It is the finest and noblest book of men in war that I have ever read. I read it over once each year to remember how things really were so that I will never lie to myself nor to anyone else about them”

Ernest Hemingway

“The most truthful and profound exploration of the experiences of war...is to be found in The Middle Parts Of Fortune... Manning explored the moral ambiguities of war in the language of the men with whom he served. He articulated the suffering and comradeship of men who might have no other literary record”

Guardian

“Realism and art combined”

Sydney Morning Herald

“Manning's literary masterpiece”

Sydney Morning Herald

“Without doubt the greatest British novel of the war”

Independent

“No praise can be too sheer for this book...it justifies every heat of praise. Its virtues will be recognized more and more as time goes on”

T. E. Lawrence

“The mallow juice of life”

Ezra Pound

“This novel takes us far from the patriotic myth and romance, the zeal and heroics normally associated with warfare... These men have neither patriotic fervour nor faith in their leaders. Their ordinary concerns, gallows humour, and sullen tempers give them a timeless quality. The unrelenting honesty of their story remains as a stamp of authenticity which makes this novel so remarkable, its soldiers and their battles so haunting, and gives their account a classic status.”

Glasgow Herald


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