Sebastian Faulks - "Birdsong"


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Such an incredible book!

Set during the 1910s (mostly during World War I) and 1970s in France and England the book impresses with a large amount of characters and fascinating story lines, which became so real that they are sure to stick with me for a long time.

What was most striking are the finite (maybe blatant) details with which Faulks describes sex, birth, death and shrapnel wounds among others. And I've never felt so claustrophobic reading a book as when he takes us underground into the mines below the trenches of France. Furthermore I was allowed a glimpse into male bonding as I had never seen it before. At the beginning the language seemed a little stilted and forced to me and, because you don't know the significance of all the characters as they first get introduced or subtlety get reintroduced, you sometimes feel the need to go back and read a previous part to be able to keep track of all the men.

All together an outstanding book full of romance, suspense, heartbreak and horror that, through its interconnecting and cross-generational story of love, war, friendship, family and death, manages to feel as big as life.