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Fools Of Fortune Paperback – Aug 30 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin UK; Reissue edition (Aug. 30 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140111816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140111811
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 118 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,033,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"William Trevor at his best." —The New York Times



"Arresting, powerful, and indelible. A story of courage and love... as tender and wistful as an Irish lament." —The Washington Post

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

William Trevor was born in County Cork in 1928 and spent his childhood in various provincial Irish towns. He went to Trinity College, Dublin and then to England in 1953. He now lives in Devon. In 1977 William Trevor received an honorary CBE in recognition of his services to literature, and in 1998 he was awarded the prestigious David Cohen British Literature Prize for a lifetime's achievement in writing.

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Format: Paperback
A few years have passed since I last read Trevor's novels and hardly could I remember how great he is and his fictions are. I have just finished reading this novel and have come to conclude that all of Trevor's novels should not be missed. Setting against the historical Anglo-Irish complex relationships, the novel tells a sorrowful and poignant love story that spans three generations. Trevor's use of language is subtle, delicate, and controlled and is a first-rate writing. The fact that I'm unfamiliar with the Anglo-Irish history might have undermined my appreciation and comprehension (in a certain way) of this novel, nonetheless, this is a great book and should be recommended to those who love reading.
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Format: Paperback
Murder begets murder begets murder begets . . . madness. Enacting personally the larger Anglo-Irish tragedy, a family experiences, and inflicts, murder, leading ultimately to the insanity of the latest-born of the clan. Aeschylus would have understood, though his Orestes ultimately escaped the demons of his past. A gripping piece of fiction that is at the same time a history of Irish-English relations "writ small."
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Format: Paperback
This an intensely moving story of young love set in 1918 Ireland. We see how three generations of the same family are shattered by the Anglo-Irish fighting. Trevor weaves a tale of political intrique, love and self exile. Anyone interested in Ireland's political past and future will find this worth reading. ( The movie version of this book stays very true to Trevor's tale.
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Format: Paperback
What can I say? It's William Trevor's prose about love, politics and patriotism. I recommend this book to everyone with a heart beating in their chest. In comparison to his other novels, I find that this book captures the innocence of youth and the loss of innocence that war and times of trouble can bring.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Trevor - the world's greatest modern tragedian Dec 28 2005
By Jumpsturdy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Allright, I admit that as a Yank writer who has taught writing myself, I did at first find William Trevor's constant use of the passive voice somewhat disturbing! That was upon reading "Felicia's Journey," my first, unforgettable exposure to this genius. Since then, I have come to believe that one grand reason to remain alive is to read the rest of his novels: they are that brilliant and awe-inspiring. I do not believe that his 'Big House' novels, this one and "The Story of Lucy Gault," can be excelled for the strength of their immortal tragedy. His use of irony in human endeavor and fate creates masterpieces that illuminate man's virtue and folly as inseparable. Since the loss of Hubert Selby, Jr. last year, Trevor may very well stand alone now as the foremost tragedian in the Western world. Do read these two novels for the sense of finality, futility and hopelessness that Trevor is so masterful at extracting from the both the the barest and the most complicated lives, while spinning stories that carry more momentum than a beach-trash thriller.
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
a sorrowful and poignant story, yet maintains to thrill me Feb. 27 2002
By Rhythmgirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A few years have passed since I last read Trevor's novels and hardly could I remember how great he is and his fictions are. I have just finished reading this novel and have come to conclude that all of Trevor's novels should not be missed. Setting against the historical Anglo-Irish complex relationships, the novel tells a sorrowful and poignant love story that spans three generations. Trevor's use of language is subtle, delicate, and controlled and is a first-rate writing. The fact that I'm unfamiliar with the Anglo-Irish history might have undermined my appreciation and comprehension (in a certain way) of this novel, nonetheless, this is a great book and should be recommended to those who love reading.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
A moving tale of love, hatred and political turmoil. July 20 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This an intensely moving story of young love set in 1918 Ireland. We see how three generations of the same family are shattered by the Anglo-Irish fighting. Trevor weaves a tale of political intrique, love and self exile. Anyone interested in Ireland's political past and future will find this worth reading. ( The movie version of this book stays very true to Trevor's tale.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Another Beautiful Trevor Novel May 18 2004
By Amanda Kaiser - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
What can I say? It's William Trevor's prose about love, politics and patriotism. I recommend this book to everyone with a heart beating in their chest. In comparison to his other novels, I find that this book captures the innocence of youth and the loss of innocence that war and times of trouble can bring.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Long-lasting consequences March 18 2012
By Philip Spires - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Generally, genre thrillers are books without thrills. Someone gets killed. Turn the page and it happens again to someone else. There's a chase, a near miss; da capo al fine; repeat. There are never consequences. Characters seem to exist - they never come to life - in an eternal present devoid of either thought or reflection. Plot is a series of events, while characters are mere fashionably dressed acts. William Trevor's beautiful novel, Fools Of Fortune is, in many ways, a whodunit - or better who done what - thriller. But it transcends genre because it is the consequences of the actions and their motives that feature large, that provide plot and ultimately a credible, if tragic humanity.

Fools Of Fortune is a novel that presents tragedy not merely as a vehicle for portraying raw emotion, but rather as a means of illustrating the depth of ensuing consequence, both historical and personal. In conflict it is easy to list events, quote numbers, suggest outcome, but it is rare to have a feel of how momentous events can have life-long consequences for those involved, consequences that even protagonists cannot envisage, consequences that can affect the lives of those not even involved.

William Trevor's book is set in Ireland. Its story spans decades, but the crucial elements of the plot are placed in the second decade of the twentieth century. They do involve the First World War, but really as a sideshow to the issue of Home Rule for Ireland. The Quinton family are Protestants living in an old house called Kinleagh in County Cork. Willie Quinton is a child, initially home schooled by a priest called Kilgarriff, who has a highly personal view of the world. We see many of the events through Willie's child eyes, including a surreptitious meeting between Willie's father and a famous man who visits on a motorbike.

The family owns a flour mill. They are quite well off, a fact that is clearly appreciated by some and resented by others. Crucially, it is this availability of finance that leads to a downfall, events that lead to deaths, destruction and calls for revenge. Willie's life is transformed for ever.

Over the water, the Woodcombes of Woodcombe Park, Dorset, have a daughter called Marianne. The Woodcombes and the Quintons are related. Marianne is Willie's cousin.

On a visit to Kinleagh she falls in love with Willie. She is a small, delicate girl. She has experience of a Swiss finishing school, a stay that brings exposure to practices that are not wholly educational. Marianne returns to Kinleagh to find Willie. She has important news, but finds that devastation has hit the Quinton household, a culmination of events beyond the control of any individual. No-one wants to talk about what might have happened, and no-one admits to the whereabouts of Willie. Marianne stays to wait for his return. It proves to be a long wait.

There is vengeance in the air, and unforeseen consequences for a child who apparently played no part in any of the events. She was blameless, a mere recipient of the consequences of others' actions, of others' grief.

William Trevor tells the tale of Fools Of Fortune as serial memoirs of those involved, primarily Willie and Marianne. Some of the school experiences that form a significant part of the story are comic, and offer some relief to the pressure of unfolding tragedy. But central to the book's non-linear discovery of motive and consequence is the fact that events can dictate the content of lives, and sometimes individuals appear as no more than powerless pawns in games dictated by others. We are all participants, but not always on our own terms.

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