Read Wish You Were Here by Graham Swift Free Online
Book Title: Wish You Were Here|
Date of issue: March 1st 2012
ISBN 13: 9781447208938
The author of the book: Graham Swift
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.91 MB
Edition: Pan MacMillan Paperback Omes
Read full description of the books Wish You Were Here:"Wish you were here". An old chestnut, but oh, it can be so painfully heartfelt. I immediately think of the great Pink Floyd song: http://youtu.be/DPL_SV3n7IU
And did they get you to trade
Your heros for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?
And then there's the epigraph,
Are these things done on Albion’s shore?
William Blake: ‘A Little Boy Lost’
Here is the complete paragraph,
And burned him in a holy place
Where many had been burned before;
The weeping parents wept in vain.
Are such thing done on Albion's shore?
Albion is the ancient name of Britain, and the earlier part of the poem refers to the possibility of love between father and son, and between brothers.
Now you have a vague idea what this book is about.
Some background music will further the plot along and supply the mood. Spoiler alert on these songs:
Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun http://youtu.be/9_7loz-HWUM
Song to the Moon http://youtu.be/CvJZFP1eT3o
World at War http://youtu.be/eqONgYHYo88
Symphony No.9 Largo (Coming Home) http://youtu.be/BoeOWVB2eJo
Wake Up http://youtu.be/ZaA0IctGTDw
Standing In The Doorway http://youtu.be/as0wYF-0bxk
Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key http://youtu.be/mMBvzpCLGHg
Indeed, this is a book in the minor key. "There is no end to madness" the very first words warn. Madness immediately settles in. There is the mad cow disease that ruins the lives of the Luxtons, a farm family. But there is the worse madness that drives people to bolt, to run away and never return. Or run away and realize there is nowhere to go. Mad rash acts result in heroism. The mad belief that a gun can instantly solve all the years of pain and trouble.
The main events happen in November, under grey skies. Either it's raining or a dusting of snow dulls the landscape. Remembrance Day and war are major themes. The two Luxton brothers grow up hearing about the heroism in World War I of their great uncles, another pair of brothers, long dead on the battlefield of the Somme. History seems about to repeat itself. Only one in the later pair becomes a soldier, but the other has a gun.
The setting is in modern times, in the background are the war on terrorism, Iraq, and the waning of the English farm. But the stories of the two sets of brothers seem to happen on a parallel course, as if the main events could be happening in 1917, or the long dead uncles had recently died in the sand of Iraq rather than in the mud of the trenches.
The oak tree has become the symbol of the returning soldier. There is a grand old one on the Luxton farm but it has no yellow ribbon tied around it. Rather, it has a small mysterious hole in the trunk. How it got there - and I mean the entire reason - is what this book is about.
But the hole, some three feet or more up the trunk, remained, its aperture reduced but defined as the bark grew a ring-like scar around it. It was there when Jack, with five others, lowered his brother’s coffin into its grave. It’s there now. The surrounding stain on the bark remained too, despite that sluicing down on the day itself by PC Ireton. Unlike the stains on the ground, which soon disappeared, it weathered gradually and came to look like some indeterminate daub of the kind sometimes seen near the base of trees, or like some fungal blemish associated with that odd puncture in the trunk. What was it there for? Had someone once tried to hammer something, for some strange agricultural purpose, into the wood?
Of course, Jack knew how it had got there, and a few other involved parties would have been able to explain, very exactly, its cause. But to any outsider or newcomer to Jebb Farm—and there would be newcomers—the hole would have been a puzzle, if not a very detaining one.
This is a grim, quiet book, yet full of intensity. It's a read in one long sitting sort of book. And it's so right to read in November: grey skies, snow already on the graves of the soldiers, cold metallic clouds in the sky. It's going to be a long winter. Wish you were here.
Read information about the authorGraham Colin Swift FRSL (born May 4, 1949) is a British author. He was born in London, England and educated at Dulwich College, London, Queens' College, Cambridge, and later the University of York. He was a friend of Ted Hughes.
Some of his works have been made into films, including Last Orders, which starred Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins and Waterland which starred Jeremy Irons. Last Orders was a joint winner of the 1996 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction and a mildly controversial winner of the Booker Prize in 1996, owing to the superficial similarities in plot to William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. Waterland was set in The Fens; it is a novel of landscape, history and family, and is often cited as one of the outstanding post-war British novels and has been a set text on the English Literature syllabus in British schools.
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