The Last Post, the fourth and final volume of Parade's End, is set on a single post-war summer's day. Valentine Wannop and Christopher Tietjens share a cottage in Sussex with Tietjens' brother and sister-in-law. Through their differing perspectives, Ford explores the tensions between his characters in a changing world, haunted by the experience of war, facing an insecure future for themselves and for England. The Tietjens' ancestral home has been let to an American, its great tree felled: those like Tietjens who have served in the war find there is no place for them in a demoralised civilian society. The celebrations of Armistice Day have been replaced by the uncertainties of peacetime. 'How are we to live?' asks Valentine, as a death and an imminent birth bring Ford's great sequence to a close.
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Claustrophobic, intense yet rewarding
Another Telfer masterpiece
John Telfer makes a complex piece of writing so easy to follow. Just try reading out loud one of the conversations from this book to appreciate what is involved. The range of accents is very wide.
If you can sit for 36 hours (the complete tetralogy)
puts Ford up with the best writers of his generation