Since I wrote the essay on Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier, I will not comment much here on the book. John created a pdf of some info about Ford’s family and influences which you can view here.
The book was my proposal, and the first book of mine to win the vote in over a year. And while I enjoyed the book very much and profited by it in my knowledge of history and the culture of British nobility, the general consensus was lukewarm toward it.
Why? From what we can figure, it was simply because it does not “stand the test of time” as the saying goes. It was probably great in its time but there wasn’t enough to keep everyone excited (except me of course).
Another disconnect was the culture in which the story took place. Many felt they could not relate with British nobility, their values, their priorities, their mannerisms and expectations. How is it possible, for example, for Edward to be unaware of where babies come from until 2 or 3 years into his marriage? How could Leonora facilitate the several mistresses her husband had?
There were at least two bits of excitement. First, a drunk guy backed into John’s car as we sat there and watched. He had 20 feet of space,but he just flew backward into the car while supposedly trying to park. It didn’t make sense. But as I said, we’re pretty sure the guy was wasted. There was no damage to John’s car though.
Also, a young employee…now, remember, we have been meeting at the Dog and Duck for 13 years…a kid who has been working there part time for around 8 months came out and fussed at us for having a small flask on the table. He told us not to bring alcohol to the bar. So next month we all need to bring several flasks, and tell that kid that we’ve been meeting there for our book club since he was in Junior High school, and he just needs to go back inside and wipe the counters.