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The Umbrella Organisation

The Umbrella Organisation

May the power of the brolly live on!

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Birdsong, BBC1
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rakspatel wrote in mycroft_brolly

Photo credit: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/tubetalk/a355730/birdsong-first-look-at-bbc-ones-new-show-picture.html

I have just watched this (the joys of SkyPlus!) and it is stunning. It is very different from the book, in many ways, but it is a beautiful, moving and powerful piece of drama. For me, the affair was much more gripping on the screen (the sex scenes in this were something else!) but the horror, brutality and futility of the war and life in the trenches is much more powerful on the page. Nevertheless, this comes highly recommended. Please do read the book as well - it is one of my favourite books EVER.

Cut and pasted from the BBC website:

Birdsong: BBC One's adaptation of Sebastian Faulks' modern classic

Eddie Redmayne and Clémence Poésy star as the passionate young lovers Stephen and Isabelle, brought together by love and torn apart by the First World War, in BBC One's adaptation of Sebastian Faulks' modern classic, Birdsong.

Follow the link for all the details:

The book is available from Amazon for £4.99:

Synopsis cut and pasted from Amazon:
Set before and during the great war, Birdsong captures the drama of that era on both a national and a personal scale. It is the story of Stephen, a young Englishman, who arrives in Amiens in 1910. His life goes through a series of traumatic experiences, from the clandestine love affair that tears apart the family with whom he lives, to the unprecedented experiences of the war itself.

My feature on Birdsong is here:

Birdsong concludes on Sunday 29 January at 9pm on BBC1.
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I like the way that the television series goes back and forward in time. The contrast between such achingly beautiful one-to-one sensuality and the mud-sodden mass brutality of the trenches is gut wrenching but perfectly balanced,

The book so far appears entirely lineal, but I suppose that could change once Stephen is experiencing the war. I shall find out when I get further through the novel! I was surprised by how well the author writes about the inner feelings of Isabelle – and not just about sex, although the sex scenes sear with eroticism on the printed page as well as on the screen. It's just that in the book it seems that the passion passes over into practicality quite quickly after the couple flee together, whereas we have not yet reached that point even at the end of the first half of the television adaptation.

Enjoying both book and adaptation very much. :-)

"I like the way that the television series goes back and forward in time. ... The book so far appears entirely lineal."

You have nailed it in one! That is the key difference. You liked that going back and forth. I do not!

I prefer the straight linear progression of the novel. I think you get the contrast anyway because you have the first section all about the French life before the war, and the affair, and the idyll that Stephen experiences. It is, of course, by no means idyllic for everyone - strike, workers starving etc. Then you go to war with Stephen and that, for me, was when the book took off.

However, I think that says more about me and my brain. I like simple straightforward linear novels. That tell a powerful story. With compelling characters. This novel delivers that in spades!

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