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Any Old Iron (song) - Wikiwand
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Any Old Iron is another great book by Anthony Burgess. My first thought - and possibly yours too - was "didn't Burgess already do all this in 'Earthly Powers'? This book has all the humour and style of Burgess' other works, and similar to much of his other works is lacking the critical acclaim it deserves. What I liked was the multiple characters we had several different accounts of different aspects of WW2, which was great , also the really strong female characters, and as always the use of different languages throughout the book - english, welsh, russian and german.
What didn't I like? I did get a little confused when the story changed from one character to another, or went unexpectedly backwards in time. For most people I would recommend Earthly Powers first though. Jun 27, David Hammond rated it really liked it. Burgess obviously has a love for the sound and meaning and history of words.
His writing is musical, intricate and inventive. Any Old Iron is one of his lesser known works. The only other I've read is his most famous, A Clockwork Orange, but that I read long enough ago that I remember only that I liked it, and the rest is supplanted by images from the even more famous movie. This book is grounded in history, and the struggles of nations and people to make history, or to rewrite history, or to for Burgess obviously has a love for the sound and meaning and history of words.
This book is grounded in history, and the struggles of nations and people to make history, or to rewrite history, or to forget history if they can. So it is bound up not only with the two world wars, but with the Russian revolution and the creation of the Israeli state.
It's fitting that it was published in , the year that the Soviet Union met its symbolic end, encompassing as it does the Russian revolution, the uneasy alliance of WWII, and the start of the cold war. For me is was something of a history lesson, making immediate and particular some of the events of the last century that I had only understood in general terms before.
Burgess has written novels about themes and people I'm passionately interested in: Mozart, Shakespeare, darling Keats, not to mention the best ever novel about Marlowe. So when I belatedly realised this was Burgess's Arthurian novel, I snapped up a copy right away.
The eponymous iron is perhaps what's left of Excalibur, with the novel set in the first half of the 20th century, and specifically in the Great Wars. I am sure I didn't understand all the meanings and allusions, but this was a good Burgess has written novels about themes and people I'm passionately interested in: I am sure I didn't understand all the meanings and allusions, but this was a good read, and engrossed me throughout.
I don't think I'm smart enough for Burgess, but I like the things that he likes, and he sure knew how to spin a yarn. Feb 05, Eszter Faatima Sabiq rated it liked it. Started reading it with huge enthusiasm and was taken by the language and style of it as well as by the story itself. Then the novelty wore off, I got tired of its sarcasm and I am now struggling on the last few pages, hardly interested.
Found dozens of funny bits, dozens of witty ones, but cannot fully emphatise neither with its protagonists nor with its ideology. If I have to relate it to other authors, Tibor Fischer comes to my mind and maybe a bit of Vonnegut. Also would not be surprised if h Started reading it with huge enthusiasm and was taken by the language and style of it as well as by the story itself.
Also would not be surprised if he inspired Guy Ritchie at some point in his life. Jul 29, Trounin rated it liked it.
Yes, there are times where you need to use an encyclopedia to unwind his references ans he was a morbid fascination with the collapse of bodies at death but Burgess was a literary force. This retelling of Arthurian legend is gripping, exciting and funny: Jun 14, Amy Bermudez rated it it was amazing Shelves: I read this book when it came out about 20 years ago.
So glad I chose to re-read it.
Any old iron.
While it's challenging reading early morning during my train commute, it's such a rich, complex, layered story about such an interesting family and time in history. May 16, Chas Bayfield rated it really liked it. Entertaining and very readable. I liked the way it ended before the end and that there was no happy ever after. The character descriptions were great, especially Dan and Beatrice.
MAde me want to read more Burgess. Aug 24, Ekaterina rated it it was amazing. Feb 02, Rich rated it it was amazing.
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