How Many Miles To Babylon?

“How Many Miles To Babylon?” by Jennifer Johnston (Ireland)

Review

Readers described “How Many Miles To Babylon?” as a beautiful book and most of them were moved by the friendship between Alec and Jerry. Through the author’s rich use of dialogue, they were able to visualise the different characters and the sceneries with ease. They found both the descriptions of the Irish countryside and the trenches in Flanders so well done that all their senses were brought alive. Although most of the readers liked the simplicity of the writing style, others found the dialogue confusing at times as to who was talking and they thought some of the secondary characters and relationships lacked depth. The book averaged an 8.2 out of 10.

Synopsis

As a child, Alec, heir to the big house and only son of a bitter marriage, formed a close friendship with Jerry, a village boy who shared his passion for horses. In 1914, both enlisted in the British Army – Alec goaded by his beautiful, cold mother to fight for King and Country, Jerry to learn his trade for the Irish Nationalist cause… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading lists

Season 6 – “World Classics (the past is masculine)” (Sep 2007 – Jan 2008)

“A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole (U.S.)
“Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Colombia)
“The Woman in the Dunes” by Kobo Abe (Japan)
“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria)
“The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov (Russia) *

Season 7 – “Future World Classics (the future is feminine)” (Feb – Jun 2008)

“How Many Miles to Babylon?” by Jennifer Johnston (Ireland)
“Second-Class Citizen” by Buchi Emecheta (Nigeria)
“Eva Luna” by Isabel Allende (Chile)
“Clear Light of Day” by Anita Desai (India)
“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood (Canada) *

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

 

“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” – Italo Calvino

 

The past is masculine;
The future is feminine;
And the present is a
blending together of both.
– Nicola

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