An Ice-Cream War by William Boyd

By William Boyd

"Rich in personality and incident, An Ice-Cream War fulfills the ambition of the old novel at its best."
The big apple instances booklet Review

Booker Prize Finalist

"Boyd has greater than fulfilled the intense promise of [his] first novel. . . . he's able not just of a few very humorous satire but additionally of seriousness and compassion." —Michiko Kakutani, The big apple Times

1914. In a resort room in German East Africa, American farmer Walter Smith desires of Theodore Roosevelt. As he sleeps, a railway passenger swats at flies, regretting her determination to come back to the darkish Continent—and to her husband. On a far flung English riverbank, a jealous Felix Cobb watches his brother swim, and curses his sister-in-law-to-be. And within the heritage of the world's day-by-day chatter: rumors of an Anglo-German clash, the likes of which nobody has ever seen.

In An Ice-Cream War, William Boyd brilliantly inspires the personal dramas of a new release upswept by way of the winds of conflict. After his German neighbor burns his crops—with an apology and a smile—Walter Smith takes up palms on behalf of significant Britain. And whilst Felix's brother marches off to protect British East Africa, he pursues, opposed to his higher judgment, a forbidden love affair. because the sons of the area fit wits and guns on a continent millions of miles from domestic, desperation makes bedfellows of enemies and traitors of family and friends. by way of turns comedian and quietly clever, An Ice-Cream War deftly renders lives capsized through violence, likelihood, and the irrepressible human means for love.

"Funny, guaranteed, and cleanly, expansively advised, a seriocomic romp. Boyd offers us experiences of individuals stuck within the facet wallet of calamity and dramatizes their plights with humor, element and grit." —Harper's

"Boyd has crafted a quiet, seamless prose within which tale and characters circulation without difficulty out of a fertile mind's eye. . . . The reader emerges deeply moved." —Newsday

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Sample text

The crucial question is whether domestical conversation is the only foundation for the practice of civil conversation? This is a difficult question to answer. Guazzo clearly imagines that domestical and civil conversation are interdependent: the home is the training ground for a young man’s public role. However, it is easy to overlook the extent to which the domestical conversation described in book 3 fosters the very values and attitudes which Anniball’s description of conversation between men seeks to undermine.

The casual banter between men and women in Castiglione’s treatise has no place in book 3 (although Guazzo does approximate it in the banquet scene of book 4). The limits of domestical conversation are soon apparent when Anniball alludes to the Pauline injunction that women should be silent and obedient (3. 25). This creates a real dilemma: how can a wife be ‘civilised’ 40 Rhetoric and Courtliness in Early Modern Literature if she cannot engage in conversation. But, of course, Guazzo’s interests lie elsewhere.

But, of course, Guazzo’s interests lie elsewhere. 59 This intention is apparent in the different meaning attributed to ‘honesty’ in book 3. Honesty in speech and deportment should still be pleasing, but only in so far as it accords with the feminine virtues of chastity and obedience. Women – and wives in particular – should not be too attractive. It is ‘sieldome seene’, argues Anniball, ‘that those two great enimies, bewty and honesty agree togither’ (3. 10). He also praises the ‘honest Matrone’ who refuses to wear cosmetics (3.

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