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GREAT FIRE Hardcover – 24 September 2019

3.8 out of 5 stars 38 ratings

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Review

"Beauty is felt in almost every line of this austerely gorgeous work." --Chicago Tribune

"So majestic in scope and so sophisticated in diction it evokes a rhapsodic gratitude in the reader...Calls to mind the writerly command of A.S. Byatt, Lawrence Durrell, Nadine Gordimer, and Graham Greene." --The San Diego Union-Tribune

"The last masterpiece of a vanished age of civility." --The Wall Street Journal

"[The Great Fire] sails into port like a magnificent ship of fiction from another era." --Entertainment Weekly

"The Great Fire is about both the destructive conflagrations of war and the restorative conflagrations of the heart. Hazzard's moving, generous story paints love as the greatest rescuer of all--as apt today in our troubling, troubled world as it was 55 years ago." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Hazzard writes with an extraordinary command of geography and time.... Flashes of violence cut through the contemplative narrative, but in her exquisitely cut sentences, hazzard concentrates on the subtler movements of these hearts cauterized by violence." -- Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor

"A hypnotic novel that unfolds like a dream: Japan, Southeast Asia, the end of one war and the beginning of another, the colonial order gone, and at the center of it all, a love story."--Joan Didion, author of Where I Was From

"Stunning . . . Shirley Hazzard has gifted us, in The Great Fire, a novel of indispensable happiness and sorrow. I loved this novel beyond dreams."
--Howard Norman, The Washington Post Book World

"A classic romance . . . the greatest pleasure is [Hazzard's] subtle and unexpected prose."
--Regina Marler, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"What better gift . . . than a novel that confirms the value of the individual--the individual heart, mind, spirit--even amidst the obfuscating demands of history and politics and culture ... . [The Great Fire] is a novel of incredible emotional wisdom, full of authentic characters, vivid places, and language that is both precise and beautiful."
--Alice McDermott, Commonweal magazine

"The Great Fire . . . streaks through a reader's ken in the manner of a comet."
--Thomas Mallon, The Atlantic Monthly

"[Hazzard's] prose remains one of the glories of English literature."
--Charles Taylor, Newsday, "Our Favorite Books of 2003"

"The Great Fire is a perfect book, without a superfluous word . . . radiant."
--Eve Claxton, Time Out (New York)

"The most interesting novel published this year . . . Exquisitely crafted ... Every sentence hits its mark."
--The Economist

"Brilliant and dazzling . . . A book that is worth a twenty-year wait."
--Ann Patchett

"The Great Fire is a brilliant, brave, and sublimely written novel that allows the literate reader the consolation of having touched infinity. This wonderful book, which must be read at least twice simply to savor Hazzard's sentences and set pieces, is among the most transcendent works I've ever had the pleasure of reading."
--Anita Shreve

"Purely and simply, one of the greatest writers working in English today."
--Michael Cunningham

About the Author

Shirley Hazzard (1931-2016) is the author, most recently, of Greene on Capri, a memoir of Graham Greene, and several works of fiction, including The Evening of the Holiday, The Bay of Noon, and The Transit of Venus, winner of the 1981 National Book Critics Circle Award. She lived in New York City and Capri.

Customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5
38 customer ratings
5 star 50% (50%) 50%
4 star 15% (15%) 15%
3 star 14% (14%) 14%
2 star 5% (5%) 5%
1 star 15% (15%) 15%
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Top international reviews

K. Bates
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest novels I have ever read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 May 2010
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Carolyn Ernest-Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 March 2018
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Miss S.J.Morris
3.0 out of 5 stars I read it with my book group and very few people liked it but we all finished it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2015
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L. B. O.
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 August 2017
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Penna Blu
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating love story against the background of the II World War.
Reviewed in Canada on 30 January 2015
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Saul R
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 March 2006
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5 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in Canada on 11 July 2018
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Doreen McConachie
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in Canada on 26 February 2018
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Francesca
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful novel, and a wonderful audiobook
Reviewed in the United States on 7 June 2015
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7 people found this helpful
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jt52
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe my favorite novel I've read recently
Reviewed in the United States on 22 August 2007
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14 people found this helpful
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Eric
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb writing
Reviewed in the United States on 24 June 2006
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35 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful writing about early post WWII Asia
Reviewed in the United States on 26 April 2018
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Marjorie Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Reviewed in the United States on 6 February 2019
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Jon Linden
5.0 out of 5 stars Prose That Is Truly Poetry
Reviewed in the United States on 7 September 2004
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Taxi
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick delivery. Great book.
Reviewed in the United States on 20 March 2019
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