By William Boyd
"Rich in personality and incident, An Ice-Cream War fulfills the ambition of the ancient novel at its best."
—The long island instances e-book 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 goals of Theodore Roosevelt. As he sleeps, a railway passenger swats at flies, regretting her choice to come to the darkish Continent—and to her husband. On a far off English riverbank, a jealous Felix Cobb watches his brother swim, and curses his sister-in-law-to-be. And within the history of the world's day-by-day chatter: rumors of an Anglo-German clash, the likes of which not anyone has ever seen.
In An Ice-Cream War, William Boyd brilliantly inspires the personal dramas of a new release upswept by means of the winds of battle. After his German neighbor burns his crops—with an apology and a smile—Walter Smith takes up fingers on behalf of significant Britain. And while Felix's brother marches off to guard British East Africa, he pursues, opposed to his greater judgment, a forbidden love affair. because the sons of the realm fit wits and guns on a continent millions of miles from domestic, desperation makes bedfellows of enemies and traitors of family and friends. via turns comedian and quietly clever, An Ice-Cream War deftly renders lives capsized via violence, probability, and the irrepressible human capability for love.
"Funny, guaranteed, and cleanly, expansively instructed, a seriocomic romp. Boyd offers us reports of individuals stuck within the aspect wallet of calamity and dramatizes their plights with humor, aspect and grit." —Harper's
"Boyd has crafted a quiet, seamless prose during which tale and characters movement without problems out of a fertile mind's eye. . . . The reader emerges deeply moved." —Newsday
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I share with Marx and Jameson a concern that the complexity and opacity of capitalist exchange diffuses the sense of moral penalty for greedy and exploitative behaviour that might have been a little easier to grasp in a simpler social system. Those who cannot understand the system’s dynamic complexities, whether expressed in a nineteenth- century trade union law or a twenty-first- century credit default swap, are vulnerable to being cheated without realizing it. 29 The main difference between the theoretical and the narrative approach to the moral challenges of capitalism is that novels must apportion individual blame and virtue at the same time as they trace the diffusion of any action through the social network; so there may be villains whose victims are complicit, and virtuous intentions undone by others’ folly.
British novels tend to be a little more strongly committed to the promises of the new economic order, and perhaps are more vividly self- conscious about the paradoxical connection between this optimistic future and the failures that may lead up to it – but the literature of many countries at this time contains an element of ludic dismay at the uncontrollable nature of the new society, and a search for intellectual and emotional ways of erecting boundaries against it. In the Conclusion to this volume, I speculate incompletely about how other national responses to invisible hand social theory are affected by their dates of industrialization and relation to British economic power.
Invisible hand social theory is already implicitly spatial in its displacement of the effects of moral actions from the agent onto some remote person, or onto ‘society’ itself. 28 He thus connects modernist form with the economic moment of global imperialism, but the moments of turbulence and comedy I trace in earlier novels are responding not just to the achieved fact of imperialism but to the possibility of vast cosmopolitan chains of moral connection that is already implied in Smith’s theory.
An Ice-Cream War by William Boyd