21 April 2007 | trpdean
This is one of the more propagandistic things you'll ever see - and within moments you can rat out the way the characters, situations will go - if the character/situation is self-pitying, libertine, atheist, self-absorbed, licentious - he/she is loved. If disciplined, restrained, religious, frankly patriotic or traditional, he's hated.
It's a simple by the numbers job.
Thus, although some here have written of this revealing how the war changed people's morality, this is false. We see before the War ever begins, that we're watching as rotten a group as one can imagine - deeply self-pitying and selfish people - women without any kind of femininity ("sure, I'll have sex with you whenever you like once I've married a rich man"), men without any kind of masculinity ("sure, I raped as many women as often as I could - committed war atrocities, sure, the lot - it was WAR and I know war and you don't" (and I can't stop talking about it because I'm as self-pitying a human as you'll ever ever meet! Why, I saw men die!")).
I hated these characters - really loathed them right down to the ground.
This was a grave disappointment because I have really liked so many of the actors in other things - from Nicholas LePrevost to Jennifer Ehle, from Rosemary Harris to Toby Stephens, from Paul Eddington to Felicity Kendall to Richard Johnson. Perhaps the book is better - but I doubt it. It's the characters and story that I found despicable.