Goodbye to All That

  • by Robert Graves
  • Narrated by Martin Jarvis
  • 4 hrs and 58 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A famous autobiographical account of life as a young soldier in the first World War trenches. Robert Graves, who went on to write I, Claudius, has given to posterity here one of the all-time great insights into the experience of war.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An honest and well-written???ABRIDGED???WWI Memoir

I loved Robert Graves??? I Claudius and Hercules My Shipmate when I was young, and so had been wanting to read his autobiography, Good-bye to All That. Graves covers his painful school boy education (stale tradition, sadistic bullying, and usually platonic homosexuality), his transformative service with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers during World War I (training, waiting, the Battle of Loos, and the Somme Offensive), and then his immediate post-war life (a teaching job in Egypt and the making and losing of a family).

Throughout, Graves??? writing is accurate, witty, and spare. His description of trench warfare, complete with constant shelling, hidden snipers, poison gas, shoddy equipment, foolish commanders, suicidal charges, meaningless battles, prolific rats, and seemingly random deaths and reprieves, is horrifying. He exposes the full range of human behavior in wartime: bravery, cowardice, infidelity, loyalty, increasing brotherly bonding and enemy loathing, and ignorant patriotism fed by mass media propaganda. I keenly listened to details like Graves and his friends feeling good (rather than envious) when one of their number got wounded enough to be taken safely out of the action, Graves choosing which new recruits would make good officers by watching them play rugby, his being so awfully young when his war service began (by 21 he had seen heavy fighting and had been promoted to Captain), and his suffering from PTSD for years after his war service ended.

I was also interested in the cultural context of his memoir, of the growth of pacifism and feminism and modern poetry. And I enjoyed his sketches of various important literary figures like Siegfried Sassoon, T. E. Lawrence, and John Masefield.

Martin Jarvis??? reading is impeccable and engaging, and pleasant period music ends one chapter to begin the next.

But???I didn???t notice when I bought this book that it was abridged! Grrr! It does feel incomplete and I feel foolish.
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- Jefferson "I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics."


What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This version of Goodbye to All That is an utter disappointment. It is severely abridged, meaning that any coherence of story or context of actions is completely obliterated.

This book needs to be unabridged to fully appreciate its significance.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Goodbye to All That?

I would not have cut any. I would have added ALL back in. This book cannot be abridged or cut.

Any additional comments?

This version of Goodbye to All That is very, very disappointing. The only good thing is the reader, Martin jarvis, who does a great job reading the very limited material.

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- C. S. Carnes "Blackhorse"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-26-2008
  • Publisher: CSA Word