Giant's Bread
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Giant's Bread

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  784 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Vernon Deyre is a sensitive and brilliant musician, even a genius. But there is a high price to be paid for his talent, especially by his family and the two women in his life. His sheltered childhood does not prepare him for adulthood. To write his greatest masterpiece, he has to make a crucial decision with no time left to count the cost.
Paperback, 0 pages
Published April 1st 1982 by McNally & Loftin Publishers (first published 1930)
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Dana Bolink
In all honesty, the back of the book is a little misleading:
"Vernon Deyre is a sensitive and brilliant musician, even a genius. But there is a high price to be paid for his talent, especially by his family and the two women in his life. His sheltered childhood in the home he loves has not prepared Vernon for the harsh reality of his adult years, and in order to write the great masterpiece of his life, he has to make a crucial decision with no time left to count the cost..."

Misleading in the way...more
What did I think?
I thought it was elegant. Terrifying. Morbid. Haunting. Beautiful. Artistic. Human.

Something about this book always bothered me, even when I put the book down. I thought that the book was horrifying and the characters were so abstract and cruel. Then I realized that it was reality. Christie, Westmacott, had really captured the feelings and indecisions in a human life. That book was so accurate that it made me embarrassed to read. The characters were very...human. I think I've sa...more
GIANTS' BREAD, Mary Westmacott aka Agatha Christie
1930, Christie's first romantic novel, a semi-historical tale of a young English gent, his growing up, The War, and life after it; sentimental but enjoyable; three-and-one-half stars.

The first of Christie's six romantic "straight" novels, this is a nicely wrought, well-plotted - if extremely sentimental and typical of the period - story of a Victorian genteel boyhood, The World War and its effects on one man and some of his friends, and their gr...more
Disha Acharya
Mary Westmacott’s books are like a cup of good old strong English tea in the afternoon. And this is my sixth ‘cup’, I mean book! Several reviewers and many other readers believe that her books are mere love stories which are bittersweet; however I think that it is not an accurate description of these books. Westmacott’s books are a wonderful exploration of human relationships and offer us an insightful analysis of the way the human mind works. Reading this particular one, made me think that perh...more
Feb 06, 2013 Ana rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
When I started reading this book my expectations were low, I'll admit. I had already read another book by Mary Westmacott - Unfinished Portrait - that had disappointed me, so when I started this one I thought it was going to be more of the same.

The first part wasn't spectacular and - I have to say - a bit boring but fortunately it got better and I was able to enjoy it. As for the characters I don't think they were particularly fascinating and I didn't connect with them - I was just reading about...more
A non-mystery (a romance, in fact) from the great mystery writer. Not finished with it yet, but am far enough along to see that the writing is very good. Strikingly human characters, making strikingly human mistakes with their lives. Not your typical, contrived romance novel, and I'm not sure how it's going to end.

Ok, I've now finished it and can confirm that I could not have predicted the ending, despite the fact that the entire thing is a flashback. So points to Dame Agatha for keeping us conf...more
This is one of the titles written by Agatha Christie under the pen name Mary Westmacott. Being a big Christie fan, I was really looking forward to reading my first Westmacott novel.

I was aware that it wasn't in her usual genre of crime novel, however, I read lots of different genres so the difference just made me llook forward to reading it even more. However, I have to say I really didn't like it.

Under her own guise of Christie and her crime novels, it is accepted that she doesn't develop her c...more
Agatha Christie + high melodrama involving a world war and the art world = totally enjoyable if ridiculous. The writing is just fantastic, though; I loved loved loved the first part, which is from the perspective of a small child.
An interesting little curio: one of six books written by Agatha Christie under the nom-de-plume Mary Westmacott. "Giant's Bread" is the tale of a group of childhood friends growing up in the early 20th century. Through the years, Christie utilises a shifting point-of-view tale to examine their growth and change.

It's actually quite a lovely little tale, with many insights into the children and their respective families, and - as the characters become adults in their own right - the delicate socia...more
This is the story of Vernon Deyre, a musical prodigy. He is born to wealthy but unhappily married parents. He grows up to be a struggling composer. Just when he is finally getting an opera produced, WWI breaks out and changes everything.
The main characters of the book, besides quiet and gifted Vernon, are his materialistic and intelligent friend Sebastian, his headstrong and independent cousin Jo, the childish and conventional Nell, whom he loves, and spirited and strong Jane, who intrigues him...more
Mohammad Siddiqui
For long, I have avoided Mary Westmacott Novels. May be I couldn't buy the idea of reading Christie as a Romantic
Then I decided to try Giant's Bread.
Succinctly - It was amazing and awesome.
May be today we would have many stories that follow the same line. And believe me there have been several bolywood movies that linger endlessly on the same tracks - the love triangles.
The portion of a book reminds me of an Indian Classical - Devdas. It's story of a Man who seeks refuge in a harlot when his...more
I was completely taken by this book from the first moment of the prologue which is also an epilogue since it is the result of the story you are about to read... That is the first thing that grips you about this, you know the result, but how did it come to this?

Giant's Bread is about Vernon Deyre and his passion for music, a passion he never fully embraces because of the different hurdles to it : a house he loves, the people around him, a fear of his childhood nemesis "The Beast". It is quite dif...more
This is a drama.
There are clear differences between dickens and agathe christie, and between conan doyle and agathe christie. Dickens allows his characters to move around a little and be spontaneous, but agathe christie keeps them within her strong hands; she tries to take on what is general consensus, and twist it into something that is repulsive; she tries to impose on the reader her own ideas on life and relationships; and that is evident in hers this book. Also, she is different from Doyle i...more
Azira Zainuddin
Whenever I read or heard about Agatha Christie, it always in relation of crime-solving novels. Cross upon her earlier writing using Mary Westmacott, little did I know that she could write something so emotionally involved.

Giant's Bread revolves around Vernon's life during his childhood through his adult years. Being a coward for years, he always prefer to left things unattend in hope that it will solved by itself. Only when the things were beyond his reach or slipped through his grip, he was abl...more
I'd rate this at a 3.5 or a 4. The writing style's Agatha through and through, sans the plots, twists, crimes and mysteries. It's... not mind-blowing or anything, but is atmospheric and very morbid. To be honest, I guess it's depressing as well- but depressing books have a cheering effect on me, so I really liked it. Plus the characters were strongly portrayed, giving you an insight (or not) into dissatisfaction, confusion, desire, ambition and what-not.
Overall, a pretty good read, though I'm n...more
Loved the book esp the last evil twist...left me glowing...:-D
Another Mary Westmacott story that I read, and another story that left me feeling awful. I really, really need a happy ending ~ or at least one that is satisfactory and I never felt that with any of Dame Agatha Christie's Westmacott books.

Sad but true.

* * * * * *

Yeah, and the star? That's my feelings about the book and nothing about how well-written it was. I know a lot of people who would absolutely LOVE any of Mary Westmacott stories... I'm just not one of them.
Agatha Christie writing under a pen name. The main character's childhood was well described, but the later romances had so many hackneyed cliches that it detracted from noticing further exploration of characters. It actually had the "husband-apparently-died-in-the-war, wife-remarried-husband-turns-up-alive" cliche and a scene where the main character had to save one or the other of the loves of his life while they were both drowning.
I love Agatha Christie's mysteries and have read all of them. I've put off reading any of the "romance" novels that she wrote under the pen name Mary Westmacott since I do not like romance novels. I'm glad I finally got around to reading this novel. In style, it's "Wurthering Heights" not harlequin. I found the characters interesting and realistic. I really enjoyed this one and have bought the full 6 novel collection.
I was hesitant to read this non-mystery novel written under a pseudonym, but was very pleasantly surprised. A "romance" (an old fashioned one, not the Harlequin kind) that spans several decades and follows a group of friends from childhood, through school and to the successes and failures of work and marriage, and being true to one's self and/or one's friends. A very enjoyable read.
I found an anthology shelved in the Agatha Christie section of the six books she wrote under another name (Mary Westmacott) that weren't murder mysteries. Intrigued. Checked it out. This is the first. The story is excellent and classic Christie writing (lots of ellipses) but a little weird. I did finish it.
Shala Howell
Knowing that this was Agatha Christie writing what is essentially a romance under a different name, I found myself waiting for the mystery to start. Still, excellent character development, as usual. After finishing the book last night, I found myself pondering Vernon's character at 5 am this morning.
Ne pouvez pas le laisser. Un supris. pas comme les autres romans d'Agatha Christie. Un romance. Me rappelais des romans de Jane Austin.. les vies des riches et moins riche en Angleterre. 1er Guerre mondiale.

Mezzogal Goh
Quite different from the Agatha Christie that we all expect. "Giant's Bread" still contains interesting plot twists and is very well written. Not sure if it's entertaining, but definitely a good read.
Sumeetha Manikandan
Agatha Christie's novels have always challenged the intellect. And unlike her other novels, there is no mystery in this story but the psychological play between the characters keeps you hooked onto the book.
Heather Maoury
This is my first Agatha Christie romance novel and I loved it. I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend to anyone that loves reading her mysteries, they should pick up her Mary Westmacott books too.
This is one of Agatha Christie's finest books written not in the mystery genre but describing what life was like in the early 20th century England for the titled non-rich.
Manish Goel
filled up with deep observation of emotions and thoughts...
I am afraid to imagine about the blood dripped and bones crushed to feed the genius/giant of author.
So good! Actually by Agatha Christie writing under a penname, and totally different from her mysteries. Profound and beautiful.
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