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WWI Fiction

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Lady of the Forest
Scribbler

Postby Lady of the Forest » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 12:58 am

I noticed the book Birdsong upon the list, I had come across that book on another list, and first I was intrigued by the title so I decided to look into it more, and I am on the fence about it. It sounds like it could be interesting, but typically reading about the more "modern" or "technological" wars is not my typical genre, I tend to lean more toward ancient history, so I am unsure, but still open to new things if it is sounds good, and is an interesting story.

Also I was worried it might be too much of a romance.

So if anyone here has read this book can you give me your thoughts on it.
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Amanda
Compulsive Reader
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby Amanda » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 1:26 am

"annis" wrote:Also worth a read - Ben Elton's biting take on WW1 in his historical mystery, "The First Casualty".
................. One of the stand-out scenes for me was a wonderfully concise explanation of how the war began, as propounded by a group of British soldiers taking a communal crap in the trenches during a break in the bombardment. Absolutely brilliant!


Oh I loved this scene too!

ETA: And I should add my recommendation for Elleston Trevor's "Bury Him Among Kings". It is about British brothers and their involvement in the war, It also raises conscientious objection, life at home as there is a sister too. It is somewhat in the vein of All Quiet on the Western Front.
Last edited by Amanda on Wed September 3rd, 2008, 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
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Postby Margaret » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 5:21 am

I have not read Birdsong, but I got the impression it's more on the literary side.
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Volgadon
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Location: Israel
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Postby Volgadon » Thu September 11th, 2008, 7:01 am

Part of Sholokhov's And Quiet Flows the Don takes place on the Eastern Front.

The Ravi Lancers by John Masters deals with issues of culture shock and discovering your own identity using the story of Indian troops sent to the Western Front.
Part of another book of his, Far, Far the Mountain Peak is set in WWI, including Italy!

lama
Scribbler
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Postby lama » Sun September 28th, 2008, 10:04 am

I like Gabriele D'Annunzio's work--a controversial figure but influential in his time.
http://www.lebutler.net

Ash
Bibliomaniac
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Sun September 28th, 2008, 2:44 pm

"Margaret" wrote:I have not read Birdsong, but I got the impression it's more on the literary side.



? a book can't be literary if its HF?

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Sun September 28th, 2008, 6:14 pm

? a book can't be literary if its HF?


Au contraire - it can absolutely be literary! HF runs the full gamut from literary to genre of all kinds. When I said I thought Birdsong was on the literary side, I was responding to an earlier post wondering if it might be historical romance.
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Ash
Bibliomaniac
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Sun September 28th, 2008, 8:10 pm

Ah, good, thanks for the clarification. I obviously missed the other post, and was really surprised to see that one on a forum like this! :)

Cuchulainn
Reader

Postby Cuchulainn » Sun September 28th, 2008, 8:12 pm

I'd recommend another book by the master, C.S. Forester, namely, "The General."

It's quite interesting to read The General and compare the protagonist to Hornblower:

The General has very little idea of tactics except larger and longer bombardments, and sending more men at time straight at the enemy in the hopes not of outmanoeuvering the enemy (the thought never occurs to the general) but in overwhelming the enemy. The General's favourite game is chess. And Forester makes a point of this fact.

Take Hornblower: he's a brilliant tactician (in one book he's told to "engage the enemy more closely" because he was going to manoeuver his way in), and he realizes, though, that a lot in warfare is luck. Hornblower's favourite game is wist - a game that requires him to make the best out of the hand he's been dealt.

In any event, it's a great WWI book - it does a good job of showing how the old mindsets in how to wage war were simply not compatible with the realities of the first modern war.

Carla
Compulsive Reader
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Postby Carla » Tue October 28th, 2008, 6:17 pm

"Divia" wrote:I want to read The Crimson Portrait: A Novel by Jody Shields but havent been able to yet.


I'm reading it at the moment, and finding it hard going. I think it's trying to be literary, but I'm just finding the writing hard to follow and most of the characters either uninteresting or unappealing. Perhaps it will pick up.
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