- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Tuskar Rock; First Edition; 1st printing. edition (1 Aug. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1848870841
- ISBN-13: 978-1848870840
- Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 399,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Peace Hardcover – 1 Aug 2009
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"'Richard Bausch's Peace, set at the end of the Second World War in Italy, is a small masterpiece with the same emotional force and moral complexity as Conrad's Heart of Darkness.' Colm Toibin 'A short, bleakly brilliant one-act drama depicting the futility and moral complexity of combat.' Ben Macintyre, New York Times 'In the small firmament of American writers who're both superb novelists and eloquent short-story practitioners, Richard Bausch's star shines more brightly now than ever.' Richard Ford"
About the Author
Peace is Richard Bausch's eleventh novel. He is also the author of seven volumes of short stories. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Playboy, GQ, Harper's Magazine, and other publications and has been featured in numerous best-of collections. He is chancellor of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and lives in Memphis, Tennessee, where he is Moss Chair of Excellence in the Writer's Workshop of the University of Memphis.
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot is simple. It is the closing days of the Second World War in Italy, and, having witnessed a killing, three American soldiers are charged with making a reconnaissance trip up a mountain with an old Italian guide to assess the retreating German army. As I say, a simple plot, but the exploration of the motivations and personalities of the four main characters is anything but simple.
With taut, spare language and a wonderful lightness of touch, Bausch explores all the big issues - life, death, memory, loyalty, morality, religious belief, war; everything, perhaps, but peace itself. Extrapolated from the individuals' experiences of the pain and fear and discomfort they are forced to endure, the entire human condition is explored.
Years ago, I read a book of non-fiction, with a similar setting - Naples '44 by Norman Lewis - which I also highly recommend. In Peace, however, through the fictionalization of the characters and their internal voices, the reader is invited not just to partake of the brutal facts, but also to make his or her own moral judgements.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I believe it is a masterpiece.
But as they make their way up they begin to question the loyalties of the Italian - is he a harmless old man or a Fascist sympathiser leading them into another trap? As they ascend higher, the continuous rain becomes continuous snow, and they soon get close to the backs of the retreating army. And that's when the possibility of enemy snipers covering the retreat becomes very real to them...
I've never heard of Richard Bausch before but I was pleasantly surprised with this exciting historical novel. All of the characters seem genuine and their dialogue very convincing - Bausch is a talented writer who did his research well. The story - which takes place over the course of a single hellish night - is so vividly described that you can almost feel the punishing weather and exhaustion on the characters' souls.
There were some fantastic scenes like when the American Sergeant sets a trap for the enemy sniper and then stays behind to save his wounded men, waiting. You know that scene in Saving Private Ryan when the squad ambush a machine gun nest? This book has that energy and pace throughout.
If you're in the mood for a short read that'll keep you hooked from the first page to the last, you can't go wrong with Richard Bausch's Peace.
The book tells the story of a small band of American soldiers caught in a seemingly pointless trudge up and down a mountainside in the Italian campaign during the latter stages of WW2. Shocked by the shooting of a Nazi and a woman they found earlier, each man bears the brunt of what happened and tries to deal with it in their own way. Bausch weaves the story well, and develops interesting back stories for his main characters, but they never really came alive for me. It felt like a little episode you mighty get in something like "Band of Brothers" - but perhaps cinema is the best medium for something like this.
I was expecting a little more in the way of story, and the ending was a bit of a let down.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was given this novella in exchange for an honest review.
This is a great novella. It grabs you from the first page and doesn't let go. Read more
After reading the previous reviews I was rather disappointed in this book, for me it just did not hit the mark, I just couldn't get in to it or identify with the characters, I... Read morePublished on 26 Nov. 2010 by Robert
Comparisons with Heart of Darkness etc are very wide of the mark. This is a very slight book and seemed to me entirely unconvincing. Read morePublished on 2 Nov. 2010 by Oliver Griffiths
Describes a sad war scenario.
Even though it was a short book, it was a bit of a trudge to get through - always wondering if this was going somewhere. Read more
Beautiful short desciption of the senselessness of war, where ever it takes place. Should be read by every young man who believes the lies that war is heroic. Brilliant.Published on 9 Jan. 2010 by W. C. Gold
Absolutely superb. A beautifully crafted little novel. I read it in one sitting. Thanks Mr. Bausch!Published on 9 Jan. 2010 by Mr. Dermott Gale