19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 1998
Siegfried Sassoon's Memoirs of an Infantry Officer is a classic of WW1 fiction. Largely based on Sassoon's real-life experiences, it is a detailed account of one soldier's life in the trenches of France. It recounts, in the guise of Sassoon's alter-ego, George Sherston, Sassoon's transition from the eagerly patriotic "happy warrior" to the angry anti-war poet (although Sherston is denied the experience of being a poet). The book recounts Sassoon's happy time spent at the Fourth Army School in Flixecourt, the loss of his friend "Dick Tiltwood" (Sassoon's pseudonym for David Thomas), his attempts at revenge on the Germans for Tiltwood's death and his decision to protest against the continuation of the War. The novel continues where "Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man" left off, and is the second of the Sherston trilogy. Although a fictional account of Sassoon's experiences, this book nevertheless presents a clear picture of what life was like for some of the soldiers on the Western Front.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2004
Although the language has, perhaps, become a little dated, this is a wonderfully humane and earnest book. A fictionalised account of Sassoon's war and to be read alongside Robert Graves' Goodbye to All That. Highly recommended from a social and literary viewpoint, you'll be able to spot characters such as Graves and Bertrand Russsell who are thinly veiled behind the fiction. This volume takes us to the point at which Sassoon (or Sherston as he is here) was admitted to Craiglockhart Hospital where, effectively, his war ended. Includes wonderful accounts of a serene English life before the aftermath and scale of the Great War's tragedy was fully revealed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2014
I originally read this as a teenager along with Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man - this version is for my Kindle. I read this originally along with reading the first world war poets, (Brookes, Graves, etc) and as a body of work i found that they expressed the devastation of WWI. I had great sympathy with his anti-war view and read with interest Pat Barker's Regeneration about Sassoon's time at Craiglockahrt, where he was sent 'to get over' his anti-war views. It is a great expression of the age - the prose is tight and from such a compact book you get a great feeling of what WWi was like. If you include this with Birdsong and War Horse (the play not the film) you get an incredible insight into WWI. I regret that when I hear the plays and stories being manufactured to remind us of what it was like, they pall into insignificance alongside these great writings. Read it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2015
I found this book to be very honest and moving. My Grandpa fought in WWI in the South Staffs regiment and I have always regretted that I never asked him about it whilst he was alive. Reading Mr Sassoon's book made me wonder how my Grandpa managed to survive even though he was gassed at Paschendaele, after all he was not an officer. However I do realise that officers on the western front had a very short life span which was usually measured in weeks and after reading this book I can understand why. Well worth reading if you are interested in this war.