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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What would you do?, 1 May 2011
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D. J. Bell (London) - See all my reviews
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Taking place during the American Civil War, this novel is regarded by many as giving an accurate portrayal of the battlefields. And whilst the author had clearly done his homework (having been born after the war had finished), it's key strength is in creating the bond between the reader and the protaganist.

The author uses many techniques to encircle the reader in the fog of war, from the smoke of the guns to the annonymity of fellow soldiers. I found the battlefield hard to envision, except in the immediate vicinty of Fleming, which I suspect was also the intention of the author. This is after all a book about an individual exeperience of war, and in some ways the specific setting is (nearly) irrelevant, this could take place in Agincourt, Waterloo or Ypres, it would not diminish the focus of the very question that countless men must have had to face up to before every battle mankind has fought.

And so it is that the reader is drawn together with Fleming to ask the question "Would I run or would I fight?"

This is perhaps not written in a style that I found particularly fluent, but it was not helped by the formatting of the version that I read, which was very poor (in particular broken paragraphs). I think perhaps I found the story becoming a little saccharine towards the end, contrasted with many of the darker earlier passages. However I did find myself compelled to read to the end, and would recommend the book to anyone who has ever wondered what they would do in the face of battle.
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