To The Last Man: A Novel of the First World War Paperback – 2 Jan 2006
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"'A gripping account of World War I - from tactics to strategy. The reader feels the horror of the trenches in France' " (General Tommy Franks (US Army, Ret'd))
"'The best novel about the Great War since Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front...compelling, authentic, and imaginative'" (John Mosier, author of 'The Myth of the Great War')
"'A riveting masterpiece revolving around the ghastly conflict that still profoundly defines the world we live in' " (Steve Forbes)
"'Shaara has demonstrated that rarest of writing gifts, making literature read like history and history read like literature...he brings World War I to pulsating life'" (Joseph Persico, author of '11th Month, 11th Day, 11th Hour: Armistice Day 1918')
"'An epic account...a gruesomely graphic portrayal of the brutality and folly of total war...his descriptions of individual combat in the air and the mass slaughter on the ground are stark, vivid and gripping. He also offers compelling portraits of the politicians and generals whose strategies and decisions killed millions and left Europe a discontented wasteland'" (Publishers Weekly)
Epic novel that brings to life the 'war to end all wars' that devastated a generation.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The underlying theme of the book is "If it hadn't have been for the Americans, Britain and France wouldn't have won the war." It's good in parts, and overall probably worth reading if you have an interest in First World War history, but the blurb on the cover promises "The best novel about the First World War since 'All Quiet on the Western Front'" - to which I can only comment: not in my opinion.
I think it's unreadable. When I read the opening chapter or so, I asked myself why were Americans in Ypres in 1915? Slowly it dawned on me. His characters were actually British Tommies but the author has absolutely no idea how British soldiers talked. The British Tommies in the book talk like US troops in Vietnam. They use words like "Greenie" - meaning new recruit. And have nicknames like "Snake".
I skipped to the end where the author pronounces something along the lines of: if it hadn't been for the USA, Britain and France would have lost the War. At that point I put it down. I say don't waste your time or money.
However, on Amazon.com the Americans love it!
Similarly, the limited interaction between British and American is stilted and conforming to Hollywood British character stereotype and you become acutely aware that book really is not written as an historical account of a very limited part of the Great War, but more as a semi-factual novel written for the American market for Americans - nothing wrong in that that, but from a European perspective, somewhat uninvolving and confusing.
His choice of characters never really sprang to life and I became insanely exasperated with Temple - characters similar to his have been done to death by the entertainment industry across several theatres of war from Cold Mountain to Longest Day to Private Ryan and Pork Chop Hill, not to mention all the Vietnam war movies. His character - a genuine one who you would think therefore had something unique to add because he was real - is simply a cipher and I feel if you want to read an account of a soldier's experiences in the trenches, you would do better to read Goodbye To All That or All Quiet on the Western Front.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Long, absorbing read about WW1. Is there any limit to Jeff Shaara's range? Great, as usual.Published 6 months ago by Barry W
I have recently finished this account of America's participation in World War One - it's impact before the formal entry and after. Read morePublished on 28 Dec. 2011 by Julian E. R. Allen
After reading the nine previous "reviews" of this book I have concluded that there are more anti-American sentiments expressed than a useful review. Read morePublished on 11 Dec. 2011 by Big Mike
Cheated - yes that's how I feel. I've spent a good many sessions grinding through about 450 pages, wondering when it was going to get interesting. Read morePublished on 26 Mar. 2011 by E. Sharman
If this book were at least written with any finesse or depth, I could overlook the many crass errors, and complete absence of professional research. Read morePublished on 6 May 2008 by Nick McIvel