War Stories Paperback – 2 Sep 1999
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"The range is international, the impeccable standards of writing never dip. This is some of the finest writing about war" (Independent on Sunday)
"An anthology that tries, in a century that has made an art form of killing, to make sense of it all" (Guardian)
"A substantial and compelling read" (Metro) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
‘An anthology that tries, at the close of a century that has made an art-form of killing, to make sense of it all.’ GuardianSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I was familiar with some of these texts - Celine's briliant 'Journey to the End of the Night' (Kurt Vonnegut's piece on him in 'Palm Sunday' contextualises his brilliant-art against his dubious life), 'All Quiet on the Western Front', the great excerpt from 'A Very Long Engagement' (while not a bad film, much more satisfying book), 'The Thin Red Line', Vonnegut's Dresden-piece from 'Palm Sunday' (which probably ought to be included in the next reprint of 'Slaughterhouse-Five'), 'The English Patient', 'The Naked and the Dead' and Fowles' 'The Magus' - whose excerpt here alongside Shusaku Endo's 'We Are About to Kill a Man' is as bleak as it gets (though 'The Magus' excerpt coming after the 'Captain Corelli' piece confuses the fact the latter was heavily influenced by the former!).
There is a rich wealth of voices here, from Elizabeth Bowen's London-piece to Joseph Heller's 'Catch 22'-related memoir, to writers on more recent wars such as Tim O'Brien (here we get 'How To Tell a True War Story', which makes a change from the over-anthologised 'The Things They Carried'), Philip Caputo, Christopher J. Koch & Bao Ninh.Read more ›
It introduced me to some author's I had never read before, but also had old friends such as Laurie Lee (one of my favourite writers).
Many aspects of war are covered in these stories, not always what we might expect. Some of the stories are more educational than entertaining, and some are not that easy to read.
I would not say that this book is for casual reading, although I read it by dipping in and out over a period of time. I will be keeping this book to continue dipping in, and rereading some of the stories.