Number of Pages: 196
This book is written as fiction, but it based on the real life experiences of writer Alexander Baron during World War II, and is quite unflinching in its portrayal of some of the horrors of war, including a scene in which a character is flattened by a tank and a character who is blinded in action.
The way the characters behaved, both off and on the battlefield was quite realistic, and I noticed that character got killed off quite ruthlessly, and usually very quickly, and the narrative would quickly move on to the next event, rather than lingering over it. Indeed, the book does comment at one point that the men in the war were losing so many close friends that they had to force themselves to forget about them, as though they had died many years ago.
Once again, I definitely recommend this book – just don’t expect a happy ending, because in war there never is one.
Next book: Moby Dick (Herman Melville)