1. Baller Dale
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    Baller Dale Member

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    What are the best World War novels?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Baller Dale, Feb 19, 2013.

    I want to read about World War 1 and 2 but fictional, not biographical.

    Are there any great novels based on the two World Wars?

    Thank you
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    All Quiet on the Western Front by Remarque (WWI)
    Three Soldiers by John dos Passos (WWI)
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (WWII)

    Those are the only ones I can remember at the moment. There are a few other novels that are set against the backdrop of WWI and WWII but don't really go into detail about the wars. There are also some good Holocaust memoirs worth checking out.
     
  3. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    The man in the high castle by Philip K. Dick what would it be like if ze Germans won the war
     
  4. hippocampus
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    hippocampus Active Member

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    How about trying an Amazon search for "world war" and "fiction book"? You have a better idea what you're looking for.
     
  5. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    A farewell to arms written by ernest hemingway (WW1)
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    google 'best WW I and WW II novels'...
     
  7. midnight candle
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    midnight candle Member

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    Das Boot by Lothar Gunther Buchheim.
     
  8. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
    Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
    Also, the Regeneration trilogy by Pat Barker come to mind.

    You might also want to check out the penguin collections of WW1 poetry and short stories. At the very least check out the poetry of Wilfred Owen.
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I guess Herman Wouk's The Winds of War and War and Remembrance (WWII) deserve a mention. They certainly are huge, and they sold bazillions of copies.

    I haven't read them, so I can't personally recommend them. I tried to read Wouk's Youngblood Hawke, though, and his style is so poor, so clumsy, that I found myself mentally rewriting his paragraphs as I read. That's just too much work, though, so I put the book aside. Maybe I'll give it another try when my stomach can deal with it.

    Norman Mailer made his reputation with The Naked and the Dead (WWII). You might want to check it out.
     
  10. Captain Ahab
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    Not sure how it reads translated in English, but my favorites are Journey to the End of the Night (Voyage au bout de la nuit) and North (Nord) by French writer Louis Ferdinand Celine. In English,l I'd add Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo to the titles abov. For epic non-fictional accounts, I highly recommend 900Days: The Siege of Leningrad by Harrison Salisbury for WWII and The Price of Glory by Alistair Horne for WWI. In theatre, there is Incident at Vichy by Arthur Miller.
     
  11. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Good book. I can't compare it to the original, but from what I've heard, the Ralph Manheim translation is very accurate. As far as the original question is concerned, only the first 25% or so of the book deals with WWI. Still, it's a book worth reading.
     
  12. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    A Very Long Engagement by S├ębastien Japrisot
     
  13. BBolin
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    BBolin Member

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    Slaughterhouse-Five -Kurt Vonnegut

    It's a (mostly) fictitious story about a fictitious character with some of Vonnegut's personal experiences peppered in. Technically Semi-Autobiographical, but . . . Time travel, aliens, WWII, just read it.
     
  14. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    I found Birdsong quite dull. Good in parts, but went on too long.

    Catch 22 and Slaughterhouse 5 are both amazing books. If you've not read them yet you really need to do so. Like now.
     
  15. Mot
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    Mot Member

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    Captain Corelli's Mandolin depicts the personality of Mussolini and the events in Greece during WW2 (with a love story smack-bang in the middle of it all, yes, I know) with admirable accuracy, though it has quite a narrow focus which perhaps isn't what you want.

    I also want to add my votes to Catch-22 and Slaughterhouse 5.
     
  16. Tea Sipper
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    Tea Sipper New Member

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    Leon Uris's Battle Cry is one of my favorites. Hooked me at the first sentence. Winds of War was also good. Catch-22 is a must.
     
  17. rodney adams
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    Enrich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front

    It follows a German soldier on the German/French front of WWI.
     
  18. Michael Collins
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    Michael Collins Contributing Member

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    "A Year on the High Plateau" ("Un anno sull'Altipiano"), written by Emilio Lussu.
     

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