Saturday, June 11, 2016

SWORD OF HONOUR - Evelyn Waugh

This is the final version of the three Second World War novels featuring Guy Crouchback written by Waugh.  They were originally published over a 10 year period as, Men At Arms, Officers and Gentlemen and Unconditional Surrender.

From Waugh:

The product is intended (as it was originally) to be read as a single story.  I sought to give a description of the Second World War as it was seen and experienced by a single, uncharacteristic Englishman, and to show the effects on him.

There is much satire involved but gives way to farce in the way men were treated and how the army as an organisation was run.  I have read "Brideshead" half a dozen times and always thought that his best book but re-reading this I find that it is this that is his masterpiece, not his funniest but his best.

Interestingly for me is the book concludes in Split, Croatia . My father in law still lives there and where as a 14 year old was wounded fighting with the Partisans whom our main character, Crouchback interacts.  Our kids think it nifty that one of their grandfather's has bullet holes in him!

This is a great book, one to be read many times.

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