Saturday, August 28, 2010

Six take to war

Patrick Hennessey was born in 1982 and educated at Berkhamsted School and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read English. He joined the Army in January 2004, undertaking officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where he was awarded the Queen’s Medal and commissioned into The Grenadier Guards. He served as a Platoon Commander and later Company Operations Officer from the end of 2004 to early 2009 in the Balkans, Africa, South East Asia and the Falkland Islands and on operational tours to Iraq in 2006 and Afghanistan in 2007, where he became the youngest Captain in the Army and was commended for gallantry.

His book is The Junior Officers' Reading Club: Killing Time and Fighting Wars.

For The Week magazine, he recommended six books to take to war. One title on his list:
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

I loved Heller’s masterpiece before I joined the British army, but didn’t realize how scarily accurate it was. War shouldn’t be laugh-out-loud funny, but it can be, and Heller’s book catches that expertly. Despite its dark humor, Catch-22 retains a glimmer of hope—“Yossarian lives.”
Read about the other books on Hennessey's list.

Catch-22 is among Jasper Fforde's five most important books, Thomas E. Ricks' top ten books about U.S. military history, and Antony Beevor's five best works of fiction about World War II. While it disappointed Nick Hornby upon rereading, it made Cracked magazine's "Wit Lit 101: Five Classic Novels That Bring the Funny."

--Marshal Zeringue