Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Top ten war stories

Karl Marlantes, who served as a marine in Vietnam and was awarded numerous medals including two Purple Hearts, is the author of Matterhorn, a novel about his experience of combat in the jungle.

He named his top ten war stories for the Guardian. One novel on the list:
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

I've read this twice and am going through it for the third right now with the new Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translation. This man's genius is to handle a huge cast of characters and points of view, from an Olympian historical analysis, to the minds of dictators and generals, to the minds of individual soldiers. When I read how Prince Andre felt when he went down mortally wounded, seeing the concrete nothingness of the sky, I actually had to stand up and take a walk it hit me so profoundly.
Read about the other entries on the list.

War and Peace also appears among Niall Ferguson's five most important books, Norman Mailer's top ten works of literature, and John Mullan's list of ten of the best floggings in fiction.

Also see: five best books about soldiers at war and five best works of war poetry.

--Marshal Zeringue