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BTT: War, huh, What It Is Good For?

November 11, 2010

It is November 11th, known here in the U.S. as Veteran’s Day, formerly Armistice Day to remember the end of WWI but expanded to honor all veterans who have fought for their country, so …

Do you read war stories? Fictional ones? Histories?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

My immediate response was “no”. Then, I caught myself. I do like war stories but, usually, they’re disguised. Slaughterhouse Five is one of my favorite books of all time and is a little, for lack of a better term (maybe it’s the best term, actually) “Kurt-y” . It’s a little bit oddball but is still about the emotional fallout of war.

Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series also tackles war in a beautiful (if that’s possible) way, at least for the first two books, through complete symbolism. The last book gets a little bit too realisitic. Not that I can’t handle gore; I simply think she does such a superb job alluding to the politics of children in war in the first two books that the literal hammering that happens in the third is a bit much. The first two, again, are amazing.

I also adore For Whom the Bell Tolls by my love, Ernest Hemingway. The story winds though the mountains via a small rebel force and is less about the fife and drum business than it is the guerrilla, hillside resistance. Because it is a simple strand of renegades, the drama runs deep and true. (For those fans of the Hunger Games who are anti “classic lit”, think Gale and Katniss).

Of course I did just come across Gone with the Wind, the other day which I haven’t read since eighth grade. I suppose, living in Atlanta in my adulthood, I should probably read that one again.
I suppose the answer to the question is that I don’t seek out war books but I do find them to be some of the most memorable books I’ve inadvertently read. I suppose that, simply because war is about life, death and love, it seems to be one of those universal truths the remains the art of literature and cinema and pleasant conversation.

So it goes…

10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2010 9:29 am

    I’ve been meaning to read Slaughterhouse 5 and Hunger Games, so I’ll have to step them up my list!

  2. November 11, 2010 11:10 am

    I have to check some more although I have read a lot!

    BTT: War Books

  3. November 11, 2010 12:15 pm

    I do happen to read a lot of books on war, both fictional and non-fictional. Lately I have been trying to stay away from books about WWII, as I feel that I have sort of burnt out on them, but I really want to do some more reading on the Vietnam war. I also loved The Hunger Games trilogy (for the most part) and think Collins did an amazing job tackling the realities of war. This was a great post!

  4. November 11, 2010 12:17 pm

    Hunger Games (series) sounds very interesting! Happy Thursday!

  5. November 11, 2010 12:44 pm

    I didn’t think I had read that many either…until I started reading through everyone’s answers. I keep checking off more and more that I have read. Here’s my answer:

  6. November 11, 2010 1:31 pm

    My first reaction was similar to yours – started with thinking “no” and then realized that yes, I do.

    Here’s my link

  7. November 11, 2010 3:29 pm

    Same with me, no at first but seeing everyone’s postings you realize that war is in a lot of books.

    Come visit What Were They Thinking? at The Crowded Leaf.

  8. November 11, 2010 3:54 pm

    I only read fictional ones. The White Queen, The Red Queen, and some Civil War books.

  9. November 11, 2010 9:18 pm

    My first reaction was the same as yours. I don’t really go out of my way to find war books, but sometimes I’ll find something really interesting.

  10. November 12, 2010 10:43 pm

    I don’t seek out war fiction, but some of my favourite authors have written books set during war time. So I do end up reading it! I read more nonfiction about war, just because I’m big into international relations stuff.

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