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Under Fire

ISBN: 9781612003825
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 19 May 2016
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 15.0 x 2.2
Under Fire, first published in French as 'Le Feu', was one of the first novels about WWI, appearing in December 1916, before the outcome of the war was clear. Set in early 1916, it follows a squad of French volunteer soldiers through the eyes of an unnamed foot soldier, who participates in and also observes the action. It combines soaring, poetic descriptions with the mundane, messy, human reality of soldiers living in their own excrement.

Slowly, names and features are given to the men who emerge from the mud. Individual characters emerge, from the dignified leader Corporal Bertrand, to the ebullient Volpatte and the obsessive Cocon. Intermingled with details about how they navigate daily life in the putrefied atmosphere of the trenches are harrowing descriptions and a political, pacifist argument about this war and war in general.

Caught up in events they cannot control, the soldiers go through their daily routines: foraging for food, reading letters from wives and mothers, drinking, fighting in battle, and in heavily realistic scenes which the novel is noted for, they discover dead bodies in advanced stages of decomposition - the human detritu...

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