“No Less Than Victory: A Novel of World War II” by Jeff Shaara (website) is a historical fiction book which blends historical characters, fact and fiction into a readable story. The book is the third of a series about World War II.
- 512 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books
- ISBN: 0440423392
I thought: No Less Than Victory” by Jeff Shaara was the best of the series. This is the third book of a trilogy by the author, the first being “The Rising Tide” (book review) and the second being “The Steel Wave” (book review) of this historical fiction series.
In his usual style of “historical fiction” Mr. Shaara takes us through the European theater in WWII as seen through the eyes of its generals, politicians and, the parts I found most interesting, the soldiers themselves.
This is solid storytelling, primarily focusing on the Battle of the Bulge, as seen through the eyes of the grunts, and as managed by the generals on both sides of the fence. Unlike the authors other books, this book has less characters (or so it seemed at least) which I find to be more appealing and less confusing. Even though it’s always fun to read about Eisenhower decision making process or the clashes between Montgomery and Patton the story focuses on Private Eddie Benson and his experiences at “mud level”. Some interesting characters, such as Germans Gerd von Rundstedt and Albert Speer, also represent the axis’ point of view.
The reader’s journey through the eyes of Benson, while peeking in the minds of the generals is a winning combination which makes the story more personal and engrossing.
Even though I have heard many people who condemn the oxymoron called “historical fiction” it has worked for me personally. Because of Mr. Shaara’s Civil War books I read many other historical books and biographies of the characters I was interested in – so as you can see, I think that writing about history on a grounded, personal level has many benefits especially for those who don’t’ find history as fascinating as I do.
My only comment is that I think it would be wonderful if Mr. Shaara could provide some pictures of the personalities involved so we can see what they look truly look like (instead, for example, picture George C. Scott as General Patton or Ike as the President).
As he does in all his books, Mr. Shaara lets the reader know what happened to each person after the war – an invaluable addition.
The book begins after the Normandy invasion. The allied generals are confident that the war will be over in a few weeks, but Hitler is not so sure. Despite the advice of his generals, Hitler launches a desperate counteroffensive in the Ardennes Forest surprising the Americans.
The story is told through the eyes of Eisenhower, Patton, private Eddie Benson as well as Germans Gerd von Rundstedt and Albert Speer.
Zohar – Man of la Book
- Book Review: The Steel Wave-A Novel of World War II by Jeff Shaara (manoflabook.com)
- The Rising Tide: A Novel of World War II by Jeff Shaara (manoflabook.com)
- EDITORIAL: Get it Straight, Russia Lost World War II (larussophobe.wordpress.com)
- Author Q&A with Lauren Belfer (manoflabook.com)
BOOK BLOGGERS – Have you read “No Less Than Victory”? If so link up your review below: This post is in the 69th