The book is part history, part historical fiction. While much of the book is based on outstanding research and first-person interviews, some of the book is told from a perspective which the author himself wrote but relied on historical information for reference. A most interesting way to write the book and a brave decision by the author (who states his method in the forward).
I truly enjoyed the fact that the author pays attention to history and imagines what it would have been like for his protagonists to prepare for battle and death. Mr. Pressfield understands the notions of honor in the context of ancient Greece and writes about it in a moving, serious way.
As those who follow this blog know that I love books about the military, fiction and non-fiction. In honor of Veterans Day I thought I’d post a list of books I enjoyed over the past year or two about this subject. I assume we all love to read about something which is close to our hearts, whether it’s a place, a feeling or an experience. I know I do. Non-Fiction: Citizen Soldiers by Stephen Ambrose A fascinating book about the European theater in World War II, as told by the men on the front lines, not a media hugging officer or a dry historian. Ambrose captures the sense of history from both sides of the fence, sticks to the facts as we know them and keeps his comments to a minimum. Command Influence By Robert A. Shaines A captivating book in which Mr. Shaines recounts his memories as a defending lawyer in the case of The United States v. Lt. George C. Schreiber. Lt. Schreiber was the appointed scapegoat in a trial for the murder of a Korean man (whose real name was never found). Mr. Shaines, a military attorney on the Lieutenant’s defense team, was fighting a battle which…
The year is 2032 and Gilbert “Gent” Gentilhomme, a professional solider, commander and mercenary, is being sent around the world fighting for corporations. Gent’s wife, a hard nosed reporter, allows him to see some of the big picture, but his trust and loyalty to his commending general is unwavering.
Soon Gent realizes that fighting without a flag has its drawbacks as the oil producing regions enforce their dominance.
The story is presented through the eyes of Lieutenant R. Lawrence Chapman (Chap) a fictional tank commander who was “loaned” to a famed commando unit called the Long Range Dessert Group (LDRG) to help asses the dessert for passable routes when the big invasion comes.
Chap quickly becomes friends with his the members of his new unit and meets some historical personalities which have since become legendary(Jake Easonsmith, Paddy Mayne, Ron Tinker, Nick Wilder, Vladimir “Popski ” Peniakoff and more). These personalities give historical authenticity to this fictional account of war. One of the group’s missions is to find out where Rommel is and call in an air-strike, hence the title of the book.