Paul Baumer is unprepared for the horrors he endures fighting for Germany in WWI. How does war change him? Can he survive when strategy and bad luck kill so many?
Paul and his friends are likable youth thrown into horrors. The costs of war are unflinchingly and vividly portrayed. Paul’s group hauntingly shows why the Lost Generation came to be: “we are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves” (87). All Quiet on the Western Front offers a look at WWI and the horror of war.
Want more books like All Quiet on the Western Front?
Jean Dartemont is horrified by what he experiences during WWI and makes a stand in Fear: A Novel of WWI by Gabriel Chevallier.
Members of the French Sixth Battalion struggle to survive the horrors of WWI in Under Fire by Henri Barbusse.
Check out memoirs of soldiers who served during WWI such as Memoirs of an Infantry Officer by Siegfried Sassoon.
What is a military couple’s life like? What challenges come when loved ones are separated by war?
Fallon, an army wife whose husband was deployed three times, shows military couples trying to endure. There are army base wives relying on each other and base routines to endure. There are army men who endure by focusing on their loved ones back home. You Know When the Men Are Gone gives a look at war and its impact on relationships.
Want more books like You Know When the Men Are Gone?
Two vastly different women become friends when their loved ones are deployed in Iraq in Blue Stars by Emily Gray Tedrowe.
A former Marine Captain explores the cost of war on soldiers and civilians in Redeployment by Phil Klay.
Nonfiction books such as Be Safe, Love Mom: A Military Mom’s Stories of Courage, Comfort, and Surviving the Home Front by Elaine Lowry Brye look at the cost of war on those who serve and their families.
Waino Mellas sees Vietnam as a part of a brilliant political plan. He’ll enlist as a Marine, fight, and use his success to gain political glory. Dropped into the chaos of war he’ll face the indifferent jungle, battle, and politics. Can he survive and if he does who will he be?
Jungle rot, resignation towards senseless orders, and battle tension provide a disturbing, bleak, and gruesome picture of the Vietnam War. The politics of manipulative officers, racial tension, and lack of support back home emphasizes a nonromantic view of war. Mellas is a complicated character as selfish political motivations clash with growing empathy for his troops. Other characters such as natural leader Hawke and conflicted China also pull the reader into the story. Matterhorn offers a realistic feeling portrayal of Vietnam, interesting characters, and provokes thought about war (why, how, and its cost).
Want other books like Matterhorn?
A man goes to Vietnam unaware of the danger and perhaps unbearable realities he will encounter in Carl Melcher Goes to Vietnam by Paul Clayton.
A Marine platoon struggles to survive the dangers of the Vietnam War in Fields of Fire by James Webb.
Books such as the author’s nonfiction What It Is Like to Go to War provide a look at fighting in war and its effects.