War Books

Yesterday I was up writing at 4 a.m. and, by the afternoon, was feeling a little loopy. So I took a break and looked over some of the great war books here in Carter Library.  Now I can’t get the words “Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time,” from Slaughterhouse-Five out of my mind.  Vonnegut’s opening chapter (before the Billy Pilgrim line shows up) might very well be one of my favorites of all time.  I then came across Caputo’s A Rumor of War which I am sad to say I have not yet read.  I keep meaning to get to it, I do, I do.  On the inside cover I see that Rex has made is mark — he always records when he finishes a book on the inside cover — and it says “April 2004” so I am only 6 years behind.  Maybe after I finish re-reading The Poisonwood Bible?  Okay, that’s it, I’m pulling A Rumor of War off the shelf and letting it stare at me for a few days to remind me …

If you’re wanting something more recent (about Iraq and Afghanistan) I recommend Dexter Filkins’s Forever War. It won the nonfiction Pulitzer last year.  Filkins has an easy-on-the-eyes writing style and his reportage is quick and sharp.  Plus, I promise you will never again feel the same about AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” if you read this powerful book.