This is an unusual memoir, it tells the story of an Austrian fighting the Russians at the start of the first world war.
It's really well written and features some genuinely surprising events which I won't mention so as not to spoil it for you. The author really brings the events to life in a straightforward way but there's some great insights too.
I really enjoyed this book about a soldiers experiences in world war one. It's written early in the war and you can already see certain themes appearing - the exhaustion and inertia of the forces, the gulf between the officers and the men and the terrifying power of modern weapons. If you are interested in what the early war was really like I think you'll find this honest and undramatic account very readable but I have to warn you there are page after page of account of long marches which take a while to get used to.
When the armies do clash the descriptions of the battles are surprisingly short but very well written. At first I was somewhat put off by these short reports of battle hidden in pages about food, sleep and marching but after a while I came to appreciate that the book is written exactly as the author remembers events and many of these early skirmishes are explosions of sudden shocking violence in between long periods of more mundane life. This book really captures that brilliantly.
The good humour of the soldiers, the personally observed little splashes of local colour and the time when this was written all make this a book well worth preserving, and reading if you have an interest in the war.
This book is fascinating for anyone with an interest in wargaming or the writing of H.G Wells. What I especially liked was the way it really gave an insight into the authors character, he comes over as warm hearted, playful and every bit as intelligent as you would expect from the author of so many great books. I have wanted to read this book for a long time but have never been able to find a copy, it's a superb read.
I read this book as a child and loved it because it was something so totally different to anything I had read before. Reading it again as an adult I saw different things in it as you'd expect but I loved it just as much because it offers you a world that you feel you may have half glimpsed in your dreams. Once read, never forgotten - it's a classic read.
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