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Matthew Bin

Two books that are on my list but not on yours:

  • The Middle Parts of Fortune by Frederic Manning. A war novel that has no combat -- it takes place between the unit leaving the front line in WWI and returning three weeks later. Stunning novel.
  • The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. I don't know if there's a better modern war novel than this. It's not even a novel, just a collection of short stories, but they intertwine and build together and leave you absolutely gutted by the end. And I would say that they are still completely relevant to the major western wars of imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq today.

I tried to read The Naked and the Dead back in school, not because I had to but because I wanted to read this transformative war novel. It felt ridiculously dated. I made it about two-thirds of the way through before I gave up. I can understand how it was very popular in the time it was written, but I also understand why it fell away so fast. (And I bet the fact that Mailer censored himself has a lot to do with it. They should produce a de-fugged version for today's market and see how it sells.)

Werner

I read Heller's Catch-22, years ago and enjoyed it more than the movie. When it comes to WWII, I read mostly non-fiction. My all time favorites are With the Old Breed by E.B. Sledge, and pretty much anything written by Cornelius Ryan

Kavich

Read a fiction here
http://www.brooklynvoice.com/?p=335

Ed Seaward

Vonnegut's "Slaughter House Five". Dark and funny like the best of his novels. Most people point to Catch 22 when they talk about early WWII satire, but I have always preferred "Slaugher House Five". For me, Heller's best was "Something Happened"--but it is not war related. It is more diabolical--a middle class life as a middle manager.

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