Sunday, June 5, 2011

5 Best Books set during war

Thanks to Bev, I have come to know of an interesting weekly meme. Hosted by Cassandra at indiereaderhouston.com, it involves listing 5 favourite books on a particular topic. This week the topic is 5 best books set during a war. Well here is my list:




THE MAHABHARAT: Quite simply, the greatest story ever told. The rivalry between the cousins, Kauravas and Pandavas, results in a war that destroys and demolishes everything held sacred. 
Kamala Subramaniam's translation of the Sanskrit epic is by far the best that I've read.


ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT: Paul Baumer's youthful ideals are stripped away on the stage of the first world war. Erich Maria Remarque's heart-rending novel leaves one teary eyed as the old men of Europe send their sons to die.


ACROSS THE BLACK WATERS: It amazes me how often the first world war is discussed as a European affair (with a cameo by the US). In the war, were lakhs and lakhs of soldiers from Asia and Africa who died fighting for their colonial masters. Mulk Raj Anand's novel describes one such Indian regiment fighting in the fields of Flanders. Far away from their homes, fighting a war which made no sense to them, they yet marched on for the honour of  the
 Union Jack. That their masters reneged on their
 promises after having won the war is the story of
 imperialism. 


A FAREWELL TO ARMS: Semi-autographical and set during the Italian campaigns of the first world war, this is to me, Hemingway at his best. The author's stark prose brings out in sharp relief both the doomed love affair between Fredric Henry and Catherine Barkley as well as the brutality of the war. And who can forget the Italian doctor Rinaldi. 

THE NIGHT IN LISBON: The poignant narrative of a German Jew fleeing from the horrors of Nazi Germany. Through the travails - love, separation, growing distance, reunion, death - of the couple - (the wife is an Aryan, the husband a Jew) Remarque shows a country divided against itself. 

For Bev's list: 

Cassandra's list
http://indiereaderhouston.com/blog/archives/1795

For more on the 5 best books meme read here:
http://indiereaderhouston.com/blog/5-best-books







5 comments:

  1. I've read two out of 5 on this list. I'm going to have to pick up The Mahabarat and Across the Black Waters. There are some parts of the world where my lack of knowledge about the books is not something that I'm proud of. I'm going to have to remedy that. I'm also amazed that the other Remarque novel has stayed off my radar. That one's on the list, too!

    I'm so glad you joined us! I've linked your post with the others on my page. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  2. That's twice I've seen All Quiet on the Western Front so I think I'll have to pull it off of my shelf and finally read it!

    The other Remarque book sounds like something I'd like as well ....

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  3. Good choices. Though I generally don't read books set in wartime, sometimes I can't avoid it completely. :) I like the idea of this meme. I'm thinking I might join in. Thanks for letting me know about it.

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  4. I love making lists. This week's topic was a bit of a challenge to me. For example, I haven't read any of the books on your list! I have a tough time reading books that are too depressing. I read them; I just need a break in between them so I have a huge list of to-be-read books!

    I'd love to see your thoughts on my list.

    ~Jenni
    blookbog.wordpress.com

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  5. Cassandra: Thanks for linking my post. Your site is most interesting and am glad that I am a part of it now.

    You are not the only one. The more I read blogs and lists, the more I realise how little I have read.:)

    Suzzane: Remarque is one of my favourite writers and I can't recommend Western Front too highly. I believe, it is on somebody else's list too.:) Do read it. There was a lump in my throat even as I was reading the epigram.

    Yvette: Do join in. It's great fun and I would love to read your faves.

    Blookbog: What a fun list you have. Zombies and vampires!! Never thought authors would have such a fantastic take on the war. The books are on my TBR list now. Incidentally, I tried leaving a comment on your blog but was unable to do so. Could you help me with that?

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