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Killing Rommel

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,199 Ratings  ·  206 Reviews
A Novel. Pressfield extends his talents to the modern world with a World War II tale based on the real-life exploits of the Longe Range Desert Group, an elite British special forces unit that took on the German Afrika Korps and its legendary commander, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the "Desert Fox."
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Broadway (first published 2008)
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The Book Thief by Markus ZusakCatch-22 by Joseph HellerSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt VonnegutAtonement by Ian McEwanThe Winds of War by Herman Wouk
World War II Fiction
108th out of 749 books — 1,182 voters
I, the Sun by Janet E. MorrisGates of Fire by Steven PressfieldGenghis by Conn IgguldenThe Sacred Band by Janet E. MorrisGenghis by Conn Iggulden
Historical Military Fiction
16th out of 118 books — 67 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 14, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it
Non Vi Sed Arte -- Not by Strength, by Guile is the motto of the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG). This original “special forces” unit fought in the North African desert against the Germans, Italians and the desert itself during WWII. If you like your historical fiction heavy on the history and light on the fiction, then Killing Rommel is for you. I give it 4 Stars but might bump it up later. I was not impressed at the start but the middle was excellent and it was sooo good at the end. From Pres ...more
Jun 25, 2008 Joe rated it liked it
Erwin Rommel, the legendary panzer general wreaked havok on the British Army in North Africa as he pressed his advance toward Palestine and the oil fields beyond. A special British unit was tasked with taking him out. This is the story of their attempt.

Pressfield, who also wrote Gates of Fire about the Battle of Thermopylae, works hard to keep the story interesting while trying to adhere to a realistic portrayal of war. War has been described as mainly periods of boredom occasionally punctuated
C. Patrick
Mar 27, 2014 C. Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you know your history, then you are aware that despite the title they don't actually kill Rommel during the North Africa campaign, unless Pressfield opts for a Tarantino revision of the history. Fortunately, he stays true to historical events, introducing a fictional element within the very real British Long Range Desert Group or LRDG. For Gates of Fire fans, if you are looking for an epic climax similar to what you find in his story of the 300, you may be disappointed. But if you would like ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Moving away from the ancient world and into the 20th century seems to have served Steven Pressfield quite well. Many readers may be unfamiliar with the Long Range Desert Group (popularized in the 1960s TV series The Rat Patrol), but this powerful, thoroughly researched novel should change that. Pressfield creates the same edge-of-your-seat drama, remarkable battle scenes, and strong characters that populate his acclaimed novels of ancient warfare. Chapman contemplates war as he learns to fight a

Aug 23, 2010 Mark rated it it was amazing
Every bit as good and non-put-downable as Pressfield's Gates of Fire. Both intricately detailed and emotionally satisfying account of the allies improbable push-back victory against the forces of Erwin Rommel, the "Desert Fox."

The book follows the exploits of a Long Range Desert Group patrol in the vast North African deserts in 1942-3. The group is tasked with a seemingly-impossible mission: infiltrate behind German lines and kill Rommel. It turns into a nail-biting saga of survival, as these se
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
Initially I was a little uncertain about "Killing Rommel"; it read like something written in the postwar 50s... it felt dated. The language was quaint and the characters a little too public-school British as though just come down off the cinema screen during a showing of "Brief Encounter" or "In Which We Serve". I was brought round by the thrill of travelling behind enemy lines in the harsh environment of the North African desert. This was the real hero of the book, that (cliche) unforgiving, un ...more
Mary Kathryn
Jun 10, 2008 Mary Kathryn rated it it was ok
Second novel in a row that I did not finish, after "Child 44." This one was well-written, but entirely too military-history for me. The only dialogue was of the "Right ho, there chap!" variety.
Otis Chandler
Apr 04, 2008 Otis Chandler rated it really liked it
Recommended to Otis by: Steven
I got an advanced copy of this and tore through it last weekend. It was a memoir style account of desert warfare in world war 2, and a fascinating and realistic account of what it was like. A little heavier on logistics (names/places/etc) in a few places than I would have liked, but that did make it seem very real.

I loved the descriptions of Rommel's tank tactics: "tied in forces will hold and forces in the air will run". It was also interesting to note that most of the special ops were doing re
Mark Thornton
Jul 30, 2015 Mark Thornton rated it really liked it
The frame is a bit clunky, so the beginning and concluding chapters are just okay; however, I found the history interesting and the storytelling engaging. it was a fun, quick read in a busy week.
Susan Ozment
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 30, 2014 Robert rated it it was amazing
this is not the first pressfield novel I have read. That being said, I began this novel expecting it to be similar to his other work such as "the profession". I was happily surprised at the masterful way he approached this angle. I am not saying it was flawless. Written from the memoirs of a man recording his ascent into acceptance into a warrior society, it's bound to be far from perfect. The story managed to convince me that the man behind the memoir is real. From his fantasy expectations, to ...more
Paul Trembling
This is a war story with real depth. Based on real characters and events from the desert war, it follows one man's experience on a mission with the Long Range Desert Group. It has the action you'd expect from a war novel, but it also shows vividly what lays behind that action - the danger and hardship involved in desert travel, even without the chance of being shot at! I was amazed by the matter-of-fact courage and sheer toughness of the men involved in this. And it's the men, the characters, ar ...more
Gregory Barron
Oct 25, 2015 Gregory Barron rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. A little difficult to follow all the names and terms in the beginning but it falls together nicely. An extreme tear jerker in the end. In a good way. This is not a spoiler. Loved the book.
I also read the Book mentioned in this book as the definitive book on Rommel. But that was many years ago.
Brian Bova
Nov 15, 2014 Brian Bova rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned
Great book! Love Pressfield. Was a little slow going at first as the background and pre-war info was boring, and thought there was too much explained. Other than that it was a fantastic book. Would recommend over and over. A+++++
Jan 04, 2016 Wade rated it really liked it
Steven Pressfield brings the dead to life! I have never gotten the sense, while reading him, that he is seeking to tell his story using the vehicle of history but that he is seeking to tell history through his creative vehicle. I found myself identifying with Chap through the story. It is an impelling commentary that, as the story progresses, he has developed greatly yet his self perception is largely unchanged.

I love the characters (real and fictional) The source material of historical backgrou
Jul 18, 2008 Mary rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Spencer
Recommended to Mary by: Tia
What I learned - what it must be like to be in combat - chaos, sickness, death, valor, comrades, decisions one must live with.
Wow! is all I can really say about this book.
Mar 31, 2009 Patty rated it it was ok
Shelves: reader-choice
I admit I didn't read all of this. Normally I like technical details, but for some reason I didn't in this book.
Pete Combe
Oct 13, 2014 Pete Combe rated it it was ok
I am a Pressfield homer; however, this novel is really kind of a retread of previous novels set in a different era. His themes all seem to focus on history/necessity, chivalry/honor, free will and their intersection in battle and strife. He simply changes the setting from Ancient Greece (Gates of Fire), to the semi-mythological (Last of the Amazons), to WWII. He has also foregone the moral ambiguity of the narrator/protagonist in Tides of War, and simply recast his recurring "warrior ideal." Thi ...more
Mar 22, 2010 Graham rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ww2
In my eyes, Pressfield is an author who can do no wrong - and this book confirms that reputation. I've only previously read GATES OF FIRE, which for me is one of the finest historical battle books ever written. KILLING ROMMEL isn't quite up there with that novel, but it's still a splendid story.

I admit a vested interest in reading this work - my grandfather fought at the battle of El Alamein, and was indeed a Desert Rat. Thus, I loved the way Pressfield brought the theatre of war to life, really
Feb 08, 2016 Justin rated it it was amazing
First, I'll admit to being a big fan of Steven Pressfield. Gates of Fire is one of my favorite books, so I was inclined to want to like Killing Rommel. But the novels are so different from one another, that I feel I can safely review this one without being influenced by Pressfield's other works.
Getting to know the British LRDG was a fascinating study, and the protagonist was a sympathetic character, despite the fact that he's enlisted (well, recruited for on mission) in what is essentially Briti
Zohar -
May 25, 2010 Zohar - rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
This historical fiction story takes place in the early 1940's when General Erwin Rommel's (The Dessert Fox) troops were intent on capturing the Mid East oil fields in order to support Germany's war machine in its attempt of world conquest.
Stopping the Eight Army was an essential and significant part of the Allies' counteroffensive plan.

The story in "Killing Rommel" is presented through the eyes of Lieutenant R. Lawrence Chapman (Chap) a fictional tank commander who was "loaned" to a famed comm
Dec 22, 2013 Kyle rated it really liked it
This was a pretty interesting historical fictional account of what went on behind the lines in the Desert Theatre in World War II. The novel follows the exploits of Lieutenant Chapman, a young and relatively inexperienced British tank officer who is re-assigned to the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), a Special Forces group that operates behind enemy lines. Their primary mission is to track and kill General Rommel, who is credited with single-handedly orchestrating the string of German successes i ...more
Tim Giauque
Nov 08, 2012 Tim Giauque rated it liked it
Killing Rommel is a short, easy read, and it's interesting enough, but as we are told in the first few pages, it's a fictionalized account of a real story. I couldn't help but wonder why the actual story wasn't just presented, without resorting to the fictional elements and the framing gimmick Pressfield uses.

The premise is simple – in 1943, an English soldier describes his career with the Long Range Desert Group, fighting in North Africa against German Field General Erwin Rommel. Their mission
AdultFiction Teton County Library
Teton County Library Call No: F PRESSFIELD
Brie's rating: 4 stars

Mr. Pressfield’s recent novel unfolds within the context of the 1942/early 1943 North African campaign during World War II. With the kind of historical accuracy for which the author is known, the crux of the plot (a top secret operation to locate and kill Field Marshall Rommel by the British special-forces unit, the Long Range Desert Group) is explored in fine and deliberate detail. The majority of the story is voiced through the f
May 15, 2009 David rated it really liked it
I'm fascinated by World War II, but am not generally attracted to detailed descriptions of battle tactics and summaries. This book had quite a bit of that, but it was so well written that it mostly held my attention throughout. The author begins and ends the book by describing what is history and what is fiction; very helpful. (It's mostly thoroughly-researched history, with some fictional characters added to make the story flow better.)

One of the things that astonishes me about WWII is the way
Feb 21, 2012 Bec rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
Killing Rommel was an amazing and very entertaining book. It is historical fiction, but you could tell that Steven Pressfield had done so much research that it felt like you were reading a non-fiction account of action in North Africa. I was glad that the book was set in the North African front, because I don’t really know that much about it, and only really started reading up on it last year.

Killing Rommel was so well paced, with the action pretty thick and heavy. However, the parts of the boo
Henri Moreaux
Written as a memoir this historical fiction novel is, well, odd. If it were non fiction the first third of the book would have been rather interesting. However, as it's fiction you find yourself reading about seemingly irrelevant childhood experiences of someone who doesn't exist and that don't particularly relate to the main thrust of the plot. The only thing that you really need to know is that he admires a bloke called Stein, has the hots for Rose whose brother is Jock - yet it takes over a h ...more
Sean Watson
Nov 03, 2012 Sean Watson rated it liked it
(3.5) This book falls far short of Pressfield's Gates of Fire, but that's gentle criticism since most books do. It's a novel of the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), an early version of the Special Forces, in its war against the Germans in North Africa. The strength of the book is, as in Gates of Fire, how Pressfield captures the period. One feels transported to WWII England complete with all the trepidations and hopes that would accompany such a move. Similarly, though I believed prior to reading ...more
Nov 13, 2012 Alec rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading Steven Pressfield's novels because they do an excellent job of making history come to life. My impression is that he does enough research (especially of primary source material) that he could easily write a traditional non-fiction book on the subjects of his choosing. Interestingly though, he chooses to write fictions and in Killing Rommel he may have justified why he chooses to fiction over non-fiction. Near the end of the book (don't worry I'm not giving anything away) one of h ...more
Dec 22, 2008 Jeff rated it really liked it
Not as good as Gates of Fire, but still a fantastic read.

Pressfield conveys in a beautiful way the desolation of driving in Africa's northern deserts. As another reviewer put it, warfare consists of a very few intense moments punctuated by long periods of absolute nothing. Somehow the nothing in this book becomes exciting, where the challenges of desert survival not only hold my attention, but keep me glued to page.

Ultimately, the characters' run-in with the famed General Rommel seems forced — s
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I was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1943 to a Navy father and mother.

I graduated from Duke University in 1965.

In January of 1966, when I was on the bus leaving Parris Island as a freshly-minted Marine, I looked back and thought there was at least one good thing about this departure. "No matter what happens to me for the rest of my life, no one can ever send me back to this freakin' place a
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