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Killing Rommel

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,786 ratings  ·  188 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 VonnegutThe Winds of War by Herman WoukAtonement by Ian McEwan
World War II Fiction
91st out of 606 books — 990 voters
Gates of Fire by Steven PressfieldThe Killer Angels by Michael ShaaraGenghis by Conn IgguldenUnder the Eagle by Simon ScarrowKilling Rommel by Steven Pressfield
Historical Military Fiction
5th out of 78 books — 28 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,882)
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Mike
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 Press ...more
Joe
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
...more
Mary Kathryn
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.
C. Patrick
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

...more
Otis Chandler
Apr 04, 2008 Otis Chandler rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
...more
Mark
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
...more
Robert
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
Brian Bova
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+++++
Mary
Jul 18, 2008 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
Patty
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
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
Graham
Mar 22, 2010 Graham rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
...more
Justin
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
...more
Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com
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
...more
Kyle
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
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
...more
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
...more
Eileen Granfors
Pressfield is an author who can put you into the battle to the point that you are ducking for cover with the protagonist and looking across the sands for headlights. . . Germans? Italians? English?

"Killing Rommel" brings alive the battles of World War II in the Middle East and North Africa. I hesitated to buy this book as I always have been drawn more to reading about the events in the Pacific, since my father served on the carrier "Enterprise." Leon Uris's "Battle Cry" and Mailer's "The Naked
...more
David
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
...more
Bec
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
...more
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
(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
Alec
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
Jeff
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
...more
Francis Gahren
Autumn, 1942. Hitler's legions have swept across Europe; France has fallen; Churchill and the English are isolated on their island. In North Africa, Rommel and his Panzers have routed the British Eighth Army and stand poised to overrun Egypt, Suez, and the oilfields of the Middle East. With the outcome of the war hanging in the balance, the British hatch a desperate plan -- send a small, highly mobile, and heavily armed force behind German lines to strike the blow that will stop the Afrika Korps ...more
Previous TCL Reviews
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 first-person narrative of R. Lawrence Chapman (”Chap”), a young En ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
By the autumn of 1942, France has fallen to Hitler’s legions, the Soviet Union is reeling on the eastern front, and Britain is beleaguered. In North Africa, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (‘The Desert Fox’) and his Panzers have routed the Eighth Army and, seemingly invincible, threaten the vital oilfields of the Middle East.
Out of desperation, the British plan to send a small, heavily armed mobile force behind enemy lines to strike a blow that will stop the Afrika Korps in its tracks. This force: th
...more
Brian
For years Steven Pressfield has described the minute details of ordinary soldiers or officers from the ancient world. No doubt his influences on this type of historical fiction can be seen in the HBO series "Rome" and the movie "300." Now he has jumped into the 20th Century and World War II. Unfortunately it drops his rating down to 3 stars. Normally his story-telling is top notch, but WWII has already been written about in fiction as well as incredible non-fiction stories. Not that Steven Press ...more
Mike
Extraordinary. This fictionalized account of an actual event rings true. However it is not a story about World War II, but one of World War II. It is part of the broader story about average everyday people, both men and women, confronting and overcoming a worldwide calamity. To borrow words from Frederick Douglas, the people's price for victory was paid by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and when necessary, by their lives, and the lives of others. While this story may be fiction, people like ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Is it usable? 5 46 Aug 09, 2012 02:51PM  
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867
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
...more
More about Steven Pressfield...
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