Articles of War
This novella packs a big punch. The writing is at once reserved and intimately emotional. The reader witnesses the horrors of war along with ...more
The protagonist of Nick Arvin's "Articles of War" is an 18-year ...more
It wasn't long before I wondered how it had earned the praise.
Another Goodreads reviewer labeled it as MFA fiction, and about 50 pages in, I had to agree. It's heavy on description, long on emotional detachment and short of characters for whom it is possible to care (I wanted to write here "give a rat's ass about.")
Heck, the Iowa farm boy whose perspective ...more
OK, now I'm done. I read this in audio, and it was like my old high school textbooks: deadly if engaged in while lying down because it induced sleep! The descriptions were overly literary and cerebral. The characters weren't very vividly drawn, and whi ...more
Arvin, inspired by his grandfathers' service during World War II (one with American forces, the other with the German Army), captures the horrors of battle in his first novel. Leaving out the epic sweep of standard historical fiction, the author builds his narrative from one young soldier's experience. Arvin is especially acute in his examination of the psychology of bravery when faced with devastation. His minimalist prose, which captures the panic, horror, carnage, and chaos of war, packs more...more
It is an interesting counterpoint to the usual World War II story of young men who consistently did the right thing a ...more
A realistic, spare first novel that captures well the madness and chaos of war. After all of the "Greatest Generation" lit of late, it's kind of refreshing to discover a novel about a coward. A coward for all the right reasons... he's young; he's scared of dying; he's traumatized; he runs; makes perfect sense to me.
But like Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage, the youth in this story runs towards an understanding of himself and his place amidst the madness.
Started slow. Parts I liked, parts I didn't. Sometimes I didn't like the writing style. Portrays Heck's conflict between his own cowardice and duty well, but I didn't really feel the emotional agony that I'm sure soldiers go through. Didn't really believe, or like, the whole love-interest line of the story.