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Two Generals

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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  357 ratings  ·  59 reviews
A beautifully illustrated and poignant graphic memoir that tells the story of World War II from an Everyman's perspective.

In March of 1943, Scott Chantler's grandfather, Law Chantler, shipped out across the Atlantic for active service with the Highland Light Infantry of Canada, along with his best friend, Jack, a fellow officer. Not long afterward, they would find themselv
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Hardcover, 152 pages
Published October 26th 2010 by McClelland & Stewart (first published October 12th 2010)
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Maus, I by Art SpiegelmanFootnotes in Gaza by Joe SaccoPalestine by Joe SaccoIt Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques TardiThe Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
War Comics!!!
79th out of 115 books — 10 voters
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Best Children's Books about World War II (1939-1945)
187th out of 188 books — 204 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 603)
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Brad
I am feeling quartered over Two Generals. In one quarter, I dig Scott Chantler's art with reservations; in another, I am impressed by his portrayal of the Nazis, when he happens to portray them at all; in another, I am simultaneously disappointed with his propaganda of Canadian excellence and pleased that he shows Juno beach, the least talked about beach in the Normandy invasion; in another, I am disappointed that the two parts of the Two Generals are all there is.

His art: Chantler's illustrati
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La petite Marianna
-It's really a shame that this book doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves. I haven't heard or read anywhere about it - I came upon 'Two Generals' simply by chance, even though I continuously search for new comic/graphic novel titles and I have a strong interest in WW2.
-Anyhow, 'Two Generals' reads a lot like a classic ww2 drama film (with the right amount of action you would expect from an average war story). If you like stories such as HBO series 'Band of Brothers', 'The thin red line',
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Andrew Brozyna
Shelves of WWII books dominate the history section of bookstores. Yet the vastness of that conflict is reduced to just a few narrow subjects. The same paratroopers, tank commanders, and fighter aces tend to receive the greatest attention. Two Generals, a graphic novel about an officer in the Highland Light Infantry of Canada, is a refreshing contribution to WWII history. Scott Chantler's visual approach presents his grandfather's experience in a way more meaningful than simple text might allow.
T
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Jamie
Very few comics have made me cry. This is one of them. The last handful of pages are masterful, as Scott Chantler reframes a scene we've visited several times before in the book, giving it new resonance and tying the whole narrative together in a way that packs real power. It's a brilliant example of thoughtful storytelling, emotional without being manipulative. But then, there isn't a pen stroke in this comic that isn't perfectly planned. Two Generals should be given to all prospective cartooni ...more
Erin
A poor showing by Scott Chantler, who is by all accounts (if awards are to be thought of as accounts) something of an accomplished graphic novelist. This graphic novel, Two Generals, reminds me of stereotypes of Can lit as suffering from such an inferiority complex that it feels the need to do everything in a painfully dull and sincere way so as to assure readers that it can in fact be taken quite seriously because it follows as the Rules and Decorum of Serious Fiction. As a result there are pan ...more
Sue Smith
Beautifully handled and emotionally charged, this is a graphic novel that should make it's way into school lessons. World War II stories based on true situations are never easy to read. The reality of the situation is sometimes too much to bear and seems impossible to actually have transpired, but are always worth that pain.

I loved how this story spans past and present and brings up the valour that was given so long ago so we can enjoy the peace in our country today. It's wonderfully illustrate
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Dominick
I've read only one other Chantler, the historical fiction Northwest Passage, and I liked this historical fact/biography one a lot better. Chantler tells the story of his grandfather and his grandfather's best friend, as they take part in the Canadian contribution to the invasion of Normandy in WWII. Chantler's style here is restrained and measured, far less cartoony than the other work of his I've seen--which is all to the good, especially given the subject matter here. Chantler evidently resear ...more
Nick
The story of two Lieutenants from Ontario, as told by the grandson of one of the men: their backgrounds, training and experience landing on D-Day and subsequent World War II actions and inactions. Beautifully illustrated and well-paced, the story lacks a bit of violent action, but makes up for it by properly portraying the dreadful boredom of warfare, and in intense suspense-building pre-D-Day, some dramatic though blurry fighting, and a great deal of pathos involving the sympathetic writer's gr ...more
Alana
If I could give this half stars I would give it 2.5. I liked it, especially the artwork. However at times the writing felt like facts were just being stated without a solid narrative (even though it is non-fiction, there needs to be some sort of narrative interest there I think). Also, the title is confusing. The two main characters were not generals, but I think the title is referring to them as generals, out of respect?? Or something?? In jest?? I am not sure. I think maybe a better title woul ...more
Sonya
recommended by Dante. A good graphic novel with a startlingly touching coda.
Lu1399
*3,5/5*
I had to read this for my English class, so I wasn’t expecting much. I have to say Two Generals wasn’t an excellent book, it was decent and enjoyable. I don’t generally buy graphic novels, even if I do enjoy them (Persepolis, Polina etc.) I just never get around to it so when I heard that it was a graphic novel about WW2 I got more interested. For me it was the long description and lack of dialogue that killed it. I understand this is a biography of Scott Chantler’s grandfather and that h
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Chantale
A historical graphic novel about two best friends serving with the Highland Light Infantry (HLI) of Canada in WWII. History comes alive through the illustrations and story. Chantler did his research for the Two Generals primarily using the war diaries of Law Chantler (his grandfather) and Jack Chrysler's letters to his wife as well as the HLI's War Diary.

I became curious about how many Canadian graphic novels have been published about WWII and came across this Wikipedia fact: "Canadian World War
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Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: I love reading journals,memoirs and books based on them.

Wow! That one word could some up my complete review. Wow to the story! Wow to the graphics! Wow to the physical book itself!

Let's start with the book. The top and bottom halves are faux leather-look, the corners are rounded on the board and the pages. The pages are a nice thick quality paper and the book virtually looks like a moleskin journal. It even has an elastic band to hold it together. Beautiful book to behold!

The
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Marc Weidenbaum
Mar 05, 2011 Marc Weidenbaum added it
Shelves: comic
The men are sharply tailored and serious, with a dry sense of humor. The same can be said of the graphic novel that tells their story. The is this tale of Canadians on the European front fighting during World War II. It's a memoir, in effect, albeit told largely in the third person: two friends who head from Canada to Normandy to help save the world. As with most war stories, it's divided in half: prep, then battle. Prep is boredom and bicycles, love letters and training. Battle is violence and ...more
Lucinda
I am intrigued by the graphic novel, by the interesting problem of understanding when image is better than text, or when the image gives you a fuller sense of what is going on than text ever could. or if that is actually the case.

anyhow, I am not really sure that Two Generals succeeds in this regard. not like, say, Essex county. but i may just be insufficiently schooled in independent graphic novels (as opposed to the Marvel comics kind) to be a judge.

unfortunately I have seen the brilliant hbo
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Andrew
Those looking for war adventure or grand military strategy will be disappointed by Two Generals. What appears at first glance to be a war chronicle is, in fact, a warm-hearted account of the bonds of friendship during wartime. Tracing the WWII experiences of the author's grandfather and his best friend, much of the story takes place during officers' training, observing the absurd and poignant details of young men from a young nation learning how to fight a war. The book lacks the epic sweep or i ...more
Bruce
I wanted and expected to love this. My love for Chantler's previous historical book, Northwest Passage, as well as war comics like Garth Ennis' Battlefields series, seemed to make it a slam dunk. Ultimately, however, I found it good but forgettable. The parts that dug into the character of Scott Chantler's grandfather, Law, and his various relationships were great. Unfortunately, when the actual war scenes started, he almost completely abandons that personal perspective and gives a fairly dry, p ...more
Thomas Vree
I was at a friends house for NYE and he had this book lying on his coffee table that he had received for Christmas. “You read fast. Read it right now.” So I did. I'll blame the SMS for getting a little verklemt reading it. Nothing I didn’t already know, but it just increased my admiration and appreciation for the greatest generation. The main character (the author/artist’s grandfather) spent time in St. Thomas and it mentions his going down to Port Stanley to the Stork Club, and at the start of ...more
orangerful
3.5 stars

Taken from the diary of Chantler's grandfather, this non-fiction graphic novels follows two young Canadian men as they join up with the army during World War II. For me, these are the stories that make history come to life and they need to be told to help us keep in mind that there was more to these historical events than names, dates, and other numbers.

There were men and women giving their lives to keep us all safe.

My favorite quote came near the end of the book, when the author refle
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Nithusa
This is the diary of Law Chantler … technically. This story talks( shows) the life of a solider of World War 2. I want read this book because I realized this story is about the author grandfather which is cool. I would recommend this book is Sashini since Sashini always talks about WW2. This would be perfect for her there are pictures too she will LOVE it.
May
This graphic novel is tribute to "two generals"--Scott's grandfather, Reginald Law Chantler, and his friend, John Hartwell Chrysler, who both served in Canada’s Highland Light Infantry and fought in WWII. Based on actual diaries, letters and photographs, Scott's story focuses on the friendship between the men as they struggle through basic training in England and then trying to stay alive after landing on the beaches of Normandy. This is not a book about the futility of war but rather, a wonderf ...more
Matt Thomas
Calm and sad. But interesting. Another review mentioned something about this work being a little too simplistic but I disagree. There's a difference between treating the audience like idiots and treating the subject with delicacy. This does the latter and rightly so.
Deni Loubert
This graphic novel is an amazing view into the lives of two men. That one of them happens to be the grandfather of the author is a bonus for all of us. Law Chantler was in the Highland Light Infantry when World War II began and shipped out in 1943. We follow Law and his best friend Jack, as they endure pain, discover friendship and through their eyes we find out more about war than any text book will ever tell you. I met the author at a conference and he told me about the several years he spent ...more
Ana
It brought tears to my eyes.

So far the majority of my favourite graphic novels have been written by Canadians, this is no exception. The Two Generals is a beautifully told and illustrated story of two friends' adventures during the war.

A friend of mine told me her daughter read this as part of her Canadian History course in high school. I applaud whoever chose to add this to the curriculum. Bravo!

I don't want to give any of it away so I won't go into detail, however, I do believe this should be
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Blair Conrad
An intimate look at two friends' experience during WWII. An interesting story, and it was nice to see it from the point of view of "the little people". I thought the story lagged a little at the end, though.
What really made the book for me, though was two things.
First, the book - the notebook style, complete with elasticized hold-closer, made the story feel very personal, like a memoir. Second, I really enjoyed the visuals. The spare drawing style was very effective, but the use of colour blew m
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Angelica Galanis
this book was really good. I like how it is sort of a biography and how the author makes the book a little more fun by turning it into a graphic novel.
Kyle
This book is excellent non-fiction. Scott Chantler takes the war journals of his grandfather and recreates the battle of Normandy. It's not overly-cathartic, which is good, because it's non-fic, but still, I wiped a few tears from my eyes. Tersely written, the script is quiet and understated.The pictures are drawn in that clean, Canadian, Drawn&Quarterly style of illustration, but they are not the star of the show. The star of the show is the author's backstory. Clearly Chantler is paying ho ...more
Tom
Feb 02, 2012 Tom rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
Two Generals was absolutely fantastic. The author tells the story of his grandfather, who served in a Canadian infantry division in World War II, and landed at Normandy on D-Day. The comic is a touching look at a man in a war, the connections he makes with others, and the ultimate sacrifice some pay in order for others to live and be free. It also has its comedic moments, and one right in the center of the story when Chantler pulls his scope back and had a rather well done two-page spread of a p ...more
Sasha Boersma
Wow! This story should be on the curriculum for history class. Reading this reminded me of the impact Findlay's "The Wars" had on me when I had to read it for grade 10 history. It's a personal account, so some details are fuzzy, but it is a very human story from an officer's perspective leading up to D-Day.
Shonna Froebel
This graphic novel focuses on the experiences of the author's grandfather in WWII. His grandfather, Law, was an officer in the Highland Light Infantry of Canada. He joined along with his best friend Jack and was part of the large force landing in Normandy in July 1944.
The book is a work of art, with a lovely binding. The story is done mostly in army green or red, which really makes an impact and fits with the experience told.
Moving, drawn beautifully, and told with emotion, this is a book to tre
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Scott Chantler is the acclaimed cartoonist of the graphic novels TWO GENERALS (which was long-listed for CBC’s CANADA READS: TRUE STORIES, named one of Chapters-Indigo’s Best Books of 2010, and selected for BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2012), NORTHWEST PASSAGE (which was nominated for Eisner, Harvey, Shuster, and Doug Wright Awards), and the THREE THIEVES series (the first book of which, TOWER OF TREASURE ...more
More about Scott Chantler...
Tower of Treasure (Three Thieves, #1) The Sign of the Black Rock (Three Thieves, #2) The Captive Prince (Three Thieves, #3) The Annotated Northwest Passage The King's Dragon

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