Jason's Reviews > Day of War

Day of War by Cliff Graham
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's review
Mar 27, 2012

it was amazing
Read in March, 2012

For a long time, I've felt that some of the stories from the Old Testament, especially the Kings and the Chronicles, would make great movies. "Day of War" is, of course, not a movie, but Cliff Graham has done in novel form what I've longed for on the big screen: a dramatized presentation of the great stories of the Faith. This book follows the story of Benaiah, one of David's men, from the famous lion in a snowy pit through the battle between Israel and the Philistines, with some Amalekite raiding thrown in.

Some reviewers have complained that some of the details in the book are off (e.g., the rains are in the wrong season). Others have made vague complaints about the author's understanding of the warfare tactics of the time. To all that, I have this to say: I don't care! :P I loved every bit of this book. It's not without its problems, though. For example, I had hard time following the jumps between the present and flashbacks, but I wrote that off largely as either poor formatting on my Kindle or that I was just reading too quickly.

If you're the kind to pick apart a novel, you may not like this one. Or you might. I don't know. If you just like to read a good story and not get too caught up in details, I think you'll like this book. I feel I must warn, though, that this is not like the text in Scripture. The author fills in many of the details that are left out. The men aren't squeaky clean: they tell dirty jokes (though they're only alluded to), they think of women a lot, they love to fight. Everything you can expect from a motley band of men brought together for the purposes of war. David himself, also a man of war, is not entirely free from these vices. Clearly, the story of Bathsheba makes that clear, but the author dramatizes that some, filling in the details with how it might have been. Accurate or not, it's believable and reasonable, and is one of the things I loved about this book: This is how it MAY have been.

Overall, a great read for those who like war novels. If blood and guts bother you, though, as the author warns at the start of the text, you may want to pass. :)

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