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597 pages, Paperback
First published June 28, 1993
‘Not bad chaps, Rex. Mustn't be too critical. Just a bit marooned. No more Thatcher. No more Russian bear to fight, no more Reds under the bed at home. One day they've got the world all carved up for them, two legs good, four bad. Next day they get up in the morning, they're sort of – well – you know—’ He finished his premise with a shrug. ‘Well, nobody likes a vacuum, do they? Not even you like a vacuum. Well, do you? Be honest. You hate it.’
‘By vacuum, you mean peace?’ Goodhew suggested, not wishing in the least to sound censorious.
American veterans sickened first by war and then by peace; Russian Spetsnaz, trained to guard a country that disappeared while their backs were turned; Frenchmen who still hated de Gaulle for giving away North Africa; the Israeli boy who had known nothing but war, and the Swiss boy who had known nothing but peace; the Englishmen in search of military nobility because their generation somehow missed the fun (if only we could have had a British Vietnam!), the huddle of introspective Germans torn between the guilt of war and its allure.
❝ Promise to build a chap a house, he won't believe you. Threaten to burn his place down, he'll do what you tell him. Fact of life.❞
❝ When we had bows and arrows we were apes with bows and arrows. Now we're apes with multiple warheads.❞
❝ The only crime she had omitted to mention was the theft of her own heart.❞