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Books & Reviews > art and WWI: a pair of novels

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message 1: by Ellen (new)

Ellen | 116 comments I read all kinds of things about WWI (both my grandfathers were on the Western Front, one as an ambulance driver with the American Ambulance Field Service (volunteered before USA entered war) and the other as a lieutenant in the Yankee Division from the fall of 1917 through the Armistice and into 1919.

My husband found me these novels and both are just utterly compelling in different ways.

"The Great Swindle" by Pierre LeMaitre may be one of the best novels I have ever read. Ever. It starts on the eve of the Armistice (November 1918) and the complicated dance among the characters is quite something. And quite surprising.

"War and Turpentine" by Stefan Hertsmans feels like actual history. It reads like a memoir and the narrative explores art traditions and the war that seemed to destroy everything that mattered.

Sorry, no longer reviews. I read them a couple years ago before I joined Good Reads.


message 2: by Heather (new)

Heather | 8545 comments Ellen wrote: "I read all kinds of things about WWI (both my grandfathers were on the Western Front, one as an ambulance driver with the American Ambulance Field Service (volunteered before USA entered war) and t..."

I love history! And with art, those sound outstanding! My great-grandfather was in WWI and grandfather in WWII. My dad served as a Physical Therapist for the Public Health Service in the Navy during Vietnam (he was injured that kept him from active duty overseas). I'm very interested in these, Ellen. Thank you!


message 3: by siriusedward (new)

siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 161 comments Oh..both the books sound interesting. Thanks,Ellen.


message 4: by Dirk, Moderator (new)

Dirk Van | 3299 comments Stefan Hertmans is Belgian!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan_...

But I must humbly admit that I haven't read Oorlog & Terpentijn, but I heard it is pretty good.

Haven't read anything by Pierre LeMaitre either, I'll hev a look in the library next time.
Thanks for the tips, Ellen.


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