Friday, 5 April 2013

Declarations of War

I have always been a fan of Len Deighton's writing, and have enjoyed reading both his fiction and his military history books. One of his fiction books is called DECLARATIONS OF WAR (it is his only book of short stories), and although I read it many years ago, it had 'slipped off my radar' until I recently saw that it was on sale in an electronic version that I could read on my Kindle ... so I downloaded it.


The Kindle version contains fourteen short stories, each of which tells a very individual tale from a different perspective. For example MISSION CONTROL: HANNIBAL ONE describes how part of the Roman army attempts to stop the advance of some very large and terrifying 'secret weapons' whilst BRENT'S DEUS EX MACHINA deals with the effect of fear on a British bomber pilot during the Second World War ... and the way in which he overcomes it with the unwitting and unwilling 'help' of the squadron's Medical Officer.

Other examples include A NEW WAY TO SAY GOODNIGHT (which deals with the rise of the Nazi Party), DISCIPLINE (about a German-born sergeant's attempts to get the undisciplined troops under his command to understand about the realities of combat during the American Civil War), FIRST BASE (the story of two American soldiers who get lost during bad weather in Vietnam), and TWELVE GOOD MEN AND TRUE (the tale of a firing squad in post-World War I India).

I am glad that I 'rediscovered' this book, and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone else who likes Len Deighton's work but who has not yet read DECLARATIONS OF WAR.

4 comments:

  1. Will look out for that- my preferred way of digesting fiction has always been short stories.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Pete,

    I think that in some ways a good short story is better than most novels, and requires a much better standard of writing than many other forms of literature.

    This book is a good example of this ... and I hope that you will enjoy reading it.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just ordered a paper copy from ebay :)

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Pete,

    I look forward to hearing what you think of the stories.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete