What makes a great war story?
If you believe that sometimes a good fight can be a just cause, a great war book is likely to offer a story you can really get behind. Whether you’re a veteran or simply very patriotic, a story about people who are fighting on behalf of their country or belief can be inspiring and entertaining at the same time.
A riveting war story will often have elements of other genres including romance and adventure. So, whether you’re a hero yourself or you’re looking for a hero, turn to a war book.
5 things to look for when choosing a book
- Choose your battle. War novels can be set in any of history’s wars or even a fictional war. In military science fiction, the war can even take place on another planet.
- Pick a country or region. You can choose from wars such as the Vikings, various Civil Wars, the Boer War, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq or wars that were fought by many nations simultaneously, such as World Wars I and II.
- Find a focus that will keep you interested. If you enjoy other genres, particularly romance or historical or science fiction, there are war stories that include these. A favourite theme for a war novel in the romance vein will keep you wondering if the couple will be able to get back together and if both will be alive after the war ends.
- Find a book with a hero or heroine that you can really root for and worry about when they get in harm’s way. They need to have charisma and strong convictions.
- If you have mixed emotions about war and the military, there are novels in which the main character is ambivalent or even opposed to military conflict. Many books set in the United States during that country’s involvement in Vietnam may express such views.
5 great war books
- The archetypal ‘long book’ is in this genre. War and Peace (published 1860) was written by Leo Tolstoy and set in 1805 Russia. The book is so long that the original is spread over 4 volumes.
- All Quiet On The Western Front (published 1929) was written by German war veteran Erich Maria Remarque. The story looks at World War I from a German perspective.
- A Farewell To Arms (published 1929) by Ernest Hemingway is also about World War I but it takes a different approach than that of Remarque. Although Hemingway was American, the book is set in Italy and features a wartime romance. It is largely based on Hemingway’s own experiences on the Italian Front.
- Drums Along The Mohawk (published 1936) by Walter D. Edmonds is a historical war novel detailing fighting in New York state during the American Revolution in the 1770’s.
- Battle Cry (published 1953) by World War II veteran Leon Uris tells the story of young Marines thrown into combat. Like Hemingway and Remarque, Uris drew heavily on his own military service.
War stories in the Any Subject Books library If you’re looking for something to get your heart pounding as you get blown from one action sequence to another, why not choose one of our titles? All books are available in Kindle, ePub and PDF formats.
|Our war fiction titles|