Read Generals Die in Bed by Charles Yale Harrison Online


Drawing on his experiences in the First World War, Charles Yale Harrison tells a stark and poignant story of a young man sent to fight on the Western Front. It is an unimaginably harrowing journey, especially for one not yet old enough to vote.In sparse but gripping prose, Harrison conveys a sense of the horrors of life in the trenches. Here is where soldiers fight and dieDrawing on his experiences in the First World War, Charles Yale Harrison tells a stark and poignant story of a young man sent to fight on the Western Front. It is an unimaginably harrowing journey, especially for one not yet old enough to vote.In sparse but gripping prose, Harrison conveys a sense of the horrors of life in the trenches. Here is where soldiers fight and die, entombed in mud, surrounded by rats and lice, forced to survive on insufficient rations.Generals die in bed brings to life a period of history through the eyes of a twenty-year-old narrator, who reminds us that there is neither glamour nor glory in war....

Title : Generals Die in Bed
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780143001553
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Generals Die in Bed Reviews

  • Joseph
    2019-05-22 23:39

    Generals Die in Bed: 100th Anniversary of World War I Special Edition by Charles Yates Harrison is a novel of a soldier's time in the trenches of WWI. Harrison was born in Philadelphia but raised in Montreal. He served as a machine gunner in the Royal Montreal Regiment in WWI, wounded in the battle of Amiens, and became a writer in Montreal and later New York. Generals Die in Bed was serialized in several American and German periodicals in 1928 and eventually published as a novel in 1930. Perhaps one of the hardest things to remember while reading this book is that it is a novel. It reads as a memoir and with the author’s war experience it is difficult to tell how much is actually fiction -- even to the point of the author, in real life, and the main character both being taken out of the war by a foot wound. It is easy for the average reader to think this is an autobiography. Many more educated people made the same mistake. The Senior Historian at the Canadian War Museum discredited the book by treating it as an autobiography and criticizing Harrison for promoting himself in the book. The book was hailed and condemned at its release. Many of the military commentators had a very low opinion of the book, coming just short of calling it treasonous. There is little doubt that we today learn much of the war through nonfiction, research, news articles, government documents, memoirs, and letters. Anyone who has written a graduate level paper in history or political science can attest to this. What brings history to life is first hand information, the event being told by the participant. Perhaps, one thing that makes first hand information more valuable in understanding is when it is fictionalized. Not fictionalized in the Hollywood sense of selling a movie, but in the sense of removing inhibitions about telling the whole truth. It may be difficult to reveal friends secrets, or name names for the acts of someone who fell in battle. Fiction, in this sense gives the reader more than the entire story, it gives the reader the feel of the event. Harrison is able to identify with the soldier, as he was one. His telling of life in the military rings true today. There is questioning. There is a change from patriotism to self preservation. Basic human needs to continue breathing and having a full stomach trump the sense of duty. You do your job, and do it well. You just lose that naive patriotism. You form bonds with those you serve with; that brotherhood becomes as strong as or stronger than family. Those in the trenches where doing the job the vast majority of the population did not want to do. Governments had to force people into uniform with a draft. Harrison’s fiction brings this to life. There is a timeless bond to those in uniform. Give this book to a Marine who fought in Fallujah and he will relate to the feelings, emotions, and actions of soldiers in trenches one hundred years ago. The people may change, but the fighting man is always the same. Generals die in bed. The higher the rank the better chance of that happening. When the general or officer speaks to the enlisted man of “we”, the enlisted man knows “we” does not include the officer. This was much more pronounced in WWI than today, but the feeling still remains among the enlisted. There is a reason this book was vilified by ranking members of the Canadian military. Generals Die in Bed is a moving account of the war. Perhaps the most moving I read since Johnny Got His Gun, but more real. A great read for anyone wanting to the trench level experience of WWI.

  • Colleen Fauchelle
    2019-05-19 00:22

    In New Zealand we remember war and death on the 25 April every year and there are serves held all over the country on this day. But I was unwell and unable to go to a service and every year I like to read a story about war at this time. So this year it was this short book set in world war 1 and the trenches.This story was raw and honest in its telling, it wasn't pretty and sweet and loving. It was mud and lice and rats and guns and death and a lot of walking and then more of the same. You get to know some of the men but don't get attached because some came to a heart breaking end. These men went through so much for us, for our freedom they gave up there's. All we can say is THANK YOU and we will remember you.

  • Tommy
    2019-05-22 21:19

    This is a seminal work, written and published before All Quiet on the Western Front, which bears a strong resemblance to it. The life of a Canadian soldier in the trenches of World War I allowed little room for nobility or love or friendship, filled as it was with rats, lice, poison gas, the ubiquitous stench of death and the few shattered yards of polluted mud which became his whole world. Written in the simple, flat style of Hemingway, this is a Canadian classic.

  • Catherine
    2019-05-25 02:47

    I am still haunted by the images this author shares, I can't imagine how anyone returned home sane. It is especially powerful because of the narrator; extraordinary descriptions of complete hell in simple written observations. No explanations, no justifications, just 'this is what we did, this is what we saw'. An absolute must-read for everyone.

  • Saturday's Child
    2019-06-09 22:33

    Far from a cheerful read, however one that needs to be read as it tells a young soldier's story from his own experiences. Lest we forget.

  • Frank Kelly
    2019-06-08 22:42

    Charles Yale Harrison was an American who volunteered to serve in the Canadian Army when World War I broke out (as did thousands of other Americans). His short (152 page) memoir of the war is a brutal, bloody and shattering account of what was supposed to be a glorious war. Mud, lice, horrific deaths, emptiness, hunger - the daily existence of the average soldier is indescribable. But Harrison does an extraordinary job in such a short work. It is a true classic of World War I literature.

  • Mike
    2019-05-29 00:32

    This along with All Quiet on the Western Front (including the movie), helps keep war from being romanticized.

  • Caitlin
    2019-06-04 21:39

    ARC provided by Net GalleyI remember readingAll Quiet on the Western Front and being shocked by the stark, brutally honest portrayal of the reality of fighting in the trenches during World War I. Generals Die in Bed was published a year later, in 1930, by an American, Charles Yale Harrison, who had enlisted in the Canadian Army and fought during the climax of the war, 1917-1918. The way in which Harrison throws the reader into the heat of the action through the use of present tense and the total exposure to all the violence and inequality of trench warfare makes it feel like non-fiction, not a novel. I had to keep reminding myself that this was fiction because it felt so incredibly real. The sequences are disjointed, tossing you from rest to the trenches and back over and over with the narrator so much that it becomes a confusing mess. I don't think this is a weakness of the book, it seems to accurately depict what the men experienced and left me unable to put it down. This book deserves to be ranked withAll Quiet on the Western Front andA Farewell to Arms as some of the very best fiction to come out of that brutal period. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in what World War I was like, with the caveat that it holds nothing back and can be both heartbreaking and horrifying to read.

  • Nikki
    2019-06-11 20:33

    For a book that I was forced to read for school, I was pleasantly surprised. It is a short novel and very easy to read. The writing is very accessible and almost modern in its style. The story is heartbreaking, revealing the realities of war through the eyes of a young soldier and the illusions they shatter. I recommend it for a quick read or to anyone interested in WWI. Now if only I didn't have to write an essay it would be perfect.

  • PamelaTickner
    2019-06-18 20:39

    Beautifully written honest account of the horrors of World War I. A must read.

  • Denis
    2019-06-14 00:19

    Its simple and uncompromising prose is satisfying to read ... to an extent.

  • Shonna Froebel
    2019-06-05 20:24

    I'd never heard of this book until I read an article about it in the newspaper, but my husband read it in school.Similar to All Quiet on the Western Front, but less graphic

  • Jocelyn
    2019-05-29 02:17

    Awesome read.

  • Kevin J.J. Carpenter
    2019-06-12 01:47

    Generals Die in Bed is essentially the exposé of World War I; the uncensored narrative of the life of the soldier and the undocumented facts of the men who sent them to their deaths. You’ll read things here your Year 9 teacher wouldn’t dream of sharing with you, the undesirable realities of war that history would rather forget. Beyond the bouts of fornication with young women of several different nationalities, the brothels, the looting, the aggressive inter-fighting, and the atheistic principles, we have the systematic murder (or is it extermination) of innocent men who thought they were going to be heroes, and ended up dying as strangers in strange lands, forgotten. It’s disturbing. I honestly don’t think I’ll sleep well tonight.The book itself doesn’t read like a traditional narrative. The execution certainly has a familiar shape to it, but the author’s style is curious and raw. Rather than fully-fledged paragraphs that build upon individual thematic elements, we have a collection of self-contained statements of the horror of war, which are blunt, and fit together into a seamless recollection of some of the most troublesome and questionable encounters ever put to paper. Yes, some of the metaphors are obtuse, but so was the whole fucking war, so what can you expect? Well-worth a read for anyone interested in war and desiring something that strays from the traditional ideologies.

  • James Tarko
    2019-05-25 00:20

    Generals die in bed is a great fiction novel about an 18 year old boy that went into war. This boy doesent have a name but went through alot of things that he would have to deal with like the lice, enemy and very mean generals. I thought this was a good book because it is very realistic but i wish the book could have included more action instead of more emotional content. I also think the book was goood because of the real life type scenario and how he en-counters the enemy. My favortie part in the book was when the boy was raiding the enemys trenchs where he ran into an enemy and had to stab him with his bayonet. After he stabbed the enemy he tried pulling the bayonet out of the enemys stomach but it was stuck in between hsi ribs. I liked this part not because of the success of surviving by the boy but whether or not he was going to en-counter other enemy troops while his knife was stuck in the enemy solidiers rib cage. I recommend this book to people who enjoey books about historical events, wars, or even action drama books. This books overrall rating is 4.5 stars out of 5 because of the realistic writing and very intense moments but i would rate this book a 3 stars out of 5 because what i want to see in a war book is alot of action, violence and firepower but not most people enjoy these violent types of books and prefer more dramatic action in a war book. That is my rating on Generals Die In Bed by Charles Yale Harrison.

  • Banshee
    2019-06-08 02:29

    This novel is told through the eyes of a soldier in WW1. He is an American who is fighting alongside the Canadians under a British commander. The soldier is sent to the trenches, given leave and forced into unwinnable situations. This novel doesn’t romanticize war like some novels does, instead it portrays war as brutal, hostile, unhygienic and overall horrific. The soldiers aren't portrayed as saints or killers, instead they are portrayed as human with good and bad moments. This is a disturbing novel but I would still suggest it to everyone as it is a honest portrayal of WW1. The men frequent brothels, loot a town when they run out of food, fight under deplorable conditions with constant lice and rats. The leave the soldiers get is frequently too short or lacking in amenities. The soldier’s view of the war slowly changes as time goes on and the truth of the war slowly surfaces.Not one of my favorite was novels but still definitely a good read.

  • Scott
    2019-06-13 00:35

    A horrific, but honest and needed account of WWI. We tend to romanticize the World Wars in our culture and ignore its reality. Harrison paints WWI as gruesome, unsanitary to extremes, lonely, and completely unnerving. At points I grimaced reading through because of how detailed Harrison got at telling the horrors of trench warfare. You forget that these are only boys fighting in conditions no one should have to go through. These boys grew up and lost their innocence well before they should have. Romanticizing war is nothing but propaganda. Harrison does everything to show war is not like John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Fields" and many other wartime poems that were used for propaganda.

  • Jack
    2019-06-18 23:35

    Generals Die in Bed by Charles Yale Harrison is a Novel about a young Canadian soldier who is shipped off to the western front. He and his comrades fight over food, fight the germans, always fighting with some aspect of the trenches, even pillage an abandoned town. This is about a struggle for life. Generals die in bed also cover the llandovery castle, and the horror associated with the lie. The Canadian soldiers believe it, believe it and all the other horror stories about germans and the things that they had done due to their biased prejudices. Despite what they seem, aggressive, violent, they actually are the opposite as shown later on in the book. Examples include on page 152 and 149.

  • Joti
    2019-05-20 00:35

    Gruesome and disturbing in its portrayal of the war & trench warfare. God, the worst passage was the part where the MC's bayonet gets stuck in the German's ribs and won't come out and he's forcing it out, making the hole bigger. I cringed at this part. And so many others. It's just so raw and powerful in its description and its bluntness.Wow. Just wow.

  • Raimo Wirkkala
    2019-06-15 21:25

    With simple prose the author makes as eloquent a statement about the bitter and ugly realities of 'The Great War' as any writer has managed. The reader will not find here the succor of saving-graces such as honour, valour and noble sacrifice. Those get tacked on in the aftermath to gloss over the more primal traits that man is heir to in the midst of battle.

  • Donovan Erutse
    2019-05-24 19:43

    This book at times just infuriates me, so much so that this book is brilliant! I understand why Harrison wrote in simplistic language but I didn't really care for that. I think when a book (or the author) receives such harsh criticism but also such admiration for one's piece of work, it's a mark of brilliance.

  • Guadi
    2019-06-15 19:46

    It was an empowering WW1 novel, which really taught me about the trench warfare and soldiers of war. I would definitely recommend if you want to read a war novel that is very realistic and depressing.

  • Andrea Subtirelu
    2019-06-16 19:25

    This book was not only informative, but it was entertaining and interesting and was able to hook me in from the start. I do believe, however, that it could have hooked me in even more, but, of course, that is not the point of the book.

  • Karla
    2019-05-18 23:20

    I should have had a real problem with this book because "First person, present tense" is not exactly my style. But after reading this, I think it's all a matter of context. When it's been used in other books, it feels like it's the author's arbitrary choice with no real message behind it. For instance, Wolf Hall. What does it matter if I'm "right there" in Thomas Cromwell's shoes? BFD! I wasn't feeling the urgency or importance of the tone (unless it was self-importance). However, using the tense with the subject matter of a Canadian soldier (Harrison himself) going from new recruit to embittered soldier to wounded and exiting the war was a better fit.This story predates All Quiet on the Western Front and A Farewell to Arms by a year (serialized in 1928, published in 1930 - a year after the other books), and while the anti-war theme is the same, I don't recall feeling so gut-punched when I read Remarque and Hemingway.Harrison's prose is sparse, practically skeletal, and it pounds at you. There's little light and joy, and when there is a momentary bout of pleasure it's quickly snuffed out by the war that must be constantly fed. There are no details given about the narrator beyond his age. You are meant to become him.The soaked earth here is nothing but a thin covering for the putrescence which lies underneath; it smells like a city garbage dump in mid-August. We are sunk in that misery which men fall into through utter hopelessness. (p. 54)How will we ever be able to go back to the peaceful ways again and hear pallid preachers whimper of their puny little gods who can only torment sinners with sulphur, we, who have seen a hell that no god, however cruel, would fashion for his most deadly enemies? (p. 101)During a trench raid, the narrator bayonets a German and can only dislodge his rifle by firing it. He captures two other prisoners (one is the brother of the man he killed), an act which earns him a medal and ten days' leave: I try to decide where I shall go, to Paris or to London, but the thoughts do not stick. The image of Karl, he who died on my bayonet, seems to stand before my eyes. The shaking becomes worse. The movements are those of one who is palsied. I begin to sob. I am alone. I am living through the excitement of the raid all over again; but I cannot relieve myself with action now. I do not think things now; I feel them. Who was Karl? Why did I have to kill him?... The questions press on my brain--cry aloud for an answer. I toss and turn in my searching. It does not come. It is better, I say to myself, not to seek for answers. It is better to live like an unreasoning animal. (pp. 125-129)Ugh. I hate that war above all others.There's plenty of action, but it's never glorious. A physically-decrepit recruit named Renaud is caught by a German flamethrower:Flame sputters on his clothing. Out of one of his eyes tongues of blue flame flicker. His shrieks are unbearable.He throws himself into the bottom of the trench and rolls around trying to extinguish the fire. As I look at him his clothing bursts into a sheet of flame. Out of the hissing ball of fire we still hear him screaming.Broadbent looks at me and then draws his revolver and fires three shots into the flaming head of the recruit. (p. 198)When soldiers aren't dying grisly deaths, they're falling into verboten conversations about the why and wherefore of the war at large. As they march past an ammunition dump that is exploding in the distance, they muse on the amount of money that's going up in flames:"I bet that dump going up over there must cost a billion dollars.""And I'll bet somebody is making a profit on those shells whether they are fired at the Germans or whether they just blow up....""Sure they do.""Just think of all the people that's getting a big hunk of swag out of it. Shoes, grub, uniforms, bully beef...""Sure, and I'll bet that those people don't want the war to end in a hurry.""'Course not.""...and they're all praying to God tonight for the war to last for ever while we're riding in this god-damned lorry...""...and God must be listening to them. Look how long it's been going on." (pp. 215-218)I thought this book was a perfect length for the style. It had a message and it delivered it, and in an unforgettable way. The final scene, tying in the sinking of the hospital ship Llandovery Castle with the narrator's blind vengeance on the enemy at Amiens, is a twist of soul-crushing irony and I closed the book feeling as I always do when I read about the "Great War": Depressed beyond all belief.(While I can find nothing stating at the Llandovery was actually carrying ammunition, it's obvious that Harrison's cynicism was such that he believed it.)

  • Alexander M Nandan
    2019-05-30 20:24

    A well written page turning book. worth the read as there are some good lines and images in the book.

  • Rahul
    2019-06-01 19:19

    A stark, frill-less depiction of the realities of war from the Western perspective. A great complement to Ernst Junger's Storm of Steel.

  • Kortnee
    2019-06-02 20:34

    Very graphic, moving read. My favourite of the WWI novels.

  • Michelle
    2019-05-20 01:17

    (Review originally posted on my livejournal account: I Read It: This was required reading for Religious Themes in Literature II class (which has emphasis on Buddhism, as opposed to Judeo-Christian themes, which was last semester).Like Bow Grip (which I reviewed yesterday), this is another Canadian novel that is not at all well-known. This book DID cause a bit of a stir when it was published in 1930 though, mostly because of its very blatant anti-war sentiment and his less than flattering depiction of Canadian generals.One of the most striking things about this novel, and this isn't wholly original or anything, is its depiction of war as a totally futile endeavour. The novel largely takes place in the trenches of the First World War and are based off Harrison's personal experience with the war (though he didn't actually participate in the war relatively long due to a foot injury) and they show how pointless trench warfare is. There's no actual honour in fighting in the war, at least from the narrator's point-of-view, and this is part of what caused controversy when they novel was first released -- people wanted to believe that war was a noble endeavour, and people who didn't concur with that were obviously not "real" men. Harrison challenged this and did so in a way that wasn't preachy, nor like he was trying to push a personal agenda (though it was something he most likely believed himself).What was equally striking, and also not groundbreaking (by today's standards anyway) in terms of originality, was how the "enemy" in the novel was depicted. It's WWI, so the obvious enemy is the Germans, but not in the eyes of the narrator. There's this amazing scene in the novel where the narrator has to run through No Man's Land and attack the German trenches and try to take soldiers if possible. The narrator ends up brutally murdering a German soldier and taking two other young German soldiers as his prisoners. But when he's running his two prisoners back to his trenches, there's an obvious sense of solidarity, and he comes to the realization that he's JUST like them: a young kid going to war for glory and finding himself in a pointless war of attrition and mindlessly following orders. Again, it's not incredibly original, but the way it's written is powerful and just.. I don't even know. Maybe it's Harrison's personal experience with the war that's shining through here (even though this is by no means an autobiography) or what, but it's powerful stuff.Another element of the novel I really want to discuss is how the novel utilizes the grotesque. Being set in the trenches, the narrator is very obviously surrounded by death and there are some VERY gruesome descriptions to be found within the covers of this book. But it never felt like these graphic descriptions were put in the novel to be exploitative, or solely shocking -- it feels much more honest and candid than that. Instead, the revelation of this violence feels like it's just trying to give more insight into what was actually going on in the war (which is a lot of obvious stuff to us, but back then was largely undocumented).I'm kind of curious why this book hasn't passed the test of time -- it really is quite good, though I can't say how it compared to other war novels as I haven't read a whole lot of them. Either way, I enjoyed this book on its own merits, which I think are many.Final Judgment: This is a strong emotionally powerful novel about a young man's experience in the trenches and it is so bare and honest that it hurts. This book has a blatant anti-war sentiment without being preachy and I feel like I've gained some kind of insight into the First World War that I didn't have before (which I believe was Harrison's intent when he originally published this.) It has a lot of moments that really resonated with me because of how REAL it felt. I highly recommend this, especially if you're at all interested in war novels.

  • Nick
    2019-05-24 22:35

    A fine, quick read, which takes some controversial liberties to depict the horrors of World War I from the perspective of a lowly soldier. While it is definitely fiction, it is highly based on fact and the experiences of the author, himself a World War I veteran. It is particularly strong in showing the horrors of trench life, the effects of artillery, and the life of soldiers on leave. Generals also has an over-riding theme of us (the enlisted men) versus them (the officers/generals) which is really more of a continuous background theme in the story, but it is certainly explored well. The author made a strange choice when he included a conspiracy theory version of the sinking of the Llandovery Castle, one which damages the novel's reliability as a WWI source and also acts as a cheap way of following the main theme.True Rating: 3.9 Stars..........................................................................One of my favourite passages: (pgs 94-95)I wake with the odour of grilled bacon in my nostrils. The curtains in the room are drawn. I do not know what time it is but I am rested. Rested and famished. In another room I hear the sizzling sound of cooking.Gladys comes into the room. She is dressed in a calico housedress. She smiles at me and says:"Tea?"She brings a cup of tea to me and we talk of the plans for the day.I dress and come into the other room which is a combination dining and sitting room and parlour.There is a glorious breakfast on the table, grilled bacon, crisp and brown, two fried eggs, a pot of marmalade, a mound of toast, golden yellow and brown, and tea. I fall to.Gladys looks on approvingly. How well this woman understands what a lonely soldier on leave requires."Eat, boy," she says.She does not call me by name but uses "boy" instead. I like it. In a dozen different ways she makes me happy: a pat on the arm, a run of her hand through my hair.She is that delightful combination of wife, mother, and courtesan--and I, a common soldier on leave, have her!I slip into my tunic which by some mystery is now cleaned and pressed, and we go out into the street and walk towards the Park.* * * *The days slip by.It is a week since I have been here with Gladys.We are at table. She is a capable cook, and delights in showing me that her domestic virtues are as great as her amorous ones. I do not gainsay either.We are drinking tea and discussing the plans for the evening. I do not like a moment to slip by without doing something. I am restlessly happy."I should like to go to Whitechapel this evening," I say.She looks at me with surprise."Why?""I've heard so much about it. I want to see it.""It's not nice there.""I know, but I want to see more of London than just its music halls, Hyde Park, and its very wonderful pubs.""But very low people live there, criminals and such things--you will be robbed.""Well, I don't mind. I am a criminal. Did I ever tell you that I committed murder?"She looks up with a jerk. Her eyes look at me with suspicion."It was some time ago. I came into a place where an enemy of mine was and I stabbed him and ran off," I explain.Her eyes are wide open. She is horrified. She does not speak.I laugh and relate that the murder took place in a trench and that my enemy wore a pot-shaped helmet.Her face glows with a smile."You silly boy. I thought you had really murdered someone."

  • Mike
    2019-06-04 22:30

    This highly autobiographical novel from American-Canadian machine gunner Charles Yale Harrison is one of the most emotionally draining accounts of war I've ever read. The battle scenes are stated in plain language, without exaggeration, but in devastating detail. Harrison records all the brutality of trench warfare: the rats, the lice, the gas, the flamethrowers, the tanks, the constant artillery barrages, etc. These experiences of battle are not heroic. They are awkward, frightening, frantic, and sad. The most memorable moment--and the chapter that drew tears to my eyes--is when the protagonist bayonets a teenage German soldier, and his rifle becomes stuck in the boy's ribs. The pages that follow are very tough to read (and I have a pretty high tolerance for such things): The frantic cries of the boy as the protagonist attempts to remove the bayonet. The way he runs away to leave the boy to die in agony, only to realize that he needs his rifle. The way he describes returning, grabbing the rifle, placing his boot on the boy's face and tugging to remove the embedded bayonet as the wound widens and gapes. The awkward ballet of the boy trying to help the protagonist remove the bayonet from his own bloody torso. The realization by both soldiers that the only way for the bayonet to be removed is for the protagonist to fire the rifle point-blank. And the moment when the boy's brother--another German solider--sees the boy's limp, lifeless body in the trench. The novel is short, but filled with such harrowing accounts. Harrison pulls no punches, including moments when his comrades loot French towns, when surrendering Germans are brutally mowed down, when commanding officers lie to soldiers to get them to fight harder, or when an unpopular officer is shot and killed by his own men. The cycle of advance/retreat/rest made me feel dazed just from reading. It is a visceral experience: inside trench bunkers, shells screaming overhead, rats scurrying, candles blowing out from the concussion of exploding shells, etc.It is both the best war novel and the best anti-war novel I've ever read. The title reflects the bitterness of an entire generation of men who survived trench warfare. We hear soldiers discussing the war profiteers who make millions from death and the generals who order young men to advance from the relative safety of their field offices. At one point, the protagonist goes on leave in London and watches a comic theatrical performance of chorus girls dressed as soldiers. The rich Londoners, safely away from the front, laugh and joke. The protagonist turns to his date and says, "These people have no right to laugh." She responds, "But, silly, they are trying to forget." He replies, "They have no business to forget. They should be made to remember." Harrison's novel forces us to remember that war is not heroic--that it is not sweet and fitting to die for one's country. This novel should be required reading for anyone who wants insight into the pain, alienation, and bitterness of the Lost Generation after the Great War.