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Topic: help with classic set during a war

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Subject: help with classic set during a war
Date Posted: 6/26/2010 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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ok I hate war LOL! is there a website that lists classics that take place during a war? I'm currently debating Gone With the Wind which I've wanted to read for a while though thought I'd rather use it for one of the other challenges like epic or historical..also thought about Tale of Two Cities since my Dickens challenge I'd like to use Christmas Carol since I've never read that one beginning to end but have seen countless movies and kids' versions of the story..

don't supposed I'd get lucky and find a Jane Austen set during a war huh?!

Date Posted: 6/26/2010 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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I adore A Christmas Carol. It's an annual read for me. I highly recommend you read it and then you'll figure out which movies stick to the original story.

As for war novels, I liked All Quiet on the Western Front. It's short but intense. Vivid. Gory, but beautifully written. No sugar coating war.

Date Posted: 6/26/2010 9:17 PM ET
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hmm I need lotsa sugar I think esp when it comes to war and death...

I'm looking forward to christmas carol though!

Date Posted: 6/27/2010 7:22 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
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I agree with Tome.  I'm like you in that I really don't like war books.  All Quiet on the Western Front was a much more enjoyable read than most books about war that I've read.

Date Posted: 6/27/2010 2:08 PM ET
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 I need lotsa sugar I think esp when it comes to war and death...

 

I recommend The Red Badge of Courage. Beautifully written, not a ton lot of gore, and focuses on heroism vs. cowardice, the realities of war v. glorified war.

Plus it's short so if you don't care for the genre you can meet it and leave the building quickly.

If you want to go completely out of the genre box try War of the Worlds. Althought it's sci-fi, it's still a classic with a war setting.

Date Posted: 6/27/2010 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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One more.

Even though it's juvenille fiction, Johnny Tremain is a great story set during the Revolutionary War. Published in 1943, I believe.

 

ETA: Celia Garth is a wish listed book that I'll just have to purchase on Amazon because the wish list just does not move. Several PBS members have said they adore Gwen Bristows books.  Celia Garth is also set during the American Revolution. I am pretty sure it's not juvenille fiction, but it may be young adult (I think there's a difference between the two categories, right?).

It's for adults, but members said they read it as kids, so I doubt there is any heavy war gore.

Celia Garth



Last Edited on: 6/27/10 4:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/27/2010 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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thanks..I actually did have Across Five Aprils and Johnny Tremin in mind LOL! or The Alamo! nice shorties that I skimmed through in high school and jr high..oops alamo was college history class..

I think I need to put on my big girl panties and find something with more depth or something..sigh I'm so used to reading for relaxation and escape and usually go for light romance/mystery though occasionally something a tad more deep..hmm wonder if Winds of War by Wouk is old enough to be classic?! was hoping Chaim Potok was but not luck there don't think!

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
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Susanna, So you hate war, so who that is not a certified fool does not. It is my judgment that any book set in a war that has much or maybe any "sugar" is all lies. So you want to put on whatever it is that the big girls wear these days (in my time, it was a cross between a chastity belt and a coat of armor). I read one that must be the mother of all anti-war novels, and it was even a dark dark comedy. The title is The Good Soldier Schweik. Also, to me, the best book I have read this year.

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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I think I need to... find something with more depth

Then I go back to my All Quiet on the Western Front rec. I am actually looking for a keeper copy of it.

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 9:57 PM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2009
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If you like romance, maybe The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, set during the Civil War, if you can find it.

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
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Susanna,

I once heard someone discussing Jane Austen's novels who said that although there may have been wars going on during the action of her novels, she didn't seem to remark on it.  I guess the gentry of the time lived in their own little world and weren't as effected by war as others.  She had so many characters in her novels who were officers of some type that you know there must have been a war going on somewhere, but she never really went into it.  When I'm escaping into Jane's world I guess I'm happy to go along with her more gentle outlook on the world! =0)

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 12:43 AM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2005
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I second The Good Soldier Svejk. If at all possible try to get the newest translation. It's supposed to be much better than the others.


Tome, if you have enjoyed All Quiet on the Western Front you'd probably also like the sequel to it. The title is The Road Back.

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 7:50 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
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How about Little Women?  It meets both criteria:  Mr. March was away at the war....and it's full of sugar.  And absolutely wonderful to boot!

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 4:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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and it's full of sugar

And how! It's not sugar, that's saccharin.smiley

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 4:33 PM ET
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if you have enjoyed All Quiet on the Western Front you'd probably also like the sequel to it. The title is The Road Back

 

I did not know there was a sequel to AQ. Thanks.

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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wow Little Women was set during a war? I've seen the movie - well one of them!-but had forgotten 'bout that..hmmm wheels are turning here!

Subject: WWI
Date Posted: 7/5/2010 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
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You may like Regeneration by Pat Barker. It is book 1 of a trilogy. it is a fictional account of WWI patients at a hospital.

although she references robert graves, seigried sassoon and owens - all poets. the book is very well written, and it prompted me to read more about WWI, thus Goodbye to all that. by Robert Graves 

and Lines of Fire: WWI as written by women.

also, another book of interest - fruits of victory - did you know that during the great war american women were recruited to work on the farms because of the shortage of male labor.

they also demanded same pay and hours as the men.

Date Posted: 7/8/2010 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2008
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I just finished Dickens A Tale of Two Cities, which took place during the French Revolution. Thackeray's Vanity Fair also spans the early 19th century and the battle of Waterloo.

Date Posted: 7/8/2010 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
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What has apparently came to be regarded as a "classic" in this forum is strictly out of Alice In Wonderland. You know the place, where the cat with the big hat told Alice that the words he used meant whatever he said they meant.

King Snark,

Date Posted: 7/8/2010 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
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I can guess, but I'm not positive which books John is referring to.  However, I'm a little bothered by novels that just happen to have a few references to war as satisfying the "classic set during a war" challenge.  Of course, I guess that "classic set during a war" is in the eye of the beholder.  Or, maybe I'm just irritated because I plodded through Catch 22 for this challenge.

Date Posted: 7/11/2010 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
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Start with Little Women. no

Date Posted: 7/11/2010 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,433
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Start with Little Women. no

Date Posted: 7/11/2010 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
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You may not like Little Women but I think few would hesitate to call it a "classic." It certainly has withstood the test of time, given that it continues to be read 140 years after being published (and has engendered more than 10 film versions, for what that's worth). I grant that its huge appeal may be limited to one gender -- does that disqualify it from being a classic? Interesting question.

Now, whether this qualifies as a classic "set during a war" is another question. It is indeed set during the Civil War -- though, other than the fact that the father is serving as an army chaplain and thus absent for most of the book,  the reader has little sense of the war's impact. So, in terms of this challenge, one has to determine whether the purpose of this category is to examine the effect of war on people's lives or just to read about characters who live during a time of war. Some of us tend to interpret these challenge categories more strictly than others -- but ultimately each of us gets to decide what works for us.

(ETA missing space which was driving me nuts.)



Last Edited on: 7/12/10 12:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/12/2010 4:58 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 4,952
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John, gee, Little Women not a classic?  Harrumph.  I only wish Valley of the Dolls was set during a war! 

 

(End of hijack.)

Date Posted: 7/12/2010 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
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I've got to consider Little Women as a classic if only due to its lasting so long and being read and re-read by many. 

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