Spice up Your Bookshelf: War

It is hard to imagine a life without war. History is marred with the bloody battles of yesteryear, and the news is filled with heartbreaking tales of fighting and death happening as we live our daily lives. It can affect people profusely, destroying not only peace but families, lives and even entire cultures. Although difficult to read about, war is also an integral part of some pieces of fiction and when written well, can become cult classics that show the wrongdoings of the world’s past. Whether it’s post-war or right in the action, here are five books to add to your bookshelf if war fiction is something you find yourself interested in.

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Now a popular television show, this book offers an alternate ending to World War II — an ending that sees the Axis powers snatch victory from the Allied forces. Post-war America has been split, with the east coast belonging to Nazi Germany and the west coast dominated by the Pacific State Authority. The Man in the High Castle follows several characters as they live in this alternate universe, and tracks their whereabouts as a book detailing an alternate universe begins to circulate, a book that we know to hold the truth — the tale of the Allied powers winning the war.

My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

The tale of the American Revolution will be one that many here on Mibba will know well. After the fighting stopped and the British government’s power had been ousted, the United States of America as we know it now was formed. However, the fight was one that caused many deaths and tore families apart at the seams. My Brother Sam Is Dead shows a family divided by political views, two brothers by the name of Sam and Tim forced to oppose one another, and a story eventually marred by tragedy.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Perhaps one of the world’s most well-known books, Slaughterhouse-Five is equal parts war and sci-fi. Set within the scene of World War II, the narrative continually jumps erratically between main character Billy Pilgrim’s time as a chaplain’s assistant during the war — eventually ending with his witnessing of the firebombing of the German city of Dresden — and his time as a captive of the Tralfamadorian race, set up as a zoo exhibit for the people of Tralfamadore to ogle.

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

War takes a toll on the people who are involved in the slaughter. There are many books and movies documenting post-traumatic stress disorder, and we now know of the horrors it inflicts on people who suffer from it. However, during World War I, there was no such thing documented. All Quiet on the Western Front shows the effect of war through the eyes of young German soldiers, and the effect it has on them as they are slowly subject to more and more horror as the war goes on.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

When we think of war, we often think of the soldiers and their predicaments as they are forced to kill in the name of their country. While this is showcased in All the Light We Cannot See by the introduction of Werner Pfennig, a young German boy who ends up fighting through France during World War II, it also shows the civilian side through the unseeing eyes of Marie-Laure LeBlanc, a young, blind French girl who is forced to flee alongside her locksmith father when the war descends upon her home city of Paris.

Special thanks to isak valtersen and losing control. for editing!

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