Set just after the Normandy invasion, "Articles of War" is the story of Heck, an American GI who has recently arrived from Ohio. Utterly inexperienced as a soldier, Heck is paralyzed with fear during his first firefight. Desperate to get away from the front line, he deliberately allows himself to be shot but a fellow private sees and understands what he has done. Sent to a hospital behind the lines, his wound heals quickly and he returns to find that the witness has been promoted and is now his superior. He says nothing to Heck about his act of cowardice but a little while later sends him to the rear for a special assignment, without telling him what that assignment is. In fact, he has been assigned to the firing squad which will execute Private Eddie Slovak (in reality the only GI shot for desertion during the Second World War and the first since the Civil War). This is Heck's excruciating moral punishment. He, himself a deserter, is forced to shoot another deserter. Nick Arvin draws the reader into the unimaginable fear, violence and chaos of the war zone. Like the very best war fiction - Pat Barker's "Regeneration" trilogy, Sebastian Faulks' "Birdsong" - he shows how ordinary lives are transformed by extraordinary events. Praise for "Articles of War": 'Arvin's first novel is an elegant, understated testament to the stoicism, accidental cowardice and occasional heroics of men under fire.' - "Publishers Weekly". 'Breathtakingly fine. Resonate in tone, surprising-eviscerating in its honesty, faceted in its complexity. Mr. Arvin has accomplished what only a handful of writers have managed - he has crafted a spare and perfect masterwork.' - Mark Spragg.
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Capturing the reality of war with a fidelity and power that echoes the best of classic war writing, this haunting novel brings to life the terrors of a young soldier in shocking, almost hallucinatory detail.
George Tilson is an eighteen-year-old Iowan farm boy who enlists in the army during World War II and is sent to Normandy shortly after D-Day. Nicknamed "Heck" because of his reluctance to curse, he is a typical soldier, willing to do his duty without fuss or much musing about grand goals. The night before he is trucked into the combat zone, Heck meets a young French refugee and her family, an encounter that unsettles him greatly.
It is during his first, horrific exposure to combat that Heck discovers a dark truth about himself: He is a coward. Shamed by his fears and tortured by the never-ending physical dangers around him, he struggles to survive, to live up to the ideal of the American fighting man, and to make sense of his feelings for the young French woman. As the stark reality of combat--the knowledge that he could cease to exist at any moment--presses in on him, Heck makes a series of choices that would be rational in every human situation "except war.
With remorseless, hypnotic clarity, Arvin draws readers into the unimaginable fear, violence, and chaos of the war zone. Arvin layers profound meaning within a brilliantly executed minimalist style. His portrayal of the emotional and physical terrors Heck can neither understand nor escape is one of the most disturbing and unforgettable accounts of the life of a soldier ever written.
Nick Arvin is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the recipient of the Michener Fellowship. He is the author of a collection of short stories, In Electric Eden, and this is a first novel. Nick lives in Denver, Colorado where he works as a forensic engineer.
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Book Description Hutchinson. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0091797349 All our listings are Brand New copies held on shelves and ready to be dispatched right away. Super-fast delivery. Excellent value for money with 100% money-back guarantee. Buy with confidence. 1.2.2-dj-w-m.m. (4). Bookseller Inventory # SKU1000652
Book Description Hutchinson Of London, London, 2005. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. 178 pages. Book and Jacket are both Brand New. A Stunning And Heartbreaking Novel About What War Means For A New Young Conscipt Recently Drafted From His Father's Farm In Iowa And Sent To Omaha Beach, Bookseller Inventory # 107691