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Old 07-06-2013, 09:28 AM   #1
Catlady
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WWII Novels: Wouk or Shaara?

Opinions, please. I'm trying to decide which set of World War II novels to read first--Herman Wouk's Winds of War and War and Remembrance; or Jeff Shaara's Rising Tide, Steel Wave, and No Less Than Victory.

I've read some Wouk (Marjorie Morningstar is an all-time favorite), but I've never read anything by Shaara. I've been reading some WWII history recently, and I want to switch to fiction for a bit.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:48 AM   #2
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Jeff Shaara has continued to write a number of sequels that his father, Michael Shaara, started.

One of his father's Civil War novels, "The Killer Angels," won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

If you haven't read that one, then I would read that first.

(If you're already familiar with all this, then please ignore.)

Here's some more information about Jeff and Michael Shaara:

http://www.jeffshaara.com/michael_shaara.asp






Don

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 07-06-2013 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:58 AM   #3
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Read Wouk's The Caine Mutiny, one of the great WWII novels, instead. The Winds of War is just soap opera in comparison.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:10 AM   #4
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Read Wouk's The Caine Mutiny, one of the great WWII novels, instead. The Winds of War is just soap opera in comparison.


The Winds of War is quite readable - but pales in comparison with the powerful writing in The Caine Mutiny.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:43 AM   #5
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Thanks.

I want to stick with WWII for now, though the Civil War novels are a temptation.

I've read Caine Mutiny, and agree that it's a great book.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:57 AM   #6
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What about James Jones' From Here To Eternity and The Thin Red Line?
Or Battle Cry by Leon Uris.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:59 AM   #7
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Or Norman Mailer's great WWII novel, "The Naked and the Dead."

(On my previous post, I didn't read carefully enough what you wanted, and mentioned the Civil War.)

Don
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:39 PM   #8
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I'm looking at the Wouk and Shaara sets because I want a fictional overview of WWII; I've previously read a lot of fiction based on specific settings or events of WWII (e.g., Jones and Uris), and will save additional such recommendations for later.

Dr. Drib, Norman Mailer makes my head hurt.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:55 PM   #9
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Based on your last post (a fictional overview of WW II), then I suspect that Jeff Shaara is your better bet. I don't know that I would call him a great writer, but he does a craftsman like job on most of his books and they are fairly readable.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:01 PM   #10
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I'm looking at the Wouk and Shaara sets because I want a fictional overview of WWII; I've previously read a lot of fiction based on specific settings or events of WWII (e.g., Jones and Uris), and will save additional such recommendations for later.

Dr. Drib, Norman Mailer makes my head hurt.
I believe that the Wouk novels would give the better overview.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:23 PM   #11
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Do you prefer the American perspective, or are you keen on others, as well?
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:50 PM   #12
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Do you prefer the American perspective, or are you keen on others, as well?
What do you have in mind?
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:29 PM   #13
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What do you have in mind?
I really enjoyed Evelyn Waugh's "Sword of Honour" trilogy, but that's from a Catholic Englishman's perspective. It's not so much a review of the facts of the war, but more of a general feeling from living among certain events. "Fires on the Plain" by Ooka Shohei was a novel about the disintegration of the Japanese Army in the Philippines while being pushed back by the Americans. It touches on the Samurai unwillingness to surrender, and is affecting, but rather grim.

Edit: Whoops, neither seem to be available as ebooks from Amazon. I had read them a long time ago, and assumed they would show up. :P

Last edited by rkomar; 07-06-2013 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:32 PM   #14
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I really enjoyed Evelyn Waugh's "Sword of Honour" trilogy, but that's from a Catholic Englishman's perspective. It's not so much a review of the facts of the war, but more of a general feeling from living among certain events. "Fires on the Plain" by Ooka Shohei was a novel about the disintegration of the Japanese Army in the Philippines while being pushed back by the Americans. It touches on the Samurai unwillingness to surrender, and is affecting, but rather grim.

Edit: Whoops, neither seem to be available as ebooks from Amazon. I had read them a long time ago, and assumed they would show up. :P
Thanks, I'll keep them in mind for the future, especially the Evelyn Waugh one, as generally I'm more interested in the European theater than the Pacific theater.

Paper books or e-books; it doesn't matter.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:09 AM   #15
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This is more post WWII, but I really enjoyed Leon Uris' Armagedon.
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