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ARC provided by Net GalleyI remember reading All 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 with All Quiet on the Western Front and A 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. 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. 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 VoteIn 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 RationsGenerals 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 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. 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. A straight forward and stark novelization of a front line Canadian solider in WWI Harrison portrays the brutal conditions of fighting and of waiting to fight, and how both can bring out the best and the worst in people The graphic battle scenes are very disturbing now and were no doubt extremely shocking when the book first came out in 1930.The author also movingly depicts the touching relationship our hero forges when he gets a week s leave and how hard it is for him to adjust to civilian living having seen done what he has and knowing he has to return to it The book via the conversations and ruminations of its characters questions the forces that create war, that keep it going, and that profit from it Additionally, it mourns for the generations of young men and women whose fate it is to reach young adulthood at the times when that means many will be sent to war and killed.I don t agree with all of the conclusions the book seems to draw about war, but the main storyline and the portrayals of the day to day life of our hero and his comrades are sympathetically and powerfully depicted. This along with All Quiet on the Western Front including the movie , helps keep war from being romanticized. This book shines light on the sad, ugly, and horrific parts of the war that is usually glossed over in modern media It tells the story how it is and leaves out no detail no matter how small If you are looking for a historically accurate serious representation of WW1, this book is for you. 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 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. 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.