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Articles of War

Articles of War Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Nick Arvin's debut novel, Articles of War, relates Heck's story in bare-bones prose, and it is more concerned with posing questions about bravery and violence than creating a vivid depiction of scene. Arvin's writing does occasionally veer from the cool and collected to the more purple kind....But at its existential best, Articles of War makes you wonder how you would handle yourself in a ditch, surrounded by snipers, and under orders to kill." Anna Godbersen, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

George Tilson is an eighteen-year-old Iowan farm boy who is drafted into the army during World War II and 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.

During his first, horrific exposure to combat, 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.

Review:

"This fierce, compact tale of one grunt's war takes readers to the same time and place — the woods of northern France in 1944 — where Vonnegut's Billy Pilgrim was captured by the Germans. George Tilson, aka Heck, is another awkward, uncertain American 18-year-old mobilized from America's heartland to the European theater. Disembarked in Normandy, he meets a struggling French family: a one-armed painter; his daughter, Claire; and son, Ives. Claire nearly takes Heck's virginity, but he fumbles her seduction in a fit of fear. He's then trucked off to battle, where he experiences real panic under bombardment: 'The noise was like nothing he had ever experienced before, a noise such as might be used to herald the beginning of a terrible new world.' Heck is halfway through his nightmarish advance through a forest peppered with German snipers and booby traps before he fires his gun in anger, and that's only to kill the company dog. His second shot comes when his company sergeant, Conlee, an ex-foxhole mate and one of many to mark Heck as a coward, enlists him in an unexplained but horrifying mission. Arvin's first novel is an elegant, understated testament to the stoicism, accidental cowardice and occasional heroics of men under fire. Agent, Eric Simonoff. Forecast: Some readers may feel this subject matter has been exploited too often to yield anything fresh, but those looking for quality war fiction will be amply rewarded. " Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Breathtakingly fine. Resonate in tone, surprising—as the landscape of human emotion should be surprising — eviscerating in its honesty, faceted in its complexity. Nick Arvin has accomplished what only a handful of writers have managed — he has crafted a spare and perfect masterwork." Mark Spragg, author of An Unfinished Life

Review:

"A vividly told first novel....Though stretching credibility at times, Arvin makes a worthy and felt addition to retrospective WWII fiction." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Arvin's understated prose shows the dreadful consequences of even a 'good war' in this accomplished and timely literary debut." Booklist

Synopsis:

This short, spare, and hypnotic novel tells of an Iowa farm boy who enlists in the Army during World War II and is sent to Normandy shortly after D-Day.

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

NICK ARVIN studied mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan and Stanford and has worked in a variety of positions in automotive and forensic engineering. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the recipient of the Michener Fellowship, he is the author of In the Electric Eden, a collection of short stories. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385512770
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
General
Author:
Arvin, Nick
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Americans
Subject:
War & Military
Publication Date:
February 2005
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
7.60x5.26x.70 in. .59 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Articles of War
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 192 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385512770 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This fierce, compact tale of one grunt's war takes readers to the same time and place — the woods of northern France in 1944 — where Vonnegut's Billy Pilgrim was captured by the Germans. George Tilson, aka Heck, is another awkward, uncertain American 18-year-old mobilized from America's heartland to the European theater. Disembarked in Normandy, he meets a struggling French family: a one-armed painter; his daughter, Claire; and son, Ives. Claire nearly takes Heck's virginity, but he fumbles her seduction in a fit of fear. He's then trucked off to battle, where he experiences real panic under bombardment: 'The noise was like nothing he had ever experienced before, a noise such as might be used to herald the beginning of a terrible new world.' Heck is halfway through his nightmarish advance through a forest peppered with German snipers and booby traps before he fires his gun in anger, and that's only to kill the company dog. His second shot comes when his company sergeant, Conlee, an ex-foxhole mate and one of many to mark Heck as a coward, enlists him in an unexplained but horrifying mission. Arvin's first novel is an elegant, understated testament to the stoicism, accidental cowardice and occasional heroics of men under fire. Agent, Eric Simonoff. Forecast: Some readers may feel this subject matter has been exploited too often to yield anything fresh, but those looking for quality war fiction will be amply rewarded. " Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Nick Arvin's debut novel, Articles of War, relates Heck's story in bare-bones prose, and it is more concerned with posing questions about bravery and violence than creating a vivid depiction of scene. Arvin's writing does occasionally veer from the cool and collected to the more purple kind....But at its existential best, Articles of War makes you wonder how you would handle yourself in a ditch, surrounded by snipers, and under orders to kill." (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review" by , "Breathtakingly fine. Resonate in tone, surprising—as the landscape of human emotion should be surprising — eviscerating in its honesty, faceted in its complexity. Nick Arvin has accomplished what only a handful of writers have managed — he has crafted a spare and perfect masterwork."
"Review" by , "A vividly told first novel....Though stretching credibility at times, Arvin makes a worthy and felt addition to retrospective WWII fiction."
"Review" by , "Arvin's understated prose shows the dreadful consequences of even a 'good war' in this accomplished and timely literary debut."
"Synopsis" by , This short, spare, and hypnotic novel tells of an Iowa farm boy who enlists in the Army during World War II and is sent to Normandy shortly after D-Day.
"Synopsis" by , 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.

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