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5 Astounding Books About War and Its Consequences

Since the dawn of time, war has been a fact of life. Everyday, armed force struggle, sacrificing their bodies and lives for a thousand different reasons, and as a result, war is a key theme in literature around the world. Here are five astounding books about war that will truly reveal the consequences, brutality, and the choices people make in such dire times.



Slaughterhouse 5

By Kurt Vonnegut




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One of Kurt Vonnegut’s best works in my opinion, Slaughterhouse Five is a book that tells the story of Billy Pilgrim and his unique life experiences. Besides the fact that it’s just an amazing read, what’s even more fascinating are the factors that make this piece timeless and unique. 

Vonnegut’s story of Billy Pilgrim draws parallels with his own life; mainly, the parts of the book where Pilgrim is held as a POW in Dresden by the Germans is almost the exact scenario that Vonnegut experienced during his own time serving. However, Vonnegut’s story goes on to depict Billy’s struggles with dealing with the events he experiences even after the war. Be sure to check out this classic, as it depicts a ruthless war and those who do not wish to fight it.




by Elie Wiesel




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Elie Wiesel sadly went through the infamous and brutal Holocaust during WWII. Although he and all of the other victims of this mass genocide suffered greatly, Wiesel was able to survive. Night chronicles the time Wiesel served as a prisoner at the concentration camps of the Nazis. His stories are the result of blood, tears, and the pinnacle of human suffering. 


Wiesel’s enduring struggle depicts horrible war crimes and atrocities. Indeed, he and many other survivors have stood as a testament to how war dehumanizes us as human beings. But, as well as depicting the true violence and heartlessness of the war, Wiesel also shows the few moments of kindness and tenderness that bring the prisoners together. These moments, as well as the entire experience, are key to understanding WWII as well as war as a whole.



The Hunt for Red October

By Tom Clancy




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Tom Clancy is a name synonymous with war. Although Clancy’s works have been glorified into a plethora of adaptations in the form of films, television, and video-games, the author has many works that focus on the darker stories of conflicts. 


The Hunt for Red October focuses on the Cold War. During this time, tension between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was ever-growing due to the development of more and more nuclear weapons, as well as the fights against and for democracy and communism among many other countries. The story focuses on a submarine and its crew’s defection from the Soviet Union, to the Americans. Betrayal, clandestine operations, and even espionage all play a crucial role in this war novel.



Waltz with Bashir

By Ari Folman




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Waltz with Bashir depicts the 1982 Lebanon War. However, the beginning of the story leads us to believe that Ari, the main character, plaid not much of a part in the armed conflict. However, as the story progresses, we learn of how Ari has repressed his memories in order to not find himself accountable for the massacres and horrors of the world.


Through graphic imagery and incredibly detailed story-telling, we get a firsthand view of what it is to be apart of terrible war crimes. Ari is unable to believe or cope with the fact that, although he did not kill anyone, he helped in locating many targets. This story is both parts raw as it is heartbreaking, making it a perfect read.




By Marjane Satrapi




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Based on the author’s life experiences of growing up during the time of the Islamic Revolution of the 80s, Persepolis is unique in that it doesn’t directly talk about the sequences and actions of war, but rather discusses the impacts it has on families and civilians. Throughout her novel, Satrapi continually draws parallels to the war and how it raises more questions on the government, religion, and the beliefs of those surrounded by the conflict.




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