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6 Must-Read Novels about The Great War


By Simon McDonald, Editorial Manager | simon@thereadingroom.com

Today, Monday August 4, is the 100th anniversary of the declaration of war by Great Britain on Germany and the other Central Powers of Europe. There have been many novels written about World War I – or The Great War – and we’ve selected 6 essential fictional accounts on the subject.  We’d love to hear your suggestions too. Add the 6 books to your bookshelf!

Daughters of MarsThe Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally

A novel that casts a fresh light on the challenges faced by the Australian men and women who voluntarily risked their lives for peace. In 1915 sisters Naomi and Sally Durance answer a call for nurses to join the war effort. They are escaping the family dairy farm in the Macleay Valley, and they carry a secret with them. More >  

A Farewell to ArmsA Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Written when Ernest Hemingway was thirty years old and lauded as the best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. More >  

All Quiet on the Western FrontAll Quiet on the Western Front by Eric Maria Remarque

Paul Baumer enlisted with his classmates in the German army of World War I. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches.

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BirdsongBirdsong by Sebastian Faulks

Set before and during the Great War, Birdsong captures the drama of that era on both a national and a personal scale. It is the story of Stephen Wraysford, a young Englishman who journeys to France on business in 1910 and becomes so entangled in a passionate clandestine love affair that he never returns home. More >

To the Last ManTo the Last Man by Jeff Shaara

Spring 1916: the horror of a stalemate on Europe’s western front. France and Great Britain are on one side of the barbed wire, a fierce German army is on the other. Jeff Shaara opens the window onto the otherworldly tableau of trench warfare as seen through the eyes of a typical British soldier who experiences the bizarre and the horrible. More >

Death of a HeroDeath of a Hero by Richard Aldington

Acclaimed poet Richard Aldington based his first novel on his own experiences on the Western Front during World War I. It tells the story of George Winterbourne, who enlists in the British Army and is sent to France.

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