These books capture the soldier’s voice in a way very few authors can.
Pat Barker’s wonderful trilogy addresses the personal struggle a soldier has when trying to balance the often debilitating exhilaration of war and the sheer meaninglessness of any other existence.
George MacDonald Fraser wrote a personal account of his war years in one of the best service memoires, ‘Quartered Safe Out Here’. The McAuslan books brilliantly capture the black and ridiculous humour of it all without fading into satire.
And Kipling? Well, reading him one just enjoys how much he adores the smell of saddle leather and the clattering of massed hooves; his respect for the fighting man.
Regeneration by Pat Barker, Penguin, 1992,
(other editions available)
The Complete McAuslan by George MacDonald Fraser, Harper Collins, 2000, ISBN 0-00-651371-9
Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling, Penguin, 1994, ISBN 0-14-062092-3