Stephen Pressfield is an author of incredible accomplishment and wisdom. The war novel ‘Killing Rommel’ is told from the point of view of a young British army officer, a new recruit in the Long Range Desert Group (the fore-runner of the SAS). The character’s concerns, both professional and personal, are brought to life with such accuracy and pinpoint wording that one would easily believe that the author had served in the military (to gain such clear understanding of leadership and the motivations of fighting men) and easily be convinced that the author had actually served in the LRDG. The former statement is true, Pressfield having served in the US Marine Corps. The latter is false. Pressfield is an American and not old enough to have fought in World War Two. His rendering of character and voice is therefore the more exquisite, plus the fact that he did not succumb to an easier structural ploy of making his character American.
We mention him here for two other reasons. Firstly that his personal website (stephenpressfield.com) recommends other books and other writers, something we have chosen to emulate. Secondly his book ‘The War of Art’ is one of those inspirational gems that touches the eternal and the very depths of existence. It will inspire readers to follow their dreams. My own copy was given to me as a gift and I have passed it on to others to inspire them. They have done the same in turn and the magic still spreads. ‘The Prophet’, by Khalil Gibran, is another timeless classic. It carries all the wisdom one needs to follow one’s dreams with wisdom, love, and awareness.
The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield, 2012, Black Irish Entertainment, 190pp, ISBN 978-1936891023
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, Arrow Books, 2005, £7.99 ISBN 978-0099416937 (and other editions available)