Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Robert Stone picks five great contemporary war novels

One of my favorite authors is Robert Stone, and his Children of Light (1986) is one of my favorite twice-told tales.

A few years ago Salon asked Stone to come up with a few great contemporary war novels.

He cited books by Kenn Miller, David Halberstam, Tim O’Brien, William Boyd, and Philip Caputo. Click here to see the titles and read Stone's capsule descriptions.

Stone won the National Book Award for Dog Soldiers, a book that would be high on my list of war novels. From the publisher:

In Saigon during the waning days of the Vietnam War, a small-time journalist named John Converse thinks he'll find action--and profit--by getting involved in a big-time drug deal. But back in the States, things go horribly wrong for him. Dog Soldiers perfectly captures the underground mood of America in the 1970s, when amateur drug dealers and hippies encountered profiteering cops and professional killers--and the price of survival was dangerously high.
Richard Locke reviewed Dog Soldiers for the New York Times; click here to read the review.

Time magazine's Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo put the novel on their list of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923-2005.

More war books:

Earlier this year James Webb, former secretary of the Navy during the Reagan administration and author of eight books including a novel about the Vietnam War, listed his favorite books on the military. Click here for that post.

Click here to see Victor Davis Hanson's list of "the definitive books on the battles of the 20th century."

Click here to see Gabor Boritt's top books on Gettysburg.

And for one of my favorite novels about asymmetric war and terrorism, click here.

--Marshal Zeringue