Saturday, August 28, 2010

Six books to take to war

Patrick Hennessey was born in 1982 and educated at Berkhamsted School and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read English. He joined the Army in January 2004, undertaking officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where he was awarded the Queen’s Medal and commissioned into The Grenadier Guards. He served as a Platoon Commander and later Company Operations Officer from the end of 2004 to early 2009 in the Balkans, Africa, South East Asia and the Falkland Islands and on operational tours to Iraq in 2006 and Afghanistan in 2007, where he became the youngest Captain in the Army and was commended for gallantry.

His book is The Junior Officers' Reading Club: Killing Time and Fighting Wars.

For The Week magazine, he recommended six take to war. One title on his list:
Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

There is something so gentle and human about Sterne’s inspired novel, and I liked to keep it close by as a counterpoint to the violence of conflict. A million miles in every sense from Baghdad or Helmand, but, in its own way, a great anti-war book. It’s also one of the funniest and cleverest books in the English language.
Read about another novel on Hennessey's list.

Tristram Shandy
appears among John Mullan's list of ten of the best deathbed scenes in literature, the top ten works of literature according to Peter Carey, Thomas C. Schelling's influential books, and Bamber Gascoigne's six best books.

--Marshal Zeringue