i’ve been meaning to read this book forever; i remember regularly looking for it in the boston public library and never ﬁnding it on the shelf. ﬁnally i came upon it in a used bookshop a few months ago. i never expected to take almost a month to ﬁnish this book, but apparently war stories tire me out (while reading this, i also tried to watch The Thin Red Line, which i wound up skimming through on fast forward). i also wasn’t expecting the sarcastic humor of recurring jokes featuring endless bouts of circular logic. there are so many characters, i couldn’t keep track of them half of the time.
partway through, the spine of the old paperback cracked, splitting the book roughly in half. i trudged through the last half of the broken-oﬀ second half as characters began dying and disappearing. upon ﬁnishing, i can see how realistic this account of war probably is: the ridiculous bureaucracy and frustration and injustices. and, as hoped, a few of the chapters near the end brought a deeper insight that gave me some satisfaction in forcing myself to ﬁnish this, as well as weak ray of hope.