Today, the second of March, is World Book Day so it seems appropriate to have a book review today.
I don't remember World Book Day when I was a child, I will have to look back and see when it started. I just went and looked, it started in 1995, so no, it wasn't around when I was a child!!! I think it is great idea and a great way to get children reading for pleasure. In fact to get anyone reading for pleasure. I am a great advocate of just reading, something, anything. It doesn't have to be the highest greatest literature. Surely it is better to read something than nothing at all.
My latest finish - which I confess I still have about 10 pages to finish but I will finish it today - is Memoirs of an Infantry Officer by Siegfried Sassoon. Sassoon is a famous for his World War 1 writings. He wrote poetry and prose and was an officer in the army during the war. This book is part of a series called the Sherston Trilogy and this is the middle book. I haven't read the other two.
This book focuses on the period from spring 1916 to summer 1917 during Sassoon's period at the Somme and then being injured and sent back to England. It tells small tales of everyday life. Some of which are truly horrifying and others which are those little amusing anecdotes of life, such as Sassoon purchasing a whole salmon in England and then taking it back to the trenches with him... Can you imagine.
The book is actually written as a fiction with the main character being a man called George Sherston. However, the facts are all real, the only things that are not are the names of the characters. This is borne out by the fact that in later life Sassoon wrote his own account of his life and events mirrored those in the Sherston Trilogy.
In a way I felt that the book was rather akin to a blog. Sassoon simply writes, this happened today and then this happened and then this, which is the way many of us bloggers write our own records or memoirs of life isn't it.
The book was written quite simply with just the facts and details of life being shared, no opinion, no embellishment, just a tale of life and death as it was happening.
I found the book hard going I have to say. This was for two reasons, one the subject matter, two the style of writing. The subject was of course very hard to read about. Although Sassoon is almost blasé about what is happening and simply records the facts, the facts are of course horrifying and terribly upsetting to read about so I could only take so much of that at one time. Additionally, sometimes the writing, although of course very good, seemed to go on rather. It made me think about my own writing and how I need to work on my style more.
So this brings me round to what did I think and what will be happening to the book next. Well, I cannot honestly say that I enjoyed this book, but, I don't think it is a book to be enjoyed. It is a book to learn from to experience what real life was like during that time period and looking at it from that standpoint it was a good read because I certainly learned a lot. I will not be reading this book again and I will be returning this copy to the person who gave it to me because they said they would like to have it back again if I don't wish to keep it. So back it goes which is a good thing.
You can find all of my other book reviews here or by clicking Reading My Books at the top right of the sidebar.
I hope that whatever you are reading today on World Book Day that it is a good book, that you enjoy it or learn something from it, or just enjoy sitting with a book. Don't worry about whether it is great literature or not, just get reading!
Happy World Book Day!