The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Filed under: Book Reviews,Infinite TBR,Reader of the Stack Goes Canonical — Ibis at 12:07 am on Friday, May 1, 2009

From the publisher:
“First published in 1895, America”s greatest novel of the Civil War was written before 21-year-old Stephen Crane had “smelled even the powder of a sham battle.” But this powerful psychological study of a young soldier”s struggle with the horrors, both within and without, that war strikes the reader with its undeniable realism and with its masterful descriptions of the moment-by-moment riot of emotions felt by me under fire. Ernest Hemingway called the novel an American classic, and Crane”s genius is as much apparent in his sharp, colourful prose as in his ironic portrayal of an episode of war so intense, so immediate, so real that the terror of battle becomes our own … in a masterpiece so unique that many believe modern American fiction began with Stephen Crane.

The Red Badge Of Courage has long been considered the first great ‘modern’ novel of war by an American–the first novel of literary distinction to present war without heroics and this in a spirit of total irony and skepticism.”

My thoughts:
I didn’t know what to expect when I started this book. I knew it was a nineteenth century American novel about a soldier, but aside from that I had no knowledge. The writing itself was very good, but the entire novel was really one long description, so it was more than a tad dull. On the other hand, the description was quite accurate, I could tell & I couldn’t help but compare Henry’s experience to those related in recent read, Fifteen Days. Also brought back memories of my time in basic training. I enjoyed the essay that ended the book, putting the events in their ironic context.

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