Author(s): Charles Yale Harrison
All war is hell. But for troops serving in World War I, it was the bloodiest trench warfare ever known. GENERALS DIE IN BED is a first-hand account of one young man catapulted from new recruit to walking wounded on the Western Front.From day one, he's surrounded by mud and fear. Artillery whistles down without warning. Boys, barely men, cry out for their mothers. Close combat is worse: sudden frenzied scrambles with German boys and bayonets that don't come out smoothly.Regular rotation takes them away from the front, and the weary combatants scramble for wine, women, or whatever will help them forget they'll have to go back. This harrowing spiral continues until an ill-fated hill ge leads to a gushing leg wound and walking papers home.A new introduction to this edition places Harrison's novel with its literary contemporaries: ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT and A FAREWELL TO ARMS. Originally published in 1930 and acclaimed as "the best of the war books" by the New York Evening Standard, GENERALS DIE IN BED remains an unforgettable read.
Harrison's damning indictment of a war in which generals die in bed while soldiers die in a lousy trench resonates with the impact of his experiences.... From Montreal with recruits celebrating their departure and crowds waving flags and cheering, the scene shifts abruptly to the unspeakable horrors of the trenches. None of his training has prepared the teenage protagonist and narrator (never given a name) for the actuality of the trenches... In stark and powerful prose, the narrator chronicles his experiences, admitting he can find nothing to appease his terror.... Although the narrative is often abrupt and stark, the rhythm of language effectively communicates the ugliness and harsh reality that is the lot of soldiers on the front lines.... Generals Die in Bed is no gentle treatise on war; it stands as a reminder of the insanity of using warfare to solve political problems, of sacrificing human beings for ideological purposes. Highly Recommended.--Darleen Golk"Canadian Materials"
Charles Yale Harrison was a machine-gunner in World War I. After being wounded, he became a writer in Montreal and later New York, where he died in 1954.