Other recent reading: Alan’s War: The Memories of G.I. Alan Cope

July 7, 2011

A book I’d ordered well over a year ago finally turned up at my work…Alan’s War: The Memories of G.I. Alan Cope by Emmanuel Guibert, published in 2008. It’s Western Front, not Eastern Front and as per the title, it’s about American troops.

It’s a great read, though. It’s a graphic novel but in the broadest meaning of the term. Alan recounts his experiences and extensive black-and-white images accompany them, sometimes captioned so that it’s a comic, sometimes not. But the stories, while simple enough, become gripping because he recounts so much of his emotions and inner thoughts as events unfold. A young man experiences a great amount of exposure to all aspects of humanity and is so much richer for it – as is the reader who is able to share them so well.

Briefly, Alan is first drafted and is a radio operator for a Sherman tank, but then ends up as radio operator in an M8 “Greyhound”. He arrives in Europe in the last few months of the War and is involved in the lightning marches across countries to defeat the Germans and prevent the Soviets from claiming too much new territory. He continues serving in Eurpoe after the war is over, returns to America but then decided to leave America forever and settle in France. Along the way he meets all manner of people whom affect his beliefs and thinking.

I was first drawn to it through a work-related comic strip I read, Unshelved. They did a single-page book review about it which intrigued me – read it by clicking on this link.

Sound good? Then you’ll really enjoy it.

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