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November 27, 2020 at 1:54 am #23276Jessica WebbGuest
by Georg Grabenhorst, Robert Cowley, Casey Howard Clabough
- Format: paperback, 311 pages
- Release date: December 1, 2006
- Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
- Author: Georg Grabenhorst, Robert Cowley, Casey Howard Clabough
- Language: english
- ISBN: 9781570036620 (1570036624)
About The Book
An autobiographical novel of World War I experiences in the German ranks, Georg Grabenhorst’s Zero Hour equates duty with camaraderie and thereby finds a greater balance between bitterness and hawkishness than much of war fiction. The war is experienced here through the keen eyes of Hans Volkenborn, a well-bred officer-candidate whose youthful enthusiasm turns to angst and disillusion. The sole comfort of his experience is the fellowship he enjoys with comrades, but even that abates over time. Grabenhorst recalls specifics of battlefield actions on the western front with a visceral language that still resonates today. Of particular historical importance are accounts of combat in the Ypres campaign in 1917 and the futile clashes in the woods of Aveluy in northern France the following summer as German hopes for victory faded. But the novel’s greatest success lies with Grabenhorst’s vivid description of shell shock, in this case the result of being briefly buried alive by a mortar round. The condition ultimately engulfs Volkenborn’s ailing psyche and leaves him tormented, isolated, and blinded at the war’s end.
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