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The greatest war novels of all time

Most reasonable people would probably concur with Edwin Starr’s bold statement that war was good for absolutely nothing.

Writers, while not disavowing the sentiment, might suggest otherwise. Wars, battles and struggles have provided novelists with a cavalcade of inspiration for grand works. Some focus on the fighting and the treacherous conditions experienced by the soldiers; others examine how wars change people and society.

What follows is the 30 greatest war novels (ok, 29, one is an account of a writer’s direct experience of war) ever penned. Have we inexplicably missed any? Let us know below the line…


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