Souvenir

Souvenir

by James R. Benn
4.9 11

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Souvenir 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I began reading tje BillyBoyle series last year and was astonished by the vivid descriprion od the various hisrorical events. By far this book is the best novel accounting of a single man and his life as it was molded by the human experience that only a seasoned combat vet would know. As a child of a wwll vet, Normandy to the Bulge to VE who brought home a bride and child, I felt a familiarty with various characters. The humility of the survivors, the silence regarding their combat experiences, the loyalty to their buddies, the ones who returned and those who didn't, is evident in this well written narrative. The book is a tribute to the tenacity and shear will to survive of what I consider America's Greatest Generation. We all need more of this kind of well researched, historical entertainment so even as we enjoy our respite we should not lose sight of the sacrifices made that allow us the right to read without censor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a story that should be read. I won't give details, because I would ruin it for the reader. This the story of an old man connecting with son, but first he has to come to terms with his past. you ride along side him on a emomtional roller coaster.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best books I've ever read. The story lines are woven together ever so skillfully and I found myself completely wrapped up in where it was going. It was a look at WWII fighting in Europe that brought the misery very alive for me. Total wow. I will most certainly be reading more of James Benn's books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truly one of the finest accounts of combat in the Ardennes. A heart rending story of the legacy of war and the legacy of fathers.
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J-McAllister More than 1 year ago
I will not write a synopsis of this book. I will leave the description of deeper meanings in this book to others. I will say that you MUST read this book. It was one of the best books I have read in a very long time!!
RonaldEin More than 1 year ago
Having read all of James Benn's Billy Boyle series to date, I was prepared for war scenes that felt like front-line experience. But Souvenir goes deeper into the soul, deeper into the secrets that soldiers keep from themselves as well as from those at home who cannot possibly know what the soldiers have endured. When I began reading, I expected not to be able to stop, but the intensity and pain is too great; this is not a word version of another video game or movie war, but the transcription of a soul in agony, trying to sort out in the decades that follow the Battle of the Bulge what he has done and promised to do to keep the memory of dead comrades whole. Benn moves us from war to the 1960s to the early 21st century as we follow the persistence of memory, the way memories shape the narrator's efforts to build a life, and how the need for truth requires that he finally share those memories--at least some of them--in order to gain some measure of peace. Benn's narrative style, though, is fundamentally realistic. I have not been so cold, for example, when he describes the winter miseries of the Bastogne, since reading Jack London's "To Light a Fire." Every character and scene is vivid, clearly drawn without excess of any kind. This is a wonderful book, in short, for its writing, its vividness, its insight into the walking wounded of real war and the quiet heroism of people who have seen too much death and destruction and still strive to build a decent, honorable life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Souvenir tells the story of the life of Clay Brock, alternating between events in his life in 1945, 1964 and 2000. The descriptions of infantry combat in the freezing snow-covered forests in Europe are particularly gripping. These men are not part of any grand battle or strategy; they hardly even know where they are, except for with each other. Brock tries to adjust to civilian life and start a family, but he finds that challenging as well, even more so because of the secrets from his past which he works to keep hidden from everyone. Finally, the chapters from 2000, where Brock ages into the next unfamiliar century, bringing his secrets with him, are moving. There's a twist to the plot that I won't reveal, but fan of Benn's mystery series can expect the same kind of trademark plot twist he's known for. Different, but highly recommended.