Set mostly in England in 1940 or 1941, this slim novel is Kersh's tribute to the Coldstream Guards, an elite British military outfit with whom he served during that period. Although war (the First and the impending Second) and the Germans surround the story, there really isn't any battle on stage here: Most of the book describes the transformation of average British guys into fighting trim during their basic training, although we hear the stories of old vets from wars past as well. The vast majority of the text is dialogue, in various British dialects. It's a portrait of a people, as well as a close look at how armies are built.
This report prepared by David Loftus