Officers and Gentlemen, Evelyn Waugh, Little Brown and Company, 1955, 339 pp
This is the second book of Waugh's Sword of Honor trilogy which began with Men at Arms, 1952. The story follows Guy Crouchback through another year of the war and relates his continuing quest for an authentic soldier and war experience. He finally has one in Greece though it involves a retreat rather than an attack.
I wasn't looking forward to reading this because Waugh's irony is so deeply buried and rather wordy. I think one would have to be English to truly appreciate this series of books. But ironically, his exquisite skill at irony was what drew me in this time, so either I am getting better at reading it or he is getting better at writing it.
Even the officers and the gentlemen do not find much to satisfy them in the actual day to day of war, but they are constantly seeking something. Perhaps war, like honor and truth, is merely an absolute which cannot be attained in the material plane.
(Officers and Gentlemen is available in paperback by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)