BROTHERS IN ARMS by Hans Hellmut Kirst
Kirkus Star

BROTHERS IN ARMS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Gunner Asch defined this market and The Night of the Generals underwrote it. The readership is as big as the number of all veterans of whatever wars. Kirst writes with the disenchanted expertise of the man who's been there about everything military. In this case, it's a German veteran's group. Six men meet regularly. They have no victories to celebrate, but they've elevated to a mystique the desperate comradeship of their last days in Hitler's army. It gradually becomes apparent that more than this binds them. From the major industrialist to the minor thug in the group, the memory of one of their, last acts together during the war keeps them to-together. It transcended the brutalities of battle. A teenage prostitute, evidently a willing one, had nevertheless been killed and the murder framed on an unpopular comrade whose death had been engineered. Some of them know or guess all the details. However, when the supposedly dead soldier turns up alive, the reaction goes from comic fear to savage guilt. Kirst shows how each character responds to the impact of guilt renewed and how the disintegration of the group subtracts from individual identity. Superb storytelling.

Pub Date: April 26th, 1967
Publisher: Harper & Row