HORSES OF ANGER by James Forman


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James Forman has dealt with the conflicts within a conflict, war, in earlier titles (The Skies of Crete, The Shield of Achilles, Ring the Judas Bell) and this time shifts to the German Gottedammerung, 1941-1945. When first met, Hans Amann is ten, and his dying grandfather warns him that Germany has ""gone right back to the age of Teutonic myths."" By the time that he is fifteen, Hans, along with his closest friend, Siegfried, and Heime and Ernst have been staunch members of the Youth Movement and now are gunners, fending off enemy planes from a tower emplacement. The war has seen changes within his family; Gretchen, a girl from Bremen whose parents have been killed in an air raid, has joined them; his young uncle Konrad has returned from the action in Poland with a Knight's Cross and an ever increasing sense of dissatisfaction with the Nazi cause. ""This is like fighting for a mad dog."" He disappears to join the underground in an attempt to make ""the end less horrible. Call it a mercy killing."" Hans too has his doubts while his friend Siegfried, rabid at the close, engages in a last futile action....Even though, as could be said of his earlier books, James Forman does not quite manage to commit his readers emotionally to the story itself, and to some extent, to its participants, he has succeeded in presenting various aspects of Me in Kampf with a range of ideological issues. He is an extremely good writer, although one suspects at times that he is writing beyond his audience.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1967
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux