Why are we still so obsessed by World War 2? Maybe we need reassurance that our generation can survive its own looming cataclysm?
I DIDN’T GO looking for it, but my hand was drawn to the war book as if by a magnet.
Max Hastings’ All Hell Let Loose. I found it in Smiths when I was looking for something else. A magazine, or Tea Obrecht’s novel, Inland.
Instead I came away with a 750-page Leviathan on a subject that I already have a fair understanding of – but which I always feel needs deepening or refreshing.
Strangely, I’d almost bought All Hell Let Loose for my iPad a couple of evenings before.
I’d finished the novel I was reading and had a sudden book famine, but instead I’d plumped for Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch.
And then I realised: The Night Watch and All Hell Breaks Loose are both about World War Two (WW2). And so is the one I’d just finished – Philip Kerr’s The One From The Other.
I thought: What is it about the war?