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Goddamn This War! Hardcover – August 3, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
Most baby boomers remember the rehashing of WWII ad nauseam as they grew up. The Battle of the Bulge, D Day, and Pearl Harbor etc. were things that were discussed and shown in movie theaters and on TV. What had been completely lost in this study of the Second World War was that the causes of the greatest war the world has ever seen emanated in the Great War of 1914/1918. This great slaughter is well told by Jacques Tardi's graphic depiction of Goddamn This War!
This book gives very graphic detail as to what transpired in WWI. The pictures are haunting as Tardi shows what the war was really all about. Not only are the pictures telling a story of horror, it is the thoughts of a French soldier who tells us of what is transpiring around him. In this narrative detail we learn that all common soldiers were just fodder thrown against each other to satisfy the aristocracy of all sides in this horrific war.
In fact as Tardi counts down the years in this depiction of WWI we learn the thoughts of this French soldier as it slowly occurs to him that the Germans he is fighting are very much like him. It dawns on him that all the common soldiers belong to the brotherhood and that they are all being led by the elitist aristocracy who are only interested in maintaining their wealth. The French soldier realizes that the German "Fritz" whom he is fighting is more like him than his illustrious elitist leaders.Read more ›
Goddamn this War! (Putain de Guerre for you French readers), is an even better work. The First World War is presented from the French side, with multiple forays into the German perspective. Tardi's art is vibrant and horrific, and the extent of his research is apparent in the minute details of uniforms and weapons. The bleak tone of the book is made apparent even as the color scheme shifts from the green plains of the early war to the dark, grey, and muddy trenches they were reduced to. The story follows a French soldier who lives through the entire war (though he gets out far from unscathed). His negative perspective on the entire event is a juxtaposition to the acts of the French generals and officers who send their men into the meat grinder.
This book had me captivated from beginning to end, with its art and its words. It's brilliance makes me wonder why there are not more war comics produced today, as they offer a setting that both horrifies and educates.
The visuals are well researched and powerful, while the writing hits relentlessly on a grimly ironic note. The main character is disillusioned from the first moment of the war, so he doesn't go through the same changes of those around him from enthusiasm to grim consent to disillusion. The side characters blend into the bleak background, such that when a character is named as having died you sometimes aren't sure who he's talking about. Tardi tends to focus is story on only the darkest elements of the war, making it more one-note than many of the novels and memoirs on which he's basing his work. (He provides an excellent bibliography of books and movies which influenced him.) After the story itself, there's also an extended section detailing the history of the war itself. This is good, but necessarily brief.
Overall, I found this interesting, but I wish that the storytelling had been as compelling as the visuals.
I enjoy stories from soldiers on the ground, what they came up against, their friends being killed in front of them, their longing for home. With these stories, it hopefully gives people pause when it comes to killing another human being just for the sake of country (or in the case of the Great War, either "for King and Country" or "Barbarians against Western Civilization").
This book is well made, illustrations are top notch, and the story inside humanizing...
This graphic novel hit the nail on the head in that the only ones that want war are the elite leaders, and political and war manufacturers.
"It Was the War of the Trenches" was the first part of the Jacques Tardi trench battle illustrated cartoons. "Goddamn This War!" is the second.
Makes a great companion piece along with "Journey to the End of the Night" by Louis-Ferdinand Celine, which Jacques Tardi illustrated, in "Voyage au bout de la nuit" (Futuropolis, 1988).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Never has a graphic novel stuck such a chord and such a poignant time (WW1 Centenary) as this novel, equally more so when read in conjunction with his other masterpiece 'it was the... Read morePublished 12 months ago by MR W.
Enjoyed this thoroughly, as I did his earlier work. Mr. Tardi captures the feel of the great war very completely.Published 12 months ago by D. Winebarger
This volume contains the story of a French soldier during WWI. It is an excellent companion to almost any novel about the war, but especially
Fear: A Novel of World War I by... Read more
Haunting imagery. It's terrific to have a French perspective for oncePublished on January 29, 2014 by Michael Conrad
Tardi returns to World War I, an almost forgotten war (almost all of people alive today was spared of this stupid war, but we must not forget its stupidity and absurdness)... Read morePublished on November 29, 2013 by Gino Palladino