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Killing Rommel: A Novel Paperback – June 2, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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From Bookmarks Magazine
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More About the Author
His debut novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was adapted for screen. A film of the same title was released in 2000, directed by Robert Redford and starring Matt Damon, Will Smith and Charlize Theron.
His father was in the Navy, and he was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1943. Since graduating from Duke University in 1965, he has been a U.S. Marine, an advertising copywriter, schoolteacher, tractor-trailer driver, bartender, oilfield roustabout, attendant in a mental hospital and screenwriter.
His struggles to earn a living as a writer (it took seventeen years to get the first paycheck) are detailed in The War of Art, Turning Pro and The Authentic Swing.
There's a recurring character in his books, named Telamon, a mercenary of ancient days. Telamon doesn't say much. He rarely gets hurt or wounded. And he never seems to age. His view of the profession of arms is a lot like Pressfield's conception of art and the artist:
"It is one thing to study war, and another to live the warrior's life."
Top Customer Reviews
I am particularly fond of historical novels because I consider them a painless way to learn history. Mr. Pressfield has never failed to teach his readers all the details within the historical context in which he writes, in this case, about the little known Long Range Desert Group, the LRDG, the predecessor to Special Forces as we know them in the modern era.
The story is simple: the memoir of a LRDG lieutenant who is part of a mission to kill Field Marshall Rommel and thereby disrupt the Axis control of North Africa and its hold on oil assets in the Middle East during World War II. The characters are noteworthy: average men with simple vocations who rise above their commonality in extraordinary circumstances by committing themselves to a mission simply because it was their job. The prose is crisp and fast and the story moves quickly and with intensity.
That is the short of it: great story with great characters that is impossible to put down until you've finished the final page. Scrupulously researched like all Pressfield books and packed with the type of action that would draw viewers to the big screen in droves.Read more ›
The authoritative chronicle of military history is Pressfield's forte. In this book, he brings his considerable research and facile presentation style to the story of an unsung secret unit of the British Army, the Long Range Desert Group, whose mission is simple: find and kill the legendary commander of the German Afrika Korps, Field Marshall Erwin Rommel. The story takes place in 1942, when Rommel and his Panzers have defeated the British Eighth Army and stand ready to capture Egypt, Suez, and the oilfields of Arabia.
The LRDG is sent to decapitate the Afrika Korps by killing its leader, a desperate bid to turn the tide of the war. The story is based on actual ops, but told from the point of view of a young Lieutenant, "Chap" Chapman, who has recently married his sweetheart before shipping out for the desert. His attempts to communicate with her and meet their new-born child provide welcome human interest relief from the unending tales of desert warfare.
Pressfield goes to great length to show the reader what combat is like, with extensive descriptions of tactics, weapons, and the skills necessary to survive in the brutal desert environment.Read more ›
Upon first hearing about the book, two things concerned me. First was the mission, assassinating Rommel, second was Rose, Chapman's wife.
I was aware, as are many people familiar with the desert war, that the British had indeed planned a mission to capture or kill Rommel but the mission came to naught. As the book was a work of fiction, I could accept that the LRDG would assist in such a mission.
Rose is Chapman's wife. I was worried that somehow Pressfield was going to have this signal expert be part of the patrol. If this thought has crossed your mind, you can breathe easy. Rose is simply the wife of the protagonist and is stationed in Egypt. This actually happened with some regularity during World War II. While Rose, is central to the development of Chapman's character she is not central to the mission. Her character is used to advance the story, principally through Chapman writing to and thinking about her.
The story itself is relayed to us through an unpublished memoir of a British officer (Chapman) who was attached ever so briefly to the LRDG in late 1942. If you are expecting a book similar to The Eagle as Landed, by Jack Higgins, you will be disappointed. Despite the title, the book`s central focus is not the mission to kill Rommel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought it a long time ago on the strength of his other books and the subject matter but just now got around to reading it. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Old Hawkeye
Some parts are off the scale. I could have re read this book straight away.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This reads more like a journalistic report rather than a novel with a fully developed plot with the action leading the reader through a story. Read morePublished 6 months ago by JESJR44
Great book, only downside is it doesn't keep going. Gives a great insight into the desert campaign we don't hear much about. Loved it.Published 6 months ago by chris theriot
Absolutely breathtaking, skillful depiction of the desert warfare of WWII.Published 6 months ago by GayleT
Gripping first person prespective on the war in africa in the early 1940's. Powerful, gripping, so well researched you feel like you're there. Brilliant.Published 7 months ago by Robert C. Engman