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The Hill Kindle Edition
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- Publication Date : October 13, 2015
- Publisher : Lume Books (October 13, 2015)
- ASIN : B016N1YA3C
- File Size : 1820 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 250 pages
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #661,199 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The premise is centered around a prisoner camp for desertion or petty crimes committed by British soldiers, where a tough cadre of noncoms rehabilitate them. The tension comes about when a new crew of prisoners comes in and starts butting heads with master sergeant who runs the place, and the latter sics his sadistic new staff sergeant on them to break them. "The Hill" is the main obstacle used to break bodies and spirits with endless PT.
I'll be honest, I don't know how the NYT spewed out the quote on the cover ("...the most spectacularly powerful novel..."). There wasn't any character arc, the drama wasn't that well executed, and the conflict felt off as a result. Characterization was okay but inner thought dialogue ended up being a lot of exposition, and tended to flow between characters sometimes within the same paragraph. Plus, given it was written 50 years ago by a British author (I am an American reader), there are passages of dialogue and culture references where I literally had no idea what they were talking about. Some of the jokes might have made sense if you were born in England in 1925 and were fighting the Germans twenty years later, but they didn't make sense for a modern reader and it broke the immersion.
There were lots of missed possibilities with how to use the Hill as a centerpiece of the camp and character conflict rather than just have it be prop on stage, which is how it ultimately got used. The ending felt flat and unsatisfying as well. But at that point I was glad I could move on to the next book.
It's worth a look if you like immersion into the color of that time period--slang, a feel for the British army hierarchy, descriptions of kit and cabarets, etc. Otherwise, just rent the movie.