Based on his own experience of the Great War, Henri Barbusse's novel is a powerful account of one of the greatest horrors mankind has inflicted on itself.
For the group of ordinary men in the French Sixth Battalion, thrown together from all over France and longing for home, war is simply a matter of survival, lightened only by the arrival of their rations or a glimpse of a pretty girl or a brief reprieve in the hospital. Reminiscent of classics like Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms and Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front , Under Fire (originally published in French as La Feu ) vividly evokes life in the trenches: the mud, stench, and monotony of waiting while constantly fearing for one's life in an infernal and seemingly eternal battlefield.
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