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Tally Ho!

Memoirs of an Infantry Officer by Siegfried Sassoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What began as a half-hearted trot through as a 'fox-hunting man' ended in a spirited gallop as I not only completed book two but then went cantering on through the final volume of the trilogy. Sassoon/Sherston's memoirs improve with his own growing introspection. Perhaps that's the point: contrastingly sharply the aimless, idle existence of a well-to-do sportsman (riding to hounds in winter, playing cricket in the summer) with the sudden trauma of becoming a soldier. The war changes everything. And everything is changed by war. Sherston's progress is marked by his growing conviction of the futility of fighting, a conviction that nevertheless resides alongside his determination to be in the thick of the fighting. What wins him the MC might be his death-wish. But Sherston knows that he is trapped in the reality of something so appallingly life-defining that it cannot - on a personal level - b…

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