“The First Casualty” by Ben Elton – part World War I murder mystery, part political polemic

The First Casualty“The First Casualty” takes its title from the truism that the first casualty of war is truth.

The novel is a pursuit of truth on multiple levels: the truth about the killing of British Officer well-known for his poetry, the truth about the British soldiers’ experience during World War I, the truth that war damages everyone it touches.

“The First Casualty” has an accessible writing style, a mystery to move it forward, an acute sense of time and place, and a deep empathy with the people who found themselves on the Front Line.

The line I took away from this, common at the time, is “A bayonet is a weapon with a worker at each end.”

A great read on an important theme that gave me an additional perspective on “The War To End All Wars” and all the wars that have followed it.


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