Paperback, 337 Pages
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Against the backdrop of 1917 Picardy, Lieutenant Henri Bertrand, a young French officer, survives a catastrophic attack only to be thrust into a German prison camp where he adjusts to the painful contemplation of memory brought on by idleness. Searching to replace the vanished family of his platoon, Henri finds solace in the company of a German adjutant, Otto Jünger, an ex-fighter pilot relegated by injury to desk duty at the prison camp. The two find in each other a tenderness and likeness of mind previously undiscovered in their barely born past, and their friendship blossoms despite the objections of nationalistic decency. It survives the war and captivity—even the armistice. In the end, amidst the confusing and ruthless world of peace, Henri rues the common experience and understanding of his friend, indeed of all combat soldiers, and refuses to let go of the truth: war was the most tender experience of his life.
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Sep 11, 2009"Great War Novel" Horizon Blue by Jake Bumgardner is a Great War Novel. I am not an expert on War novels, but I have read a number of Great novels and I believe this one qualifies! The action surrounds Lieutenant Henri Bertrand, a French soldier fighting in the trenches and on the front lines in his homeland during the peak of World War I. At times brooding and uncertain, he remains paternal - or at least elder-brotherly - as a leader among desperate men in despicable conditions. The brutality and tedium of war are depicted in this novel with painful realism. The narrative illustrates the legitimacy of fear, tinged with occasional hope, for Bertrand and his fellow soldiers. It recounts moments of instinctual action, where honor (or the lack thereof) is reflected upon in regretful hindsight. Yet, even in the novel's darkest moments, the Lieutenant’s vaguely cynical sense of humor manages to shine through. The strength of Horizon Blue lies in its descriptions and its dialogue.... More > It is a novel about turmoil, and survival, about relationships, and the genuine interpersonal connections of which the human spirit is capable. It is the story of a man, replete with strengths and weaknesses, whose unlikely circumstances lead him to personal revelations and a life path far removed from the pastoral simplicity of his childhood. There are no generalities in this book. Any hint of cliche is backed by thorough detail and relevant context. Descriptions of all manner of warfare - terrain, machinery, tactic & human behavior- are authentic & engaging. It's realistic portrayal of war, the compassion and stamina of men, and above all the bonds arising from desperate necessity, make it a compelling story you'll most likely want to reach for a second time!< Less
Jul 3, 2009"Horizon Blue" The author, a WFA member, is a fiction, film, short story and travel writer living in Chicago who is a frequent visitor to France. Horizon Blue is the story of two years in the life of a French infantry platoon commander, Henri Bertrand from Cambrai, who is captured on the first day of the abortive Nivelle Chemin des Dames offensive of April 1917. His platoon nearly wiped out, he and a handful of his surviving men are surrounded and surrender. Transported to an officers’ prison camp in the Rhineland, Bertrand becomes friends with a disabled German flying officer, Otto Jünger, the camp commandant. Much of the plot revolves around the interplay between these two men and life at the camp, which while peaceful, has its deadly moments. The author catches the tenor of the times by interweaving French and German wartime slang, mention of actual events and personalities, and even description of infantry tactics as these had evolved by 1917. The dialog is crisp... More > and the story line engaging. Recommended. Ambassador Leonard Shurtleff Western Front Association< Less
Dec 7, 2008"Horizon Blue" I found myself not wanting this book to come to an end. It is intelligently written, vivid in it's descriptions, and heartfelt in it's emotions. It is clear that Mr. Bumgardner is writing about something that he feels passionately about. Even if you find yourself to be someone that does not have a great love of history, this book will leave you feeling so connected to these men, you will want to learn more. Horizon Blue takes you into the lives of men from both sides of the war, and leaves you with a deeper understanding of the true meanings of friend and foe. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and am anxiously awaiting the second installment.
Aug 8, 2008"Horizon Blue" The "Great War" has always seemed to managed to escape personifying the German Army with feeling. In the Blue Horizon, there is depth to every character despite the sides which is true to warfare and sometimes forgotten when looked back on historically. Blue Horizon creates a universal sympathy for all the characters that had to deal with the hardship of war and doesn't create one dominant hero, but recognizes many characters as such. I fell in love with the protagonist as equally as I fell in love with the crazies. You forgive them for their inadequacies because the landscape that Mr Bumgardner details enables the reader to sympathize entirely. The book is incredible and thats all I can say without spoiling my most favorite things.
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- Jake Bumgardner (Standard Copyright License)
- First Edition
- Pastis Press Chicago
- November 16, 2008
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 1.25 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 6 wide x 9 tall
- Product ID
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