Faulks, Sebastian "Birdsong. A Novel of Love and War" - 1993
The novel starts with a quote: Rabindranath Tagore says in "Gitanjali: "When I go from hence, let this be my parting word, that what I have seen is unsurpassable."
The author has successfully tried to describe something unsurpassable, something so astonishingly unimaginable that I am asking myself two questions: Why I haven't read this any earlier? and Why isn't this book better known? It should be an obligatory read for every teenager who thinks about entering the army and every politician who even remotely considers starting a war.
Now, today wars are fought differently. Or so they want to make us believe. But if you read "Birdsong", you will see that the tragedies of losing friends and loved ones in a war cannot be changed, it will remain the same, no matter how they get killed.
There are few war books that describe the feelings of the soldiers during their fights as good as this one. An absolute MUST.
From the back cover:
"Set before and during the great war, Birdsong captures the drama of that era on both a national and a personal scale. It is the story of Stephen, a young Englishman, who arrives in Amiens in 1910. Over the course of the novel he suffers a series of traumatic experiences, from the clandestine love affair that tears apart the family with whom he lives, to the unprecedented experiences of the war itself."