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The Good War: Great Fiction About World War II

Since the 1950s and early 1960s, World War II-set popular historical fiction has become a publishing staple and has just about become its own genre. Here are 74 representative novels (and 1 play), selected by a maverick lit. teacher and WWII buff. Some are major literary works. Others are well-done , large scale best- sellers. Still others are turgid melodramas filled with violence, sex, and controversy designed to boost sales. Many of the books here are thrillers, romances, and action/adventure stories; others are serious, smaller scale works, like " The Beardless Warriors" and "Beach Red", that were well done, well received, and are now unjustly forgotten. Finally, some are just unclassifiable. Fiction related to the Holocaust has been excluded; it deserves and requires a list of its own. The list is in no way meant to be definitive or comprehensive; as always, it is personal, subjective, and idiosyncratic.
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made by James Nelson
avg. score: 4 of 75 (5%)
required scores: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 

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1
Across the River and Into the Trees
Across the River and Into the Trees
2
All Clear (Connie Willis)
All Clear (Connie Willis)
3
All the Light We Cannot See
All the Light We Cannot See
4
And Save Them for Pallbearers (James Garrett)
And Save Them for Pallbearers (James Garrett)
5
Atonement (Ian Mcewan)
Atonement (Ian Mcewan)
6
Battle Cry (Leon Uris)
Battle Cry (Leon Uris)
7
Beach Red (Peter Bowman)
Beach Red (Peter Bowman)
8
The Beardless Warriors (Richard Matheson)
The Beardless Warriors (Richard Matheson)
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9
A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
10
The Big Pickup (Trevor)
The Big Pickup (Trevor)
11
Blackout (Connie Willis)
Blackout (Connie Willis)
12
The Bridge Over the River Kwai (Pierre Boulle)
The Bridge Over the River Kwai (Pierre Boulle)
13
The Caine Mutiny (Herman Wouk)
The Caine Mutiny (Herman Wouk)
14
Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
15
Command Decision (Haines)
Command Decision (Haines)
16
Court of Honour (Taylor)
Court of Honour (Taylor)
17
Crack of Doom (Willi Heinrich)
Crack of Doom (Willi Heinrich)
18
Cross of Iron (Willi Heinrich)
Cross of Iron (Willi Heinrich)
19
The Cruel Sea (Nicholas Monsarrat)
The Cruel Sea (Nicholas Monsarrat)
20
Dark Voyage (Furst)
Dark Voyage (Furst)
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21
Das Boot (Lothar Gunther Buchheim)
Das Boot (Lothar Gunther Buchheim)
22
The Dirty Dozen (E. M. Nathanson)
The Dirty Dozen (E. M. Nathanson)
23
Don't Go Near the Water (William Brinkley)
Don't Go Near the Water (William Brinkley)
24
The Eagle Has Landed
The Eagle Has Landed
25
Empire of the Sun
Empire of the Sun
26
The Expendable Spy (Hunter)
The Expendable Spy (Hunter)
27
Eye of the Needle
Eye of the Needle
28
Force 10 From Navarone (Maclean)
Force 10 From Navarone (Maclean)
29
From Here to Eternity
From Here to Eternity
30
The Good Shepherd (C.S.Forester)
The Good Shepherd (C.S.Forester)
31
HMS Ulysses (Maclean)
HMS Ulysses (Maclean)
32
Gunner Asch Tetrology (Kirst)
Gunner Asch Tetrology (Kirst)
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33
The Guns of Navarone (Maclean)
The Guns of Navarone (Maclean)
34
Harm's Way (Bassett)
Harm's Way (Bassett)
35
Hero in the Tower (Kirst)
Hero in the Tower (Kirst)
36
The Hill (Rigby)
The Hill (Rigby)
37
The Human Kind (Baron)
The Human Kind (Baron)
38
Into the Valley: A Skirmish of the Marines (John Hersey)
Into the Valley: A Skirmish of the Marines (John Hersey)
39
Jackdaws
Jackdaws
40
The Key to Rebecca
The Key to Rebecca
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