Saturday, 4 April 2009

Suffering from Cheerfulness: The Best Bits from the Wipers Times

Surprisingly amusing, this book contains extracts from the Wipers Times and its successors, a newspaper printed by British soldiers in France during WWI, using a printer they 'acquired' from people who didn't look like they wanted it any more.

Interesting how upbeat it remained for the most part. Quite amusing at times, but there were serious parts. Well worth reading, it kinda gives the lie to the idea that the only poetry to come from the First World War was very gloomy, depressing, and anti-war. It's never particularly pro-war, it has to be said, but interesting to read.

It's a very interesting book. Apparently the full collection is available, but I have to admit I was dipping in and out of it. Could be quite difficult to read all as one. Good for light relief between lessons, which sounds very odd when you consider the context in which it was written, but also true. Having said that, I suspect that one of its main purposes was to entertain the troops and poke fun at military life to make it more bearable.

My only complaint is that the glossary at the front wasn't all that comprehensive, and there were a few terms I didn't quite understand and which weren't listed in the abbreviations and nicknames list. Still, it's worth reading.

And I believe this is my 100th book review. Yay!

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