A gripping memoir of war. In December 1937, young Laurie Lee crossed the Pyrenees into Spain as a wartime volunteer from England, and in so doing walked straight into a Loyalist prison and the bitter conflict of the Spanish Civil War.
Decades later, as a writer, Laurie Lee returned to the scene of his coming of age and portrays the death of a young man’s idealism with sincerity and a total lack of pretense.
For anyone who wants to understand what war is actually like, when it is not being dramatized, hyped, heroized, or propagandized, this is the book. For those who still cherish the beauty and the flexibility of the English language this book . . . [is] a treasure.
—Los Angeles Times Book Review
This enormously sophisticated work, a testament to the morality and weakness of humanity, has the plainness of Orwell but the metaphorical soaring of a poem . . . An extraordinary book.
—New York Times Book Review
One of the great classics of young-men-at-war in the English language. Because of Lee’s extraordinary spare, concrete poetry, his precision in truthfully rendering what he saw, and his psychological understanding of it, this small gem of a book is one of the greatest gifts to readers I’ve seen in years.
—Barbara Probst Solomon