It would take the combined talents of a Zola, a Dostoevsky and a Céline, according to Frank McLynn, to tell the epic story of William Slim’s 14th Army in Burma during the Second World War. His aim is a more modest ‘history from above’, to tell the story of the ‘Forgotten Army’ through the biography of four of the Burma campaign’s big beasts – Slim; Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander, South-East Asia Command; the American general Joseph Stilwell; and the Chindit leader, General Orde Wingate. McLynn thinks of them as the Burma campaign’s Four Musketeers – Mountbatten, the boastful royalist and self-publicist, plays d’Artagnan; Slim, the soldier and man of integrity, is Athos; General Wingate, with his Machiavellianism and vaulting ambition, is Aramis; and the honest, gullible extrovert Stilwell is Porthos.
Follow Literary Review on Twitter
'Everyone talks about the light on Hydra, but sometimes there’s a very good reason why everyone talks about something. The light on Hydra is bronze and blinding.'
Joanna Kavenna on Athens, the Inklings, and why Homer thought sheep were purple.
'Narratively speaking, "Antkind" doesn’t develop. It just continues. It’s a "New Yorker" Shouts & Murmurs squib inflated to Tolstoyan girth.'
@KevPow3 struggles through Charlie Kaufman's mammoth novel, 'Antkind'.