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Listening to the Silence

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The Owl Killers
Karen Maitland
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Daniel James Brown
Cloud Atlas
David Mitchell

Silent Night: The Remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914

Silent Night: The Remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914 - Stanley Weintraub It is with awe that people speak of the unprecedented Christmas Eve truce amongst those all along the Western Front in 1914, the first winter of World War I. Nothing like it had ever been seen before or since. The German troops risked life and limb to place their Christmas trees along the parapets and trenches. Guns fell silent, replace by the sound of voices raised in harmony to sing carols. Men from oppossing forces came together,, crossing into No-Man's Land to exchange gifts of cigarrettes and Christmas treats sent from home. It is a singularly unique event in the history of war.

This makes for a fascinating topic, but sadly a not so fascinating book. The book is simply a collection of anecdotes, letters from or to soldiers, fictional accounts of this event, and memories of the soldiers who were there, even references to soongs in which it is mentioned (think Snoopy and the Red Baron). While at first this was interesting, by page 50 it had become quite repetitive. By page 175 it was tedious. Thanfully that was the end. The book is very well-researched with a thorough bibliography. I really wish I could have rated this book higher. I wanted to like it, but in the end it just didn't work for me.