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Through the Wheat

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Through the Wheat.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Thomas Boyd(Author)

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3.4 (6363)
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Book details

  • PDF | 286 pages
  • Thomas Boyd(Author)
  • Andesite Press (August 8, 2015)
  • English
  • 9
  • History

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Review Text

  • By Ben Johnson on January 15, 2015

    A good read for anyone interested in WWI. I first read this in High School and it's gritty representation of life in the trenches made quit an impression. Some 45 years later I revisited this work and found it equally engrossing. It compares favorably to All Quiet on the Western Front. This edition seems to be a reprint of the hardback, albeit sans any pictures of illustrations, but the text paints a picture of the life of a dough boy that needs no further embellishment.

  • By Elliot K. on January 25, 2016

    Good companion book to the difficult book of the same title but continues "wheat: The U. S. Marines in World War I.

  • By Martin on June 13, 2011

    I consider the writing substandard. The overly ripe adjectives do not paint convincing pictures. Boyd is compelling when limning the tedium of the trenches or the terror of attacking over No Man's Land. He bogs down when trying for artistic embellishment. As a description by someone who was there, the book is rewarding to WWI buffs, but as literature it is as leaden as a pair of muddy boots.

  • By Mike La Bonne on December 19, 2016

    Excellent. Would use this seller again.

  • By C. Hill on July 22, 2013

    It was for a gift. It was a photocopied library book with a new cover on it. Terrible and embarrassing, especially for a birthday gift.

  • By J. Murry Middleton on May 29, 2014

    I came across a first edition at the local library sale. Quite honestly I didn't expect much even though the gift inscription to a previous owner in the book said that this novel captured the war as the inscriber experienced it.I started to read, and I was thrown back 100 years into the hellish landscape and horrors facing American marines during The Great War. To recommend this book has to include a warning about that war: it was brutal, it was destructive in ways that one can't imagine today. (Of course, all wars boast their own aspects of destruction, but this war . . . this war. . . .)

  • By Thomas S. Harrison on March 8, 2009

    This is an outstanding historical and literary view of the horrors of life and death for US Marines in the "Great War". The author closely models his novel on his actual experiences with the Sixth Marines in some of the heaviest fighting by American forces in Belleau Wood, Soissons and many smaller battles. You feel the oppressive numbing fear of constant shellfire and random death, poison gas, spoiled food and the constant dirt and mud that was trench life and warfare in WWI. Lack of sleep, bad food when you could get food, and the bleak landscape of no-mans land with unburied corpses are the back drop to an excellent exploration of how men continue fighting long past their initial thoughts of patriotism and "glory" of cause. This book favorably compares and to some surpasses, Crane's "The Red Badge of Courage". This is a classic of men at war.

  • By Robert A. Lynn on March 26, 2010

    THROUGH THE WHEAT: THE U.S. MARINES IN WORLD WAR IBRIGADIER GENERAL EDWIN H. SIMMONS, USMC (RETIRED) AND COLONEL JOSEPH H. ALEXANDER, USMC (RETIRED)NAVAL INSTITUTE PRESS, 2008HARDCOVER, MAPS, PHOTOGRAPHS, 304 PAGES, $34.95On March 6, 2008, then President George W. Bush met with Corporal Frank Woodruff Buckles, who at the age of 107, is America's last living veteran of the First World War. That war, and the men who fought it, are now nearly forgotten. When Taps is finally sounded for Corporal Buckles, there will no longer be any living memory of America's military experience of World War I. Among the millions of American fighting men who marched off to save Europe, end all war, and make the world safe for democracy (and who accomplished only one of those three goals, through no fault of their own) was Thomas Boyd. Born in Ohio in 1898, Boyd enlisted in the U.S. Marines when war came, and saw action in France. When he returned home, he took up writing. His literary career was fairly brief, for Boyd died in 1935. But among his books was a remarkable novel, THROUGH THE WHEAT, which deserves to be ranked among the best American war fiction. Boyd combined an eye for detail, a talent for clear, highly readable prose, and actual combat experience to produce a book that was, in many ways, ahead of its time. Boyd has been compared to Hemingway. It could be going too far to say that Boyd was doing Hemingway before anyone knew who Hemingway was. But like Hemingway, he wrote a kind of direct, straightforward, action-oriented prose before such a style became common. THROUGH THE WHEAT vividly captures frontline combat in World War I. THROUGH THE WHEAT follows the experiences of William Hicks, an automatic rifleman in the U.S. Marine Corps, through his first taste of combat at Belleau Wood. We meet him first in France, where he has served as a military policeman, stevedore, and construction laborer, but has yet to see combat. Neither Hicks nor most of his fellow U.S. Marines (including many officers and NCOs) had had much training. The only officer in his battalion, a highly respected major, had seen combat in the Philippines. But that would soon change as his unit was rushed to the front to help halt the great German offensive of 1918, which was slowly grinding its way toward Paris. Throughout this book, the reader sees combat from a rifleman's perspective. Boyd remains tightly focused on Hicks and a few other characters and thus the reader never gets to see the larger tactical picture. Like Hicks, the reader is in the fog of war. When Hicks is sent out to locate a French unit that was to be posted on the U.S. Marines' flank, there are no Frenchmen to be found and neither Hicks nor the reader ever learns why. The first time Hicks is taken under fire is during a night patrol and its friendly fire. One effect of this rifleman's eye view is to bring home to the reader how isolated the Marines were. THROUGH THE WHEAT depicts infantry combat after both rifles and machine guns forced the infantry to disperse before the advent of effective battlefield radio communications. Neither Hicks nor the reader know how the U.S. Marine attack is going until they see some German troops begin to surrender. The first indication of the cost of a successful attack doesn't come until after the attack is over and the reader is shocked to learn that the ground gained had cost the battalion a staggering 80% casualties with one company being nearly annihilated. THROUGH THE WHEAT was, in many ways, ahead of its time. Boyd wrote about the chaos of war and what it does to men. He especially understood how the prolonged stress and fear of combat effects those exposed to it. He also has a talent for sheer terror, especially in a scene where Hicks and a fellow U.S. Marine while escorting a wounded man to the rear, get caught in a barrage and are gassed (Boyd himself was gassed). But in other ways, the book is clearly a product of its time. This is an exceptional book that belongs in the library of on any serious student of military history.Lt. Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida GuardOrlando, Florida


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