The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw

The Young Lions

In this hefty tome, Irwin Shaw follows the lives of three young men serving as soldiers during World War II.  Christian Diestl, is a member of the German army; Michael Whiteacre, an American producer; and Noah Ackerman, a Jewish-American.

Each character embarks on his soldierly experience with high ideals and love of country.  What they find is the muddied waters of real-life experience: the saints and sinners on both sides, and the horrors of war.

I enjoyed this novel, but there was something about Shaw’s writing that seemed lacking.  In my opinion, it was 99% dialog and I very much missed a form of prose that included rich descriptions of the surroundings.  Shaw’s stories were interesting and he definitely had a point to make.  The author himself was once one of those World War II soldiers, and The Young Lions is the gift of that experience.

4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 1948
696 pages

Amazon Book Preview of The Young Lions


About Suzanne

I'm a stay-at-home mom with three kids who loves to read.
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