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‘This is the only book from the Second World War comparable with the first-war narratives of Sassoon, Blunden or Graves… When the battle of El Alamein began, the poet Keith Douglas was in Cairo with Divisional HQ. Eager not to miss the action, he took a truck and, against orders, drove to re-join his regiment. He served as a tank commander throughout the whole of the allied advance across North Africa, and Alamein to Zem Zem (1946) is his story. Boyishness and inexperience give it flash-bulb immediacy… Scenes of unforgettable pity and terror unfold… Everything, from flowers carpeting the desert in winter to vanquished enemies, is seen with a poet’s eye and the generosity of youth.’ John Carey, Guardian
This Faber Finds edition of Keith Douglas’s classic work – originally published two years after his death in Normandy in 1944 – includes a new preface by the novelist Richard Skinner.
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