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Publisher's Summary

In 1915, Jean Dartemont heads off to the Great War, an eager conscript. The only thing he fears is missing the action. Soon, however, the vaunted "war to end all wars" seems like a war that will never end: whether mired in the trenches or going over the top, Jean finds himself caught in the midst of an unimaginable, unceasing slaughter. After he is wounded, he returns from the front to discover a world where no one knows or wants to know any of this. Both the public and the authorities go on talking about heroes - and sending more men to their graves. But Jean refuses to keep silent. He will speak the forbidden word. He will tell them about fear.

John Berger has called Fear "a book of the utmost urgency and relevance." A literary masterpiece, it is also an essential and unforgettable reckoning with the terrible war that gave birth to a century of war.

©2008, 2011 Le Dilettante. Translation by Malcolm Imrie. Introduction by John Berger (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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What listeners say about Fear

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good boots-on-the-ground fictionalized story of World War I

When the author's character is not being menaced by invisible Germans he is dealing with recurrent bombardment by artillery, sometimes his own. The story is sprinkled with observations which helps with a certain monotony.

The reader was good. There is a lengthy section on the Nivelles Offensive where the narrator's patriotism comes in but the overall tone is critical of the war effort.

1 person found this helpful

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remarkable

unexpectedly compelling. good from the French sector. a must for ww1 readers. a threat listen.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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And now, the News

As much work as Clive Chafer has apparently had as a narrator it is odd that his performance is not any better. In short, he reads this book as if he were reading the News on BBC Radio 4, occasionally breaking the pattern when he is required to voice a particular character. Very odd, and rather intrusive.

This book is a historical document, recording in sometimes graphic detail the wartime experiences and thoughts of a young bourgeois French poillou reluctantly fighting on the Western Front from 1915 to 1918. It is at times startlingly misogynistic, but, again, it is a historical document from a time and place where women were far from equal. Overall a very interesting, engaging read, and an illuminating view of the war from a soldier who was willing to break with the norm of the period and admit openly that his time at the front was indeed terrifying and ruled by fear.

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Grim terror of WWI trench warfare

Clive Chafer has an annoying habit of lilting higher his voice at the end of each sentence. In this recording he seems to try correcting this. It is a much better performance than his others because of this effort.