Despite its Style and Perspective, Too Insincere and Self-Aggrandising

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Kaputt by Curzio Malaparte

2.5/5

Although very well written and evocatively descriptive, the book has an insincere and dishonest tone that detaches the reader from many of the scenes – imagined or not – portraying the undoubted brutality and horror of war.

There’s a narcissistic arrogance about the narrator that makes you feel that the book is as much about excusing or justifying him as it is about damning the folly of war. It’s due to this that, despite the beautiful writing style and the interesting perspective (behind enemy lines) it offers, I cannot go beyond two and a half out of five.

That said, it does offer this alternative and often unheard perspective on the war, and that may make it an interesting historical artefact for some despite its shortcomings.