One Young Man is a true story about one man going into WWI and surviving, yet there are also letters that have been written that give the reader and indeed the author, a bit to think about.
The author states that the tale is about a real man, but for privacy the author has opted for a false name to protect the solider who fought for his country. (I have tried to look around for any more information about this real man, but sadly have failed to do so, although I might have been looking in the wrong places.)
There isn’t too much to say about this book, it can be a bit gory at times, it’s also blunt about what happens in war, losing friends and sending letters off to the parents of the deceased friend. It’s also very basic, the author not wishing to put too much of his own thoughts into the letters as it goes further into the war, because as he has said himself in the book, no one can comprehend the realities of war unless you have been in it yourself. (not a literal quote but close to the mark I think).
It’s also a short book to read as well, it’s basic yet it still is gritty, it keeps the reader wanting to read more about the man who is at war, who has faith in his God and clearly loves his family; who is also a loyal friend and who makes it out of the war alive, although wounded and unable to see the war to the end, but alive none the less.
By the end of the book you have a lot of respect for the man who fought in the war, he was wanting to protect his family, his friends and he see him having respect for other’s, seeing that he doesn’t want to dool out revenge for the death of his friend because ‘the German did as he was ordered to do’. This is a man who has a good bit of wisdom within him, who makes hard choices and who breaks the rules as well.
It’s a good book to read if you want to glimpse into the first world war and have one man tell you what he has gone through, yet not enough to completely distress you.