27 May 2006

Army of Shadows

I read Army of Shadows this afternoon. It's a very thin book of about 160 pages, but this small package has a pretty hefty punch. Its author is Joseph Kessel who is perhaps better for writing Belle de jour, which was made into the film starring Catherine Deneuve.

Army of Shadows was written during World War II & takes place in occupied France. The main characters are RĂ©sistance members. The book isn't so much about what they do to the Germans. The focus is on how the RĂ©sistance members survive.

I can imagine the pressures the people felt to maintain their covers, the stresses that occured when they had to change identities, escapes, and escape attempts. Life and death. It's a very stark book.

I had mentioned previously that Army of Shadows was made into a movie. I can easily imagine the book as having elements of film noir, which is no surprise since the director of the movie version of the book has an outstanding reputation of directing such films.


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