Through four beautifully written, loosely connected stories of the Spanish Civil War, I experienced the full impact of the futility, sadness, stupidity and wastefulness of conflict. These powerful and passionate tales show us life from the losers' point of view but also make us feel the indifference to life that brutalises the victors. A very moving read.
He pulled the trigger, and the silence shattered. He had paid his debt.
Shouts, whistles, barked orders and bewilderment brought an end to a day which until that moment had seen no deaths. The army chaplain gave extreme unction to a soul smashed into a thousand pieces.
The next day there were lists read out in the yard, and trucks filled with men going quietly to their deaths from the fourth floor.