Saturday, June 7, 2008

"Killing Rommel"

Steven Pressfield is the author of Gates of Fire, The Virtues of War, Tides of War, Last of the Amazons, The Legend of Bagger Vance, and The Afghan Campaign.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new book, Killing Rommel, and reported the following:
I like this Page 69 test. In Killing Rommel, it's a little too early; the story (a behind-the-lines raid by British Special Forces whose aim is to knock off the Desert Fox) hasn't really kicked in yet. But I was surprised at how much of the story one can glean, just from a random page. On my page 69 are all three of the book's central characters; the setup for the central mission is clear; and a reader can really get a sense of the point of view and tone of voice. Here's a sample:

When a tank became disabled, its crew's standing orders were to destroy it so that it could
not be salvaged by the enemy. But it's no small chore to scupper a tank, even your own when it's sitting still. Half the time our lads simply made off with the breech blocks and code papers, then sluiced petrol into the engine box and tossed in a lighted match. Many didn't even do that. They just "ditched the bitch" and pissed off.

I think I'll use this Page 69 test from now on when people ask me to read their stuff. One page is all it takes!
Read an excerpt from Killing Rommel, and learn more about the book and author at Steven Pressfield's website.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue