On Fire
A Novel of the 1950s

By John Ogden
September 2008
Book Guild Publishing
Distrubuted by Trans-Atlantic Publications Inc.
ISBN: 9781846241550
312 pages
$39.95 Cloth

Miles Player is a young army officer serving in Hong Kong in the early 1950s. When his regiment is called to the Korean War he finds his real military education starts. The polo and partying of colonial high life and the arms of his beloved Kitty are left behind. Nothing could be more real than his new life with soldiers and the dramas and feelings they share. As Miles and his men face the harsh reality of battle we witness, through his eyes, acts of friendship and enmity, ambition and frailty, courage and cowardice, love and betrayal.

We also see the caprice of fortune. Yet there are also moments of hilarity and periods of great fun. The intensity of life on the front line - makeshift living conditions, constant shelling, and an ever-present fear - casts Miles' days of tennis, parties and girls into sharp relief. And, as he comes face to face with the impact of the war and his times, he also senses that Britain's power and prestige are dwindling. A vivid and authentic portrayal of the 1950s, and of colonial and military life, On Fire is a superb first novel.

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