An intimate portrait of warThere are books which report the experience of war and then there are a few that enable the reader to step into another's life to share war, both in the mind and the flesh. Red Dust is such a book. Written by a trooper of the Australian Light Horse on campaign in the Middle East during the Great War against the Ottoman Turkish empire it tells of 'mateship,' hard campaigning and brutal conflict-often hand to hand and described in relentless detail. It also allows the reader to share the thoughts of this ordinary man-a man of his time and his country-as he struggles to rationalise the horror and futility of war, his feelings on the loss of comrades, the embryonic sense of otherness from the Imperial motherland and the loss of youth. The action takes place principally in the Jordon Valley in Palestine-a grinding stalemate of a phase in what was often one of fluid manoeuvre. Here the troops experienced fiercely hot days, freezing nights, scorpions and spiders and the ever present threat of the tenacious and respected enemy. Red Dust is a rare book in every sense and will be sure to reward all those interested in the First World War and fine writing.
Biographies-Memoirs, Ethnic-National, Australian,