Band of Brothers is the 10-part HBO mini-series from 2001 that follows a bunch of guys through basic training during WWII, their deployment on D-Day and all the battles they went through until the end of the war in Europe. It’s intense, and for me, educational. It made the soldier’s perspective on the war more vivid than anything I’ve seen before. I felt scared for them. It reminded me of William Wharton‘s novel, A Midnight Clear. It’s about the everyday experiences of soldiers in the trenches (and thankfully not an excuse to wave the US flag in our faces). I would have been a Section 8 after D-Day. Don’t let the first episode with “Ross” from TV’s “Friends” turn you off. He leaves and it only gets better after that. (The following-up series, The Pacific has similar production values and is worth a look, but it’s not essential viewing like “Band of Brothers.”)
THE SERIES ISN’T NEARLY AS MELODRAMATIC AS THE TRAILER.
It breaks down like this. Some years ago, a toy company began releasing Muppet Show character figures that were more accurately replicated than anything that had been produced before. The company had a full line up of characters scheduled to be produced along with a replica of the Muppet Theatre that included the backstage area. But the company went bankrupt and that was the end of it… until a guy named Lance Cardinal decided to make a replica of it himself. And it looks like he may have created his own character figures that never had the chance to be produced by the bankrupt company. Check it out:
It’s a masterfully written love story that I just diminished by calling it a love story because it just happens to be about a guy so obsessed and in love with a woman in his youth that he’s willing to wait a lifetime for a chance to make his move, but it’s also packed with astute observations about every kind of human behaviour under the sun, and I bought into every bit of it.
It’s a pleasure to read because the writing is eloquent but raw, no messing around, something compelling and vivid on every page, but also absurdly humorous, which helps.
The story spans generations without losing sight of its central question — something to do with the nature of love, whatever that is, but I won’t say more — and it’s hard not to marvel at the literary accomplishment along García Márquez’s insights into human nature.
And I love the ending. It’s likely to be one of the most memorable novels I’ve ever read.