by Ed Benjamin
Review by Barry Boy
I was given a copy of Harry’s War by Ed Benjamin in exchange for an honest review.
Harry’s War is a novelette that spans the genres of fictional biography and realistic fiction > military (or more specifically, air force) drama. It is written in the third-person singular and relates to the final combat mission and the early civilian life of the protagonist, whose name appears in the title.
When Harry’s War opens, Harry is flying his F15C Eagle fighter at 35,000 feet above Iraq. The action begins immediately after the scene has been set, and even a landlubber like myself felt transported into the jet fighter with its Eagle Driver, Harry Miles.
A realistic dogfight ensues, involving AWACS assistance, with both sides losing aircraft. However, Harry retires shortly thereafter, and it is only then that his real problems begin, not unlike when many people retire in other walks of life.
Retirement from the F15C Eagle
However, Harry had led a high-powered career, which is way out of the experience – even imagination – of the vast majority of the population and we get to share in his ups and downs.
I found Harry’s War gripping and very realistic, which suggests that the author has experience in the field of avionics, military service and retirement. It also shows that he has the writing skill to be able to relate it in a meaningful and understandable manner.
I really enjoyed reading Harry’s War. Ed Benjamin tells the story and defines his characters in a no-nonsense, yet fluid and graceful style. The cover and the title are perfectly relevant to the subject matter of this novelette, and only aid in the prediction of its contents, which have been well, although probably not professionally edited.
I thoroughly and unreservedly recommend Harry’s War to all readers, but especially to those who enjoy reading military, and particularly, US Air Force, stories. Harry’s War makes one realise how vulnerable even the toughest people are, and for that, I loved it. Full marks, Mr. Benjamin, on an exciting story balanced with insights into the pilot’s life, let’s have some more!
Read our exclusive interview with Ed Benjamin here: Ed Benjamin author interview