Saturday, August 20, 2011


Do you remember that two blogs ago I told you that the next blog was going to about some author events? And then, instead, I wrote about a great book by John Hart, called The Last Child?  Well, I've decided again to hold off on the author event blog.  I just finished W.E.B. Griffin's latest - Victory and Honor, from the Honor Bound series.  It occurred to me that I haven't spent much, if any, time talking about Griffin.  He deserves his own blog.

I have read 38 Griffins.  In recent years, his son, William E. Butterworth Griffin IV (yes, W.E.B. is III), has joined him.  I don't know how much of the books the son has contributed to (for those of you who are offended that I am finishing a clause with a preposition, tough luck), but the quality has remained high.

Here are the series names, synopses of the series, and the number of books written for each series:

Brotherhood of War - Army personnel from WWII through the Vietnam War - 9
The Corps - Marines (duh) from WWII through Korea - 10 - with one of the greatest characters in fiction (for at least Bob and me - Killer McCoy
Honor Bound - Army/OSS (precursor to CIA) in WWII in Argentina - 6
Men at War - Military in WWII - 6 - much lighter fare than his other series
Presidential Agent - Army personnel, taking place in the present - 6
Badge of Honor - Police series - 10

I have read all of each of the military series and only one from Badge of Honor.  I read the first one and decided to stick with the military.  Do I like them all?  Absolutely.  I love Brotherhood of War, Presidential Agent, and The Corps.  I really like Honor Bound, and Men at War was almost a confection for Griffin.  It was less complicated, shorter, and not as riveting or compelling as the others.

Having said that, I just finished #6 in the Honor Bound series.  When I bought it, my first thought was that at 310 pages, it was much shorter than any of his other books that I had read.  Since Honor Bound already wasn't my favorite, and since the book was so short, I didn't have high expectations.  Boy, was I wrong.  First of all, the story was so tight that 310 pages were enough.  Secondly, I didn't realize how much I have come to care about the characters.  I can honestly say that this series now rivals my three other favorite series from this author(s).  He (they) has become quite a craftsman.  His books are at least as good as they were when he first began writing and in at least one case (Honor Bound), they are better.

Griffin really knows his stuff when it comes to the military.  All of his books are dedicated to military personnel, both alive and deceased.  He was active military in WWII and was an advisor during the Korean War.  He knows a lot of military personnel from different branches of the service, which helps him with the details for his stories.  He will be 82 in November.

If you like military fiction, especially WWII, and good writing, then Griffin is your man.

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