This is a rediscovered - and controversial - classic of war literature. It is 1915. Jean Dartemont is just a young man. He is not a rebel, but neither is he awed by authority and when he's called up and given only the most rudimentary training, he refuses to follow his platoon. Instead, he is sent to Artois, where he experiences the relentless death and violence of the trenches. His reprieve finally comes when he is wounded, evacuated and hospitalised. The nurses consider it their duty to stimulate the soldiers' fighting spirit, and so ask Jean what he did at the front. His reply? 'I was afraid.' First published in 1930, "Fear" is both graphic and clear-eyed in its depiction of the terrible experiences of soldiers during the First World War.
"'Gabriel Chevallier, best known for his magnificent novel Clochemerle, has used his experiences during World War I to produce a work of great intensity, comparable to such great literary masterpieces of the period as Henri Barbusse's Under Fire' - Daily Mail 'There are enough flashes of intense colour and incident to make this translation a worthwhile exercise' - Toby Clements, Sunday Telegraph"
Gabriel Chevallier was best known for his satirical novel, Clochemerle, which was first published in 1934, subsequently translated into twenty-six languages, and went on to sell several million copies. Born in Lyon, Chevallier was called up at the start of the First World War and wounded a year later. He later returned to the front where he served as an infantryman until the war's end. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre and Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur. La Peur (Fear), which was first published in 1930, draws upon his own experiences and forms a damning indictment of the war. Chevallier died in 1969. Serpent's Tail published the paperback original .