harlem hellfighters

The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks and Canaan White
Reviewed by Shappy

World War Z meets World War I!

The newest offering from Max Brooks (bestselling author of World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide) is a graphic novel that tells the story of the Harlem Hellfighters, a black American regiment that fought in the trenches alongside the French during WWI. It is one of those amazing war-time stories that has somehow not found its way into history books.

First of all, 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI so there is going to be a slew of books coming out this year to commemorate this centennial. I admit, I am not as well-versed in the history of The Great War as I probably should be, outside of reading All Quiet On The Western Front in high school. Even so, I must admit I had forgotten how brutal and nightmarish combat in the early 20th Century actually was. Brooks spares no gory detail from the Hellfighters’ experiences in the trenches. The gas attacks, machine-gun attacks and explosions are all rendered by artist Caanan White with horrific detail. It should appeal to the World War Z fans looking for guts and innards being splattered all over the place!

I love a good underdog story and they don’t come much better than the story of the 369th Regiment that, despite extreme prejudice from their own government, spent 191 days in combat (longer than any other American unit) and never lost a trench to the enemy or lost a prisoner. The Harlem Hellfighters was one of the most decorated units in military history and their story deserves to be re-told to this generation, many of whom will be learning about WWI for the first time. This book has the look and feel of a storyboard for a very action-packed war film. History buffs who enjoy a ripping good combat tale will find much to enjoy in Max Brooks’s Harlem Hellfighters.


Max Brooks reads from and signs The Harlem Hellfighters here at BookPeople tonight, April 9th, at 7pm.

We’re currently taking orders for signed copies of the book for those who cannot attend. We ship all over the world. 

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