Halfway through Ian McEwan's novel Atonement the reader joins up with the British Expeditionary Force as it slogs through the battered northern France countryside, hoping to reach the English Channel at Dunkirk before being overtaken by the pursuing Germans.
One wonders how Frederic Henry would handle the job of evacuating wounded from Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan, 85 years after he was deployed to the World War One Italian front as an ambulance driver, by Ernest Hemingway, in A Farewell to Arms.
Two of the most notable books published in the U.S. in 2013 "trouble" readers with medical, ethical, moral, emotional, psychological and legal struggles that arise when a loved one is succumbing to insidious pain and irreversible incapacity.
The British author has been publishing novels and volumes of stories for 37 years. He's notched multiple bestsellers on both sides of the pond and seen several of his novels adapted for the silver screen. Here's what to read first, and what to avoid.