Herbert Best. The Twenty-fifth Hour. London: Jonathan Cape, 1940. This must have been about the last flowering of that forgotten genre, the knock-out blow novel. More than that, it's an example of the exceptionally rare post-apocalyptic sub-genre, as it is set years after the end of civilisation and portrays the grim struggle for survival among the ruins. Fun!

David Edgerton. Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War. London: Allen Lane, 2011. A different kind of history of the war, one which places Britain's economic, industrial and scientific strength at its core: in other words, an application of Edgerton's 'warfare state' thesis. I particularly recommend page 375, note 87 and page 387.

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2 thoughts on “Acquisitions

  1. Amusing: "that forgotten genre, the knock-out blow novel." Not forgotten to those of us studying fear/air raid preparations in the 1930s, but certainly forgotten by everyone else!

    I don't think I've even heard of this novel. Will have to add it to my list, most particularly as it also highlights the "post-apocalyptic sub-genre"!

  2. Post author

    I only came across it very recently myself and thought I've got to have that! Having read it now, it's definitely one of the better-written ones and a very good post-apocalypse story (Europe descends into complete barbarism, the Americas are depopulated by germ warfare, only Africa has any semblance of civilisation remaining). The knock-out blow part of it is there but very much in the background, coming out in info-dumps rather than being witnessed by the characters. But I'll probably write a post about that later.

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