Books: Privates Can't Win

THE REVOLT OF GUNNER ASCH (311 pp.) — Hans Hellmut Kirst — LH-fle, Brown ($3.95).

Any army, to a soldier serving unwillingly, is apt to seem a carefully designed tyranny. Writers, especially, see military life as a kind of conspiracy to fracture their sensibilities. A lot of German soldierwriters seem no different from novelistsin-uniform anywhere when it comes to heaping scorn on barracks life. What is surprising in this book is not that the Wehrmacht produced a novelist who protests against the army, but that he makes his protest with a sardonic sense of humor.

German Author Hans Hellmut Kirst spent a decade...