7 Satirical Books about War

I like satire. My 2nd novel, Necropolis, is a satirical, black comedy about the politically correct, safety-obsessed world in which we live. I have also read a lot of books that could be described as satirical. My recent satirical reading exploits have included 2 famous and controversial satires about war. Earlier this week I was researching other war satires that might be of interest when it occurred to me that this would make a good topic for a blog post.

Here are 7 famous satirical books about war.

Catch-22 by Joseph HellerCatch-22

Based on Heller’s own experiences as a bombardier in WWII, this best-selling, satirical, anti-war novel, took its American author 8 years to write. Catch-22 is frequently cited as one of the greatest literary works of the 20th century.

Click here to read my review.


MASH by Richard Hooker

Published in 1968, Mash follows the blundering exploits of the fictitious 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital staff during the Korean War. The book was the inspiration for the 1970 film Mash and the TV series MAS*H.


Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt VonnegutSlaughterhouse 5

Slaughterhouse-Five’s anti-war rhetoric has resulted in it being banned from numerous US schools and libraries. The story is about the exploits of Billy Pilgrim, a survivor of the notorious firebombing of Dresden in World War II.

Click here to read my review.


Going After Cacciato by Tim O’BrienGoing After Cacciato

After going AWOL, Cacciato proceeds to walk from Vietnam to France. The non-linear Cacciato is narrated in the third person from the perspective of its protagonist Paul Berlin. The book’s central theme is psychological trauma.


Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas PynchonGravity's Rainbow

This comic novel shared the 1974 U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. Its complex storyline sees protagonist Lieutenant Tyrone Slothrop of the U.S. Army travelling across war-torn Europe, his mission to find the German V2 Rocket 00000.


The Pearl of Kuwait by Tom PaineThe Pearl of Kuwait

The Pearl of Kuwait has been described as Romeo and Juliet meets Lawrence of Arabia. The story follows Marine Private Cody Carmichael and Private Tommy Trang efforts to rescue a Kuwaiti princess from behind enemy lines.


Dear Mr. President by Gabe HudsonDear Mr. President

The theme of this series of short stories is Gulf War Syndrome. There is a US Marine who grows a third ear, a veteran whose bones are disintegrating, and a Green Beret who sees a vision of George Washington.


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