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Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment (W. W. Norton & Company), by Jennifer Cody Epstein

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Jennifer Cody Epstein’s novel begins on a carnival ride, but proceeds to explore William Tecumseh Sherman’s maxim, “War is Hell.” The general added: “There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell.” On that carnival ride, a boy named Cam dreams of flying; he gets his chance when he joins the Air Force and becomes one of the first to fly over Japan during the Doolittle raid. His plane runs out of fuel, however, and he is forced to bail out. A great many facts went into this fiction, elevating the novel in grand style.