To commemorate the 100 year anniversary of America’s entry into World War One, today Apollo is publishing William March’s stunning novel Company K. First released in 1933 and written by a decorated army hero, Company K is an unforgettable and visceral account of the lives of 113 soldiers that reflects the true realities of war.
March’s masterpiece is Apollo’s lead spring title, part of its ongoing literary mission to restore remarkable books for a new generation of readers. Too many great works have been lost, and Apollo is finding the ones that got away.
In Company K, March revolutionised the way war was portrayed. The novel’s short vignettes – flashes of the lives of individual men who fought along with the author – depict war unsparingly, describing it at the height of disorganisation and aggression. From initial training, through to the trenches in France and post-war rehabilitation, March layers the individual voices of each soldier. He explores the dehumanising brutality of killing and the isolation of minds that have been scarred by the horrors of combat.
Ernest Hemingway admired Company K’s raw and unsentimental prose, but wrote in 1942 that he felt it too radical to include in his collection Men At War. Today, the novel is crucial to war literature; historian Philip Beidler calls it “the American World War One book.”
About the author: William March (1893–1954) was a writer and highly decorated US Marine, recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross and the French Croix de Guerre for courage during World War 1. March volunteered in 1917, and was sent to France where he took part in every major engagement in which American troops were involved. Returning as a war hero, March suffered periods of depression and anxiety as a result of PTSD. March’s short stories won the prestigious O’Henry awards four times, but it was his final novel The Bad Seed which won March significant commercial success, published the year before he died.
About Apollo: Apollo’s crucial mission is to seek out the lost books that ought to be found. A rich list of titles has been comprised by distinguished critic, poet and editor Michael Schmidt, in conjunction with Head of Zeus editorial director Neil Belton. The team is determined to restore remarkable books that in some cases were never properly published in these islands even in their first incarnation. With good books, it is never too late.
PRAISE FOR COMPANY K
PRAISE FOR APOLLO