World War II gave rise to a new boom in contemporary war novels. Unlike World War I novels, a European-dominated genre, World War II novels were produced in the greatest numbers by American writers, who made war in the air, on the sea, and in key theatres such as the Pacific Ocean and Asia integral to the war novel. Among the most successful American war novels were 's , 's , and Hemingway's , the latter a novel set in the .
Pat Barker’s triptych of World War I novels (which also includes The Eye in the Door and The Ghost Road) was inspired by her grandfather’s experiences in the trenches. Terrifyingly, the majority of the ‘action’ takes place not in the miserable fields of Europe, but rather a psychiatric hospital in Edinburgh where patients are supposedly cured of the trauma they witnessed before, incredibly, being sent back to the front line. An inflammatory set of novels that strike at the heart of the callous nature of war.