Four Soldiers

A Novel

A novel of war, revolution, youth, and friendship by the “remarkable” (Ian McEwan) French author of A Meal in Winter

“The book’s deceptive directness and simplicity, and its muted undercurrents of horror, will make many think of . . . Ernest Hemingway. . . . A reminder of the power a short, perfect work of fiction can wield.” —The Wall Street Journal on A Meal in Winter

Hubert Mingarelli’s simple, powerful, and moving stories of men in combat have established him as one of the most exciting new voices in international fiction.

In Four Soldiers he tells the story of four young soldiers in 1919, members of the Red Army during the Russian civil war. It is set in the harsh dead of winter, just as the soldiers set up camp in a forest in Galicia near the Romanian front line. Due to a lull in fighting, their days are taken up with the mundane tasks of trying to scratch together what food and comforts they can find, all the time while talking, smoking, and waiting. Waiting specifically for spring to come. Waiting for their battalion to move on. Waiting for the inevitable resumption of violence.

Recalling great works like Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry, Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, and Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage, Four Soldiers is a timeless and tender story of young male friendships and the small, idyllic moments of happiness that can illuminate the darkness of war.



“I am astonished by Four Soldiers. I have never read anything like it, yet it is one of those books you feel must always have existed, a classic of writing about the human condition. Short and deceptively simple, it reads like a message from the unheard, news from unwitnessed lives, building letter by letter to its crushing final page. A small miracle of a book, perfectly imagined and perfectly achieved.”
—Hilary Mantel, author of Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies

News and Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

“Spare, matter-of-fact and masterfully controlled.”

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

‘Four Soldiers’ is no hectic and chaotic war novel. It unfolds in short, tightly focused chapters, and in spare, crystalline prose (beautifully translated by Sam Taylor). . . .

A Meal in Winter Reader's Group Guide

The New Press is pleased to share a Reading Group Guide for A Meal in Winter by Hubert Mingarelli.

Books by Hubert Mingarelli

A Meal in Winter
A Novel of World War II

Hubert Mingarelli

Goodreads Reviews