I started this book and was troubled by the unartful writing of the book. While the style worked very well for old man and the sea, it seemed simplistic and unsophisticated in this story. Nevertheless, it was a compelling story.
There were two parts that particularly stood out to me. First was the story of the retreat of the italian army. I think it captured the insanity of war exceptionally well. There was no rhyme or reason, adn the fact that it felt normal that the war was such a mess was what made it more memorable.
The second part was during the childbirth at the end. The ending of was easily forseen. But during that part, while the main character is talking to God, he remembers an incident with a log full of ants, and how they and he responded when the log was thrown into a fire. The ants could do nothing and just burned, and he, the one with power, threw water on the log so that he could get whiskey (effectively steaming the ants). That anecdote made the conversation with God more poignant and haunting.