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Coward at the Bridge (Dick Coward 2) Hardcover – 1 Jun 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd; First Edition edition (1 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847373585
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847373588
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 3.2 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 289,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

James Delingpole is a journalist, broadcaster and author of six books including How To Be Right, Thinly Disguised Autobiography, and the Dick Coward series. He writes for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Mail On Sunday, the Sunday Times, The Times, the Independent On Sunday on everything from rock to culture to politics and gardening. He is married with children and lives in South London.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Jackson on 12 Jun 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Coward at the Bridge" is the second novel in James Delingpole's Dick Coward Adventure Series. It's set amid the mayhem of Operation Market Garden with Dick Coward and Price, as usual, in the thick of the action. And if you're after a brilliantly authentic war novel - or just a brilliant read generally - you can't do better than buy yourself a copy. It is enthralling, pacy, pitch-perfect in its historical realism and written in the elegant, vigorous prose style of a master: fact and fiction, drama and adventure are all superbly balanced. It is also extremely funny (I laughed aloud sufficiently often over this book that it was necessary to sit in a room on my own to read it) and frequently moving.

Because the market is saturated with books about the Second World War, most indistinguishable from the next, Coward at the Bridge should come with a warning: nothing else in the genre is close to being this good. As a storyteller and craftsman, James Delingpole is in a league of his own. He keeps you glued to the very last page when, exhausted and elated, you can at last put the book down and get yourself some sleep.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Peter Symonds on 20 Nov 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'm a big fan of Flashman and a great reader of WW2 fiction (although strangely as a genre there isn't that much of it) but picked up 'Coward on the beach' with a bit of trepidation. The idea that Dick Coward has to win a VC to inherit his fathers estate and ends up flying Spits in the Battle of Britain, fighting under cover with the Germans at Stalingrad, escaping from the Japanese in Burma etc is dangerously close to farcical. Flashman worked by being very, very plausible and I had the nasty feeling that 'Coward' would fall flat because it just wasn't plausible. However I was pleasantly suprised... it worked. Just. So I bought book two.

This is much, much better. Cowards character has developed nicely, the rather over-done Price plays a back seat and nothing James Delingpole could make up could be more farcical than General Brownings decisions during Market Garden (such as using 38 precious gliders to fly his HQ into Holland and having the Poles dropped South of Arnhem bridge while their vehicles and heavy weapons were dropped north of the river!). As with Flashy Coward manages to be in the thick of just about every battle of the campaign but how he moves between them is believable and the story doesn't depend on inplausible coincidences. In format 'Coward at the Bridge' is more like Flashman than the first book with some very good historical notes at the back and an extremely useful bibliography which I'm going to use to chase up some further reading. As with Flashman you'll probably appreciate this book more if you appreciate the real events, although Wikipedia and the movie 'A bridge too far' are all you'll need.

Any comedy in this book is very very black humour.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tweedy on 20 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
James Delingpole has really delivered here. At a time where there are a few WW2 books about (James Holland and Michael Asher etc) this one really stands out, perhaps it's only weakness being an insipid cover.
The author really tugs the emotions here, spreading wit and pathos in equal measure with some very entertaining characterisation.
This is a real romp from start to finish and highly recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Middleton on 29 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the second volume of Delingpole's Dick Coward adventures - it opens with him trapped in a cupboard with beautiful nymphomaniac, closes with him entwined with a pair of young herefordshire ladies in a menage a trois, and in between he is having more fun being shot at while losing the Battle of Arnhem.

Volume II is a direct sequel to Coward on the Beach, and the war in Europe is nearing its end: with 10 volumes planned by the author, I don't think another 8 can be fitted 6 months. This means, I assume, that some later Coward volumes will be "flashbacks" to adventures alluded to previously - Burma, the Western Desert, flying Spits, Crete, fighting with the brave defenders of Stalingrad (well, the German ones anyway) and so on. To a degree that may also be necessary as Coward has now achieved the fame (and fortune) that he was fighting WWII to win.

There is less Price here - a mixed blessing, as we get more focus on Dick Coward, but miss Price's no-nonsense approach to war - and Coward seems more sympathetic than he did in "on the Beach". Operation Market Garden is told accurately, and if it seems improbable that one man could have so many adventures...well, that's wartime for you.
Bridge is better than Beach, but not as good as Flashman at his best. Which brings me to the quibble in the review title: its all very well to write a WWII homage to Flashy, really it is. But please, there is no need to beat us over the head with that in the endnotes. One simple reference is sufficient to refer interested readers, but three is the literary equivalent of Madonna's conical foot-long bra: unnecessary, distracting, and frankly just a bit much.

Still, if that's the worst complaint I have about the book - and it is - that means it's a pretty good read, aimed at lovers of military history who don't mind a mention of sex and benzedrine on the side.
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