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4.7 out of 5 stars84
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 2 June 2014
I was sceptical at first on reading this book, not sure whether because someone who is well known writing about his father during the war, which came out ready for the 70th anniversary of the d day landings, was bringing out this story at this time.
However when I read this, I found it so compelling, and wonderfully written, and had great admiration for Basil Tarrant. (and by the way great timing)

Going from one battle to another in such miserable conditions, with the great concern of looking after your men, was what every leader must have felt, but this person, by using stealth, experience, and patience before attacking the enemy managed to carry out these sorties with minimum loss to his platoon.
By trying to fight a war against such a brutal force, and still managing to follow the Geneva Convention separates the real professional fighting force.

Chris Tarrant has written a warning about not talking to loved ones enough, and leaving untold stories until it’s too late. I was in a position to be able to be with my dad during his last month alive, and we enjoyed looking at old photos and talking about his childhood which as like Chris I didn’t really know until then.

Brilliant book, makes you think even some days after finishing the book of the horrors of war and waste of young lives it takes.
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on 6 June 2014
well written definitely holds your attention. Chris has done a great job honouring his father.My wife is now reading it and finds it difficult to put down . A real tribute to a real hero
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on 8 June 2014
I loved this book & found I couldn't put it down. Chris has done his father proud in writing this book & honouring all those who fell during WW2. It makes me think of my grandads time in the war & the need to talk to him about it & ask questions before it is to late.
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on 22 June 2014
I couldn't put this book down! I watched the Channel 5 show on TV And when I saw that this book was out I had to buy it. The story of Chris Tarrant's father is amazing. It was interesting to read about what he went through, and saw during WWII. It puts into perspective how trivial the things are that we worry about today. His dad was a true hero, but what also comes through in this book is the love that Chris Tarrant has for his father and how proud he his of him, and rightly so. I would recommend this book.
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on 10 March 2015
This review was to have started by agreeing with most of what Nijmegen92 had to say in their review. Indeed, I read the first half of the book and stopped and put it aside. I had bought it as further reading into D Day and the NW Europe Campaign. I have collected many books on the subject and I'd hoped that this book would add data to that collection. At first, I was glad of the brief background prior to D Day and then D Day and beyond, to the end of the war. Then Chris Tarrant continued with the story of his father after the war. I felt let down. I wanted a book about his father's war exploits, experiences and career. I put the book aside. Tonight I picked it up again, just to finish it off. I read the second half at one sitting. The second half talks to Chris's upbringing as well as his father's life beyond the army. I'm not one for biographies but this was lovingly put together.
If you want a D Day book, this may or may not be for you. If you want to read about Chris Tarrant, his dad, his family and how he grew up, then you may get bored with the military stuff. If you're for both, you're in for a treat. It is a game of two halves and if you are prepared for both, both will reward.
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on 6 June 2015
I ordered this on my kindle which I have only just bought, and to date out of the several books on it I have and other physical books I have been reading, this is the one I turn to first. Somewhat unusually in my opinion Chris tarrant is a very good writer for a celebrity. He doesn't fall into the trap of overhyping the prose to prove his credentials, and he doesn't take the reader down blind alleys or tangents that detract from main story. He just faithfully and clearly recounts the life of his father during the war years. The admiration and respect drips from every page. He relies on the rare stories his father told him or moreover his own son (he didn't like to talk much about his experience), extracts from a diary uncovered after he passed, and the testimony of fellow soldiers who knew his father. There's are frustrating gaps. For instance, his father was at Dunkirk but didn't go into much detail about his evacuation, only calling it a bit of a disaster. But there are many stories that are funny, poignant, tragic and one to date about a dead German soldier in a wheelbarrow that is strangely spooky. I've learned things about the war that I had never known before, and Thats a fete as i am a bit of ww11 geek. Of you like reading war diaries then you'll like this bio. Mr tarrant senior comes across as a very brave man who was on a remarkable journey in the war and his story deserved to be told on its own merit.
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on 22 January 2016
'Dad's War' is a heartfelt, comprehensive & moving account by Chris Tarrant of the life of his beloved father Basil. It covers the whole of Basil's long & fulfilling life - but centres mainly on his wartime heroics as an Officer on the front line, for which he was justifiably decorated.
Chris tells us how his father forever remained modest & evasive about this period, in true stiff-upper-lip fashion - but this book sets out to honour his vast contribution to the war, & tell the world about Basil's story.

I've always loved Chris Tarrant & he's done a first-class job here of chronicling his father's life, while taking a back seat himself in the story - as it continues up until his eventual death in 2005.
Chris injects plenty of honesty & humour into the book as one would expect, & his love for his father really shines through. I have to say I've never had the events of the fighting of WW2 explained to me so clearly before in a way that I could completely understand (as I did here), & this book has the added bonus of the personal & emotional involvement of Basil himself.

This is an excellent tribute from Chris to his dad, who I'm sure would be justly proud. The details of Chris's own childhood & life are fascinating too, & it makes for a wonderfully personal & inspiring read.
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on 22 February 2015
I can't quite believe all of the positive reviews of this book. As someone who loves personal accounts of WWII, I looked forward to reading this. Also, as someone whose father served in the army during the war, (though not as an infantry soldier) but who never asked him about his experiences, I wanted to see what Chris had to say. However, have a close look at the content and you will be very disappointed. It would seem that Chris, quite naturally, had very limited information about his father's actual experiences despite his search, and so there is very little of that in the book. What is there is absolutely fascinating and undoubtedly shows what an incredible officer he was. Brave, thoughtful, resourceful, a sort of British 'Dick Winters'. However, take that small amount out and the rest is just padding. If you have read a few books about the war, you will already know all of what is written here. However, most disappointing is the second half of the book when the war is over. This is just Chris Tarrant's autobiography and anybody, like me, who was brought up in the 50's and 60's will know and be able to tell the same stories.
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on 20 February 2016
A very well-written biography, drawing from Basil Tarrant's own memories together with anecdotes drawn from interviews which Chris conducted with some of his Dad's old comrades. Altogether a superbly engaging, heart-warming memoir, with not just tragedy and violence but humour, heroism and kindness too. At a personal level, I found it a most cathartic experience because there was an incredible number of parallels with my own Dad's war such as with the battles fought and experiences undergone with the Green Howards regiment. I can imagine that Chris Tarrant holds the publication of this book as probably his greatest and certainly most rewarding accomplishment, and that's saying something, because he has achieved so much already in his life. And I don't sense this was in any way ghost-written for Chris, in which case hats off to him because it will have been damned hard work. But how brilliant that he should have pulled it off as it is a great contribution to WW2 history and a terrific tribute to his Dad and comrades of the Royal Berkshire regiment and others.
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on 17 June 2014
Chris has done a great job of telling his Dads story in vivid detail - not shying away from describing the horrors of war. In telling the story Chris paints a picture of a brave & yet very modest man, who not only got himself through the war but also many of his fellow soldiers in his units. He gets you to know the family man as well as the soldier & what life was like before & after the war years. Chris is very frank about how he regrets not speaking to his Dad more about his experiences & how important it is to spend time with your loved ones.

The only thing that I found a wee bit disappointing was the 2nd half of the book is more about Chris Tarrant than about his Dad, at times I felt I was reading his autobiography! Never the less the book is a fitting tribute to a very brave WWII vetran & makes you really appreciate all the sacrifices those soldiers made, the horrors they saw & experienced to give us the freedom we all enjoy today.
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