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Quartered Safe Out Here [Paperback]

George MacDonald Fraser
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

16 Oct 2000

‘There is no doubt that [Quartered Safe Out Here] is one of the great personal memoirs of the Second World War’ John Keegan

Life and death in Nine Section, a small group of hard-bitten and (to modern eyes) possibly eccentric Cumbrian borderers with whom the author, then nineteen, served in the last great land campaign of World War II, when the 17th Black Cat Division captured a vital strongpoint deep in Japanese territory, held it against counter-attack and spearheaded the final assault in which the Japanese armies were, to quote General Slim, “torn apart”.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (16 Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007105932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007105939
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The author of the famous 'Flashman Papers' and the 'Private McAuslan' stories, George MacDonald Fraser has worked on newspapers in Britain and Canada. In addition to his novels he has also written numerous films, most notably 'The Three Musketeers', 'The Four Musketeers', and the James Bond film, 'Octopussy'. George Macdonald Fraser died in January 2008 at the age of 82.

Product Description

Review

‘The sense of front-line danger is palpable and the smell of action is remarkable. His descriptions of the sudden violent actions are breathtaking. This is battle as it is done’
Melvyn Bragg, Evening Standard

‘Fraser’s is quite the most vividly realistic account of the sharp end of the war in Burma that I have read… If you have enjoyed Fraser’s Flashman books you will enjoy the racy, pacy, utterly authentic account of far away long ago soldiering’
John Mellors, London Magazine

‘This is a book as good as anything Fraser has written… A moving and penetrating contribution to the literature of the Burma campaign’
Max Hastings, Daily Telegraph

‘A brilliantly entertaining read, with all the narrative power, gift for dialogue and surprising twists and turns that would be expected of Flashman’s creator’
Gary Mead, Financial Times

From the Back Cover

Life and death in Nine Section, a small group of hard-bitten and (to modern eyes) possibly eccentric Cumbrian borderers with whom the author, then nineteen, served in the last great land campaign of World War II, when the 17th Black Cat Division captured a vital strongpoint deep in Japanese territory, held it against counter-attack and spearheaded the final assault in which the Japanese armies were, to quote General Slim, 'torn apart'.

"This book is as good as anything Fraser has written … decorated with the beautifully observed dialogue of which he is a master … a moving and penetrating contribution to the literature of the Burma campaign."
MAX HASTINGS, 'Daily Telegraph'

"A brilliantly entertaining read. With all the narrative power, gift for dialogue and surprising twists and turns that would be expected of Flashman's creator … Fraser is unrivalled at the storyteller's essential crafts …"
GARY MEAD, 'Financial Times'

"The sense of front-line danger is palpable and the smell of action is remarkable … This is battle as it is done"
MELVYN BRAGG, 'Evening Standard'

Includes the epilogue ‘Fifty Years On’ written on the fiftieth anniversary of VJ day.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A soldier's memoir like no other 9 Jan 2006
Format:Paperback
This book deserves 5 stars because it is one of the very best of its kind. It is a soldier's memoir but what sets it apart is how vividly the writing conjures up the atmosphere of fighting in Burma in 1945; the heat, the rain, the weirdness and terror of fighting in the jungle at night, the rough good humour and companionship, the sudden death, the team dynamics of a battle hardened section and the espirit de corps of the multi racial Fourteenth Army under General Slim. You finish this book having laughed a lot and tasted a little of what it must have been like to soldier in Burma. It's a great little book.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be at least six stars 26 May 2004
Format:Paperback
George Macdonald Fraser has written an utterly absorbing and unforgettable account of his experiences in Burma at the end of WW2, where he served with a company of men mainly from Cumberland. The men are vividly described so that you almost feel you know them yourself, and it is a terrible shock, nearly halfway through the book, when a one of them is killed during a bloody nighttime battle. There are richly humorous episodes too, like the time the section are given the job of gathering up supplies from an air drop, and return laden down with stolen goodies, or the time they are terrorised by a fearsome giant centipede. Every time I read this book, I find myself wishing that I had been there, that I had been one of those young men fighting their way through the jungle, which is completely crazy, as I've never come any closer to combat than seperating two fighting toddlers. I can't help it, this is the effect this book has on me. At the end of the book, when he finally leaves the section to go to be an officer (fulfilling his comrade Parker's oft-repeated prophecy "with my permish you'll get a commish!"), you feel a sense of sadness that the adventure is ending, and I can never hear the tune "bye-bye blackbird" without substituting the Burma version "you've been out with Sun-Yat-Sen, you won't go out with him again, Shanghai bye-bye" George Macdonald Fraser is a superb writer, and his writing skill reaches its peak in this book. Read it and laugh. Read it and weep. Read it and wish you were there too. Oh, go on, just read it!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quartered Safe Out Here. 24 Sep 2004
Format:Paperback
A fantastic piece of literature. Written partly in broad Cumbrian dialect, which you simply have to try reading out loud for effect, this book is amazing. To date, I have bought copies for 4 of my friends and family, recommended it as essential reading for round the world trips, and I have a very well read copy which I dip into on a regular basis. If only someone would take this book and make it into a film, then perhaps the "forgotten 14th Army" would gain their rightful place in our history. Since reading this book, I have found many more titles on the Burma conflict, and read each avidly, but Quartered Safe Out Here is still THE best read.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This really is the kind of book that should be on the history exam syllabus. At a time when the West is obsessed with post-imperial guilt, and to have been on the the winning side in the war is often regarded as something to be ashamed of, this book offers a valuable insight into why, sixty years ago, people thought it important to fight. The long periods of tedious activity (enlivened by GMF's focus on the humourous and the absurd) are contrasted with brief but intense fire-fights that take the reader inside the experience of infantry battle; the episode when GMF describes the loss of a third of his unit in under 2 minutes is harrowing. But what makes this memoir so wonderfully written is GMF's ability to describe the emotions and concerns of him and his comrades (and his thoughts on the Hiroshima bomb are fascinating, if not quite what you would expect by the end of the book)...
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Soldiers forget - not this one! 23 April 2005
By Taffman
Format:Paperback
An amazing book. The author who I, like others, will call GMF, writes of his part in the Burma campaign in 1944-5.
From the start GMF makes no apologies. His recall of events is not photographic. What he recalls are emotions and things that set off recall e.g. smells and sounds. He also makes no apologies for his view point which would nowadays be called 'politically incorrect'. That is to be expected and rightly so. He is a product of his time, place and upbringing.
Anybody who has served in the British armed forces, especially the Army, will recognise the humour and the silly sngs and jokes that help (My late father-in-law recounted till the day he died a whole barrack room crying with laughter at a soldier chanting, "It was a dark and stormy night, three men sat in a cave and one of the men turned to the others and said, 'It was a dark and stormy night etc'". The soldiers in 10 platoon live again and deserve to (e,g, Sgt. Hutton's comments on Shakespeare were a surprise but very perceptive). The book needs to be long remembered even if for one thing only - GMF's description of General 'Bill' SLIM. He was one of Britain's greatest commanders and GMF's opinions run true.
Read it, in fact it should be required reading for all historians not just military historians. You can't judge an age by modern standards and mores (which may be, whisper it quietly, wrong!).
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and unforgettable memoir 7 Oct 2001
Format:Paperback
George Macdonald Fraser has such a superb and accessible style that at first that I thought it wouldn't be suited to the brutal and harsh details
of the Burma campaign. Yet as the memoir goes on the detail becomes much grimmer, much more vivid, and you really do gain an insight into the soldiers view of war. The fear, the confusion, the spoken and unspoken comradeship of the soldiers.
You also find out what he thinks about the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and it makes for fascinating reading. What George Macdonald Fraser really does is bring home to you, that war is often 'little' violent terrifying skirmishes rather than huge massive well ordered battles.
He is a little too dismissive of today's more emotional society, rather than the stiff upper lip of the second world war. Although you can understand up to a point why he is so critical.
The great thing about this memoir is that there is no false sentimentality. It is honest, and some will no doubt find his views controversial.
However, he does have the benefit of having being in battle, and that gives his views a force that is hard to deny.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read memoir of the Burma war
GMF, in the evening of his life, sets out his grim experiences in the Burmese jungle as a young man in WW2. A powerful book written by an infantryman (admittedly quite a posh one). Read more
Published 3 months ago by PW
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
I`ve re-read loads of books, those of Bernard Cornwell for instance i never get tired of reading again, but even his fine stories take a second spot to George`s brilliant war... Read more
Published 4 months ago by al roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
A book for everyone interested in the Burma Campaign at the level of the private soldier. Superbly written by an excellent author.
Published 5 months ago by Laurence O'Hara
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book on life in the forgotten 14th army
A very good read for those interested in the war in the far east. It describes in depth the various problems encountered whilst fighting the Japanese. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ellin Books
4.0 out of 5 stars A very personal war memoire
The stories are fascinating, The only downside is that GMF spends more time voicing his retrospective opinions than I would have liked.
Published 7 months ago by Mr Andrew Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read - UNIQUE Stance on WW2
Great read, a first hand account of G MacDonald Frasier during the Second World War. The best part of this book is the comedy infused within the stark realities of war in the far... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Sultan Ali
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, funny and informative
Should be on the history curriculum at school. A soldiers view of historical events. What it was like to be teenage soldier fighting a hand to hand battle.
Published 11 months ago by Voltaire
5.0 out of 5 stars Reet bonny, lad
the expected book, as described, delivered promptly, was needed for research work. Book itself very readable! Read more
Published 12 months ago by Paul C
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
First and foremost, I am a HUGE GMF fan. I have read his stories for decades and enjoy his writing immensely. Read more
Published 14 months ago by BeeGee
5.0 out of 5 stars War Memoirs of George MacDonald Fraser.
It does not get any better than this. One of the best books I have read in the genre. Fraser is a Master Craftsman at writting his recollections. Read more
Published 14 months ago by REDSHIRT
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