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Quartered Safe Out Here Paperback – 16 Oct 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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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: 11.1 x 2.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,437 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

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
George MacDonald Fraser is best known for his eleven volumes of The Flashman Papers in which the arch coward, fornicator and liar Sir Harry Flashman blunders his way through peril after peril, effectively tramlining the key military conflicts of the nineteenth century. Flashman succeeded mainly on account of its historical accuracy. In Quartered Safe Out Here - an autobiographical account of MacDonald Fraser's own military campaign in Burma during the latter stages of World War II, again the author strives to be as accurate as it is possible to be after a time lapse of some fifty years. He sets down his experiences always mindful of the fact that his reader is likely to be of a generation conditioned by a modern philosophical tradition that is essentially pacifist. Few modern historians, he believes, are able to grasp that the generation who went to war in far flung places such as Burma were conscious of the full horrors of war and had themselves been conditioned by tales of sheer terror from the earlier campaigne and as youngsters has grown up in the atmosphere of post-war disillusionment that followed. A job had to be done, that of repelling an aggressor. Argumants concerning the rights and wrongs of imperialism and the sacraficing of young British lives deep in South-East Asia were not on the agenda.
Macdonald Fraser provides a compelling, subjective account of the day-to-day life and death struggles of Nine section 'Cumberland Borderers' charged with the task of entering Japanese occupied territory, driving back the enemy and cutting off his escape routes as part of 17th division's 'big push.
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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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Format: Paperback
It is about four years since I last read this book and it is one of the few of my "war" books that I recommended my wife read (which she did and was surprised she enjoyed!). Although superficially similar to the multitude of military personal memoirs the modern wars seem to spawn, Vietnam, Falklands, Gulf War's, etc. I think this book offers something fundamentally different and to some extent more significant; it vividly conveys how the war felt to the generation that fought it - real narrative history. As that generation passes away, it is important that people refer to books such as these to understand what/how people felt rather than some form of Hollywood inspired interpretation based on modern values.
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