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Tuesday's War [Unabridged] [Paperback]

David Fiddimore
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Sep 2005

This wasn’t to be the last time that we left pieces of aeroplane all over Germany, but you remember your first time. It’s just like your first kiss.

It is 1944 and as their battered Lancaster Bomber limps home to base in thick fog, an RAF crew are horrified to find a second Bomber just moments in front. It is too close for their own pilot to react, but in one skilful move their forerunner swoops out of the way and the crew’s lives are saved.

Back on the runway the seven, thankful young men eagerly await their saviour’s return and are stunned, when the pilot climbs down from the cockpit, to find themselves face to face with female Air Transport Auxiliary pilot Grace Baker.

Grace quickly befriends the crew, introducing them to their new Bomber, ‘Tuesday’s Child’ and ensconsing herself in their spare bunk. Then when rear gunner ‘Pete the Pole’ absconds, the lads don’t think twice about asking Grace to secretly take his place in 'Tuesday' as they return to Germany . . .

As radio operator Charlie Bassett regales the reader with the drama of combat during his eight weeks aboard ‘Tuesday’s Child’ in 1944, a funny, authentic and deeply humane tale unfolds. Comparable to Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong, Tuesday's War races vividly across the page, emotionally entwining the reader in the lives and friendships of its extraordinary characters and awakening us to the heroics and realities of war.



Product details

  • Paperback: 535 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; 1st Paperback Edition edition (16 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330441213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330441216
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 215,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Author

Two of the pleasures for which I was unprepared when I wrote Tuesday's War ( working title was " Tuesday's Child " - the name of aeroplane around which the story revolves ) were the letters from readers, and the text messages from daughters asking " have you seen the latest review on Amazon? " To the dozens of the former can I say "thankyou": your responses to my first novel have been moving - so far I have managed to maintain the discipline of answering each one. The main purpose of this author comment is to respond to one particular Amazon reviewer - I am pleased that he enjoyed the novel so much; that was its main function - it was also great fun to write. I experienced the novel as it unfolds, the way the reader does - there was no detailed plan to work to. However he identifies 3 flaws in my research. I must hold my hands up to the first - predating the Buckeridge "Jennings" books by about 10 years - mea culpa. My only excuse is that when I read my first, as an 8 year old in 1952, they already seemed anachronistic and pre-war....I should have checked the dates. In regard to his other two queries - BOAC ( the successor to Imperial Airways ) DID continue to fly civilian flights between the UK, allied and neutral countries throughout the war. They flew unarmed camoflaged aircraft which carried BOAC markings- and transported diplomatic staff, spies and service "evaders", as well as occasional cargoes of war materials supplied by neutral european countries. A number of the aircraft were lost. He also asks if the word " arse " was current US useage in 1944. Certainly the phrase " tail arse charlie " was in increasingly common useage to describe both the last aircraft in a formation, or ( less commonly ) a rear gunner, in both US and UK airforces....so I am happy with its inclusion in Charlie Bassett's story. Charlie will fly again in 2006 and 2007....after that, who knows? Life's too short to plan beyond that. I hope that anyone reading this enjoys his story as much as I enjoy relating it. Happy landings all!

About the Author

David was born in 1944 in Yorkshire and is married with two children. He worked for five years at the Royal Veterinary College before joining H M Customs and Excise, where his postings included the Intelligence and Investigation Divisions. Tuesday's War is the first in a proposed trilogy featuring Charlie Bassett.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rattling Good Read! 15 Nov 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a wonderful, emotional roller coaster ride of a novel. Relive autumn 1944 with the crew of a Lancaster bomber. The story of Charlie Bassett and the crew of “Tuesday’s Child”, is told with warmth and feeling with a wonderful eye for detail. When the crew are on a bombing mission, you can believe that you are there with them. You feel their fear as they fly into enemy flak and meet enemy fighters, share the tension as they try to do their job and experience the relief that must have been felt as they make it home after another mission. You really do feel that you are there with them, rooting for them, laughing with them and find yourself asking, was it all worth it? There is the added twist of a female rear gunner, smuggled aboard so that the crew can continue their tour.
The lives and loves of the crew is told with compassion, insight and with a great deal of humour. The book has some sharply observed characters living in a world where life expectancy is short and living (and loving) to the full is a way of dealing with it. There is some cracking dialogue that Groucho Marx and Spike Milligan would have been proud to have written. Just read the part in the book where the German aircraft mistakenly lands in England instead of Germany and say that you didn’t laugh. Even Matt Braddock of “Victor”, comic fame elbows his way in alongside some real life characters. If that’s not enough to whet your appetites, there are spies and ghosts too. Everything you ever wanted to know about life on an airfield in Britain in late 1944 is here.
I can warmly recommend this book. It is a tale of people who were heroes and heroines but didn’t know it. Ordinary people who lived extraordinary lives because of war.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant 14 Nov 2005
Format:Paperback
I loved this book, one of those rare reads that has everything, humour, drama, love. Well written, I could almost believe I was there in 1944, the language, the music and the atmosphere. When I got to the epilogue I couldn't believe the book was finished. I'm glad to see that this is actually the first in a trilogy and I cannot wait for the next instalment!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage 1944 bottled for eternity... 23 Oct 2008
Format:Paperback
Living as most of us do now, so remote from the threat of death, how can we truly appreciate the urgency of the moment, the 'live for the now' spirit of wartime Britain?

Tuesday's War brings this home like no other story I have ever read. It captures the intensity, vitality and utter insanity that coursed through the twenty-something generation during the final year of the war. I had never really appreciated how so completely alive these times and its people must have been.

The book moves at breathtaking space. It's a vivid, dramatic, characterful, hilarious, tragic recreation of life on the edge for seven members of a Lancaster bomber crew and one very special girl.

Was there really so much wild sex?! Wow!

One can understand how such a time defined the true values of a nation. If I could trade ten years of post-war mundane materialism for one single month of serviceable action as a RAF bomber in 1944, I would surely have lived as long...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One to read! 4 Nov 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I was really impressed by this book and I read it within about two days. I bought it because I usually enjoy books based in this era and I wasn’t disappointed. It has what I would describe as an unusual love story and I don’t mean that in any way as a negative statement. Having read a lot of factual books on bomber crews in World War II I feel the author has really captured the mood of these lads and the double lives they are forced to lead; partying wildly one day and staring death in the face the next. There are some real laugh out loud moments and the characters are colourful and I found myself thinking about them long after I had finished the book.
This book is interesting, thought provoking, funny and sad and is definitely one to read!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flying with Charlie 19 Sep 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I didn't think that I'd ever fly a Lancaster bomber....... but listening to Charlie's story I felt that I was right there! Tuesday's crew really are a team and as a reader you quickly feel part of it all, just as Grace does when she flies as rear gunner. Charlie and his crew can't go out on that next bombing raid unless you turn the pages .... and when you do you're airborne again and the tension kicks in! Written with humour and sensitivity, the story unfolds in unexpected ways to reveal how ordinary men and women caught up in the extraordinary business of war cope from day to day.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Superb. I read some of the others before this and what a great set of stories. I would recommend them all to anyone interested in just what it was like for our armed forces in the not too distant past, educational, interesting & compelling. Fiddimore's novels seem well researched whilst offering an entrancing glimpse of what it was/must have been like!
Thanks Charlie, thanks Mr. F.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected 28 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book more so thane I thought I would. I have just started the secquel to Chsrlie's War and am looking forward to reading it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good nostalgic adventure 28 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great story, second time I've read it
Aircraft info accurate'ish!
Good detail and semi authentic references to places and future celebrities
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolutely Bloody Marvellous Book....!
I've been a huge fan of Charlie (and by extension of David Fiddimore) throughout the series, but primarily due to this truly wonderful book which I immediately recommend to anyone... Read more
Published on 11 Jan 2012 by L. A. Elmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it
Interesting and fun! The book swings wildly between humour and tragedy with a bit of sex thrown in. I guess the real thing was a bit like that but I don't suppose most Lancaster... Read more
Published on 10 July 2011 by Mr. Richard Vowles
4.0 out of 5 stars going back to the start
i started this series in the middle. So i have gone back to the start. I am glad i did. This way one gets the whole story. Read more
Published on 20 May 2011 by A. Browne
2.0 out of 5 stars Fly like an ostrich
It should be a bit hard to get upset about this book because it only cost me a penny + postage off Amazon Marketplace but it's fairly bad and I resented the time I wasted on it. Read more
Published on 7 April 2010 by Weedavie
5.0 out of 5 stars Its a great read!!!!
The book is superb.
I have now read all his books and enjoyed them with a longing that make me think of the old days. Read more
Published on 31 Dec 2009 by M. Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Different
Really good book, at first i wasn't sure, what made it really interesting was the way it's told, the story's star Charlie, tells the tale almost as a set of notes dictated to a... Read more
Published on 23 Aug 2009 by Mr. J. Brayshaw
4.0 out of 5 stars Tuesdays War
Written in the first person by Charlie, a Lancaster radio operator, this is a great read. Most aviation books of World War II are full of stiff upper-lip types. Read more
Published on 9 July 2009 by F. R. McClelland
3.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing but ...................
I am 3/4 of the way through this book and shall certainly finish it. It's well written and engrossing but my one, not complaint, but hesitancy, is the way women are written about. Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2009 by SueBee
5.0 out of 5 stars A ripping good yarn......
Like lots of other reviewers, I am a war stories fan and a Lancaster addict.
Lived and loved the book. One of the best I have read for a long time. Read more
Published on 1 Mar 2009 by Mrs. J. Jones
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