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Ernst Meyer
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Smith & Jones
Smith & Jones
by Nicholas Monsarrat
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.04

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Monsarrat and the cold war, 22 Mar 2009
This review is from: Smith & Jones (Paperback)
Between 1962 and 1965 four short Monsarrat novels were published under the working title 'Signs of the Times'. Each of them was succinctly dramatizing an issue, either personal or general, weighing upon men's minds in the mid-Twentieth Century.

"Smith and Jones" is the second part of the series. During the cold war two members of the foreign office defect to the other side. A secret agent is sent after them on a damage control mission. He watches as the the traitors go from being on top of the world to being betrayed to betraying each other.

Although not one of Monsarrat's main works it is still worth a read. As an added bonus: the last few sentences add a surprising twist to the story which in itself is almost worth picking up this book.


The Thirty-Nine Steps (Penguin Classics)
The Thirty-Nine Steps (Penguin Classics)
by John Buchan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.77

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a pleasant read..., 8 Mar 2009
... but also a little bit dated. No wonder, the book is almost one hundred years old. The plot was a bit too unbelievable, and the ending a bit flat and rushed, therefore only three starts. Still, the book held my attention until the end, and that is something.


Time Before This
Time Before This
by Nicholas Monsarrat
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.54

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars food for thought in times of climate change, 22 Feb 2009
This review is from: Time Before This (Paperback)
Between 1962 and 1965 four short Monsarrat novels were published under the working title 'Signs of the Times'. Each of them was succinctly dramatizing an issue, either personal or general, weighing upon men's minds in the mid-Twentieth Century.

"The time before this" is the first part of the series. Had Monsarrat been focusing on the story and fleshed it out more the result would have been a thrilling science fiction drama. However, he wanted to bring a message across, and this curious book with little more than 100 pages was (and is) enough to do just that.

Against the backdrop of men's possible annihilation by a nuclear conflict, this book would have been perceived as grave and alarming when first published.

Monsarrat writes that "we may be growing too proud and too greedy for the world's good". In times of a global financial crisis, climate change and global warming, "The time before this" is just as valid and important as it would have been in the 1960s. I couldn't put this book down. Only four stars though because I would have loved to read more.


The Loves and Journeys of Revolving Jones
The Loves and Journeys of Revolving Jones
by Leslie Thomas
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars I could not put this book down, 22 Oct 2006
What a magnificant book. It is a bitter sweet account of David Jones' life journey which takes him to the sea, the Spanish Civil war, WWII, big business, marriage. He wins and looses, especially so where his life long quest for Dolly is concerned, his childhood sweetheart.

I read this book in one day. They don't write and publish stories like this one any longer. Highly recommended!


The Magic Army
The Magic Army
by Leslie Thomas
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best books, 21 Oct 2006
This review is from: The Magic Army (Paperback)
This book is brilliant, just brilliant. It is a novel against the background of a true event and provides the reader with a believable glimpse of what life would have been like during WWII. It is not a book about the war, but a story about people getting lost in the mahlstream of war - Americans and British, civilians and soldiers alike. The cuelty of WWII only emerges occasionally, but the war's bitter taste can be felt throughout the book. It is both a funny and sad story.

If you are interested in Leslie Thomas books: skip the "Virgin Soldiers", and join "The magic army" first.


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