Profile for John Glubb > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by John Glubb
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,551,344
Helpful Votes: 53

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
John Glubb "John Glubb" (UK)

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Tommy's Ark: Soldiers and Their Animals in the Great War
Tommy's Ark: Soldiers and Their Animals in the Great War
by Richard Van Emden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.26

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring & fascinating read for the WW1 or animal enthusiast, 2 Nov 2010
There have been one or two books in recent years written about animals in war, but across all wars and not specific to the 1914-1918 conflict. Even then, they have tended to look purely at those animals in service to man, and in no great depth.
What I found so fascinating about Tommy's Ark is that it looks at all creatures great and small on the Western front, from those animals and insects that were indigenous to the land, right through to those kept in private collections and zoos and whose `homes' were overtaken by the war. Many of them ended up as pets and mascots, others were humanely shot or sadly left to starve.
The thing that gripped me was how the book relates the animals to the human condition and experience, so one man watches the struggles of a spider as the percussion of the exploding shells knocks it repetitively from the dugout roof, while another watches a worm climbing up his trouser leg during a severe bombardment and tells the worm how his own body is not quite ready to be consumed. Simply amazing human observations during intense periods of stress.
Trench life was mainly static and so men were inactive for long periods of time. They were entranced by the wildlife about them; the birds that adapted to trench life and lived in dugouts alongside the men; the frogs that became trapped in communication trenches that were trodden into a slippery slime, although one officer went out of his way to lift them from the duckboard floor. Men, longing for home, watched birds that flew west and speculated how they might soon be sitting on garden gates in England, others watched butterflies as they flitted along the trenches, entranced by their beauty.
The seamier side is well covered too: the bleeding to death of a panic stricken horse in transit to France is shocking, as are the descriptions of maggots trailing from the bodies of dead Germans. Horses and mules have their stories told as do the dogs and pigeons, as you would expect, but then so do the voles, robins, wasps and bees. That is why I feel that the book breaks totally new ground. The chapters are divided chronologically into each year of the war, with the author looking at how the landscape changed with each passing year, and how the creatures adapted to the changes. There is also an excellent collection of photographs, almost all of which are new to me. A really excellent read and one to be dipped into many times. Really recommended.


World War I Gas Warfare Tactics and Equipment
World War I Gas Warfare Tactics and Equipment
by Simon Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.50

5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant synopsis of chemical warfare in WW1, 22 Jan 2010
I find these Osprey books very useful titles to have on the shelf. This great book, although slim, is packed full of information and pictures and is certainly one of the best in the series. Having done my MA dissertation on chemical warfare in the Great War I was particularly pleased with the variety of pictures from sources I have never seen before and the ample coverage of gas warfare through every year of the war. The writing is crisp and succinct and it is clear that the author knows exactly what he is writing about. I just wish this book had been available ten years ago as it would have been invaluable for my research. I would heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in chemical warfare in the Great War - a most readable account.


"Good Housekeeping" Complete Indian and Far Eastern Cookbook: Step-by-step Techniques and Recipes from India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and Vietnam (Good Housekeeping Cookery Club)
"Good Housekeeping" Complete Indian and Far Eastern Cookbook: Step-by-step Techniques and Recipes from India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and Vietnam (Good Housekeeping Cookery Club)
by Good Housekeeping Institute
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good cookery book, 16 Mar 2009
I use this a great deal and it has some truly wonderful recipes, all easily described and tried and tested by Good Housekeeping.
Indispensable book for those who love oriental food.


The Last Fighting Tommy:  The Life of Harry Patch, the Only Surviving Veteran of the Trenches
The Last Fighting Tommy: The Life of Harry Patch, the Only Surviving Veteran of the Trenches
by Harry Patch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.49

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superbly rounded book on one man's 109 year old life, 22 Jan 2008
I read and loved this book but was not going to post a review as plenty of other people had and I would only be echoing the thoughts of other readers who had given this five stars. However, Hedley's review is so weird that I feel I must write some sort of defence. It seems most strange to complain that Harry's life (including his plumbing career) is covered in detail when it is clear that the book is his life story and not just a study of his WW1 service. He only spent a few months in the trenches - this is a small percentage of his life and it seems fair to me that he is tired of talking about those few months. After all, he has had a remarkably long life that 99% of people never want to speak to him about. I thought his memories of a childhood in Edwardian Britain were fascinating and well-told. If readers are solely interested in Harry's war service then I would recommend Britain's Last Tommies or Veterans, both very good books by the same author which give this detail. However, if you want a much more rounded view on this fascinating man then I would heartily recommend this book. As for Harry's view on criteria for who should be considered "the last veteran", I would prefer to ask his view than someone who wasn't even born when that conflict ended. Surely he has earned the right to express his opinion?


Page: 1