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Dubai Warbler

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Two Fronts (The War That Came Early, Book Five)
Two Fronts (The War That Came Early, Book Five)
Price: £8.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, often tortuous prose, 16 Nov. 2013
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As so often with Turtledove, his somewhat convoluted and repetitive prose comes close to ruining what is a well thought out story arc. His attempts to capture the vernacular of the time often grate, particularly with his British characters. Inexcusably for a historian, he uses "England" where "Britain" would be far more appropriate. I will likely finish reading the series, but I may give the next one a miss.


Throwing Lead: A Writer's Guide to Firearms (and the People Who Use Them)
Throwing Lead: A Writer's Guide to Firearms (and the People Who Use Them)
Price: £7.57

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, interesting, but too often inaccurate, 30 Aug. 2012
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As I write, I am about half way through this book. As a writer's resource it is potentially extremely useful, especially in its dealings with period detail. As an accurate primer on guns, it falls down on details. The use of "bullet" to describe a cartridge, even after the correct explanation of the difference between a bullet and a cartridge, is unfathomable and plain wrong. Cases are called "casings", following the usual Hollywood inaccuracy. The M16 is described as a submachine gun. The authors tell us that Brits call semi-auto "autofire", which may have been true for about 5 minutes in 1899 but certainly isn't now! The latest bit of wrongness I've read is an assertion that the 1903 Springfield rifle has a wooden receiver. To use a word that Brits actually use, this is bollocks. The receiver of a rifle is a (usually) pressure-bearing part containing the bolt, and to which the barrel is attached. It is almost always made of steel, the exeption being rifles in which the bolt locks up with the barrel itself which allows alloy or stamped steel receivers.

I'm sorry to say that I am not simply nitpicking. Writers should be able to expect a finished product, checked and checked again for accuracy before it hits the shelves, if they are to use it as a reference resource. That a supposed expert in firearms would repeat again and again the mantra that semi-auto pistols are unreliable compared with revolvers, for example, shows only that his thinking is about 40 years out of date. And to think, the authors want us to be careful with period details...

If they would allow a competent firearms expert to proof read and edit the book, it could become both a good read (which I accept it is) and a useful resource.


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