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57 Reviews
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best books i have ever read
this is quite possibly on of the best books i have ever read! Westall is an excellent writer and this book shows that he is a master story teller. the detail is extraordinary, the story line deep and intruiging and the characters are a stroke of pure genius. Chas Mcgill , the main character, is incredibly realistic and one which many can relate with. Chas' quest for war...
Published on 6 Jun 2001

versus
0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "It's OK......"
I'm sure this book is a very good read, but our discerning 11 year old son thought it was just "OK". He isn't a keen reader, so wouldn't take his judgement! Arrived quickly and in perfect condition.
Published 16 months ago by SMcC


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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best books i have ever read, 6 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Machine Gunners (Paperback)
this is quite possibly on of the best books i have ever read! Westall is an excellent writer and this book shows that he is a master story teller. the detail is extraordinary, the story line deep and intruiging and the characters are a stroke of pure genius. Chas Mcgill , the main character, is incredibly realistic and one which many can relate with. Chas' quest for war souveniers leads him to discover a German machine gun. He sets up a dugout with the machine gun planted in it. Here he helps defend Garmouth from bombing raids. This novel is an excellent example of Westall's fine story telling talent and is a book for all ages, as we see children not only enjoying themselves but being independant and seperated from the adult world.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling, 23 April 2008
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Machine Gunners (Paperback)
This was one of my favourite books as a child. I read and re-read my copy until the covers fell off, and even after reading it so many times I never failed to be thrilled by the story, excited and tense, even knowing the ending.

Chas McGill is a young boy growing up during the bombing raids of WW2. Like all young boys his age he is fascinated by the planes and plays imaginary war games with his gang. One day Chas discovers an extraordinary thing that turns his games into a reality and not only allows him to 'do his bit', but also makes him question what war is actually all about.

Westall wrote another book about Chas, Fathom Five, and although it is good, this for me will always be Westall's standout book. He also made Chas the subject of short stories, 'The Haunting of Chas McGill', which if you enjoy this, and I can't imagine that you won't, you will surely want to read to know what happens to Chas.

Westall also compiled a fascinating book in collaboration with the Imperial War Museum called 'Children of the Blitz'. He wrote The Machine Gunners mostly using his imagination, but when it became popular found that he was receiving letters from people who had grown up in the war who had had real life experiences like Chas'. Intrigued, he did some more research, and this book is a collection of first hand accounts of such episodes, which is fascinating and highly readable.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling tale that races along with relentless pace., 14 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Machine Gunners (Paperback)
This book is totally captivating. With the Nazi aircrafts raining bombs on the town of Garmouth every night, there are many war souvenirs like bullet casings and nose cones of aircrafts. However, Chas Mc Gill finds a working machine guns that he extracts from a fallen aircraft with live bullets. This is a stunning tale of survival during war times packed with irresistable adventures. Chas and his friends build a secret fortress to fight the Germans and they have many interesting and smashing encounters along the way. They take care of a kind Nazi soldier, help their orphaned friend and have barrage balloons falling on them.The writing is superb throughout and the pace is sustained very well. Although there are some obscenities, I feel it adds realism and life to the story. The ending is poignant and extremely touching. I rate this as one of the best books that I have ever read.A fascinating and smashing read! I HIGHLY recommend this to everyone!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!! buy it!!!!, 31 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Machine Gunners (Paperback)
Machine Gunners is a story about a boy named Chas, which has the second best collection of war souvenirs in Garmouth. Then he finds a crashed Nazi plane which has a huge machine gun on it. In the end he wrenches it off, little does he know its still got live ammunition. He then builds a fort, tries to shoot down a plane and gets in trouble with the police. It has exciting bits too. A Barrage balloon falls on top of him, he finds a dead Nazi pilot, hides an orphaned friend, goes out in air raids and fosters a live Nazi! I think it's a FANTASTIC book. There is some swearing in it, but it makes it more realistic. It's one to put on your bookshelf!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So good he read it twice, 15 Feb 2014
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Very enjoyable book for my 9 year old son. He read it quickly and them re-read. Would definitely recommend for young readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Book, 30 Oct 2010
A Kid's Review
This review is from: The Machine Gunners (Paperback)
A great story. My favourite character was Rudy. And Carrot Juice. I read it with my father, and he liked it too.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling book about some teenagers mixed up in the war., 11 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Machine Gunners (Paperback)
I first read this book when i was 8 ...but since then i have read this book again and again.I read a book called " The Silver Sword" also by Robert Westall it was great so i looked up for some more of his books. I found this book "The Machine Gunners" i read the beginning and almost immediately baught it. I've read it so much i can't read it because i already know it, so i looked up for some more, eventuly i found a sequince to it called "Fathom Five" I began to read it but i had to give it back to the school becase the summer hloidays came and after the holidays i would'nt be going back because i would be moving to high school.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE ROBERT WESTALL...you will too., 31 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Machine Gunners (Paperback)
All R.W's books are set in the area where i live (well, most of them.) I loved the machine gunners and thouroughly recommend Kingdom by the Sea.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book In England, 25 Jun 2003
By 
This review is from: The Machine Gunners (Paperback)
This Book Contains incredable characters.As Chas McGill Finds a German Plane that had crashed into the old towm hall. Containing a German Gunner and a shining black Machine Gun. And Chas thinks he can become partof the World War 2. As Nickys house gets bombed and his mother dies, Chas decides by help Nicky build a Fortress so Nicky can stay there and look arter the Machine Gun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Machine Gunners, 9 Feb 2014
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I'm 13 and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was captivating making me want to read on through day and night. Overall really good book
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The Machine Gunners
The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall (Paperback - 4 May 2001)
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