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83 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2010
A very readable book about a man who took opportunities when they arose and lived through the war on his wits with a certain amount of luck and charm thrown in. If this was made into a film it would seem too fantastic.
It also gives an insight into a certain generation when you either had jam or butter on your bread,not both, bad manners were not tollerated and travel by public transport or foot was the norm. I'm not sure I would walk 3 miles for Sunday dinner, I could, but I don't think I would. Although he clearly feels that his rugby wasn't up to much, compared to his brother, few get to play at that level and his achievements whether during or post war make a remarkable story.

Having met the author I have to say that he still maintains the charm that comes over in the book and a remarkable amount of modesty considering his experiences and achievements. A very good read and recommended as a Xmas present for anyone with an interest in WWII.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2011
Like a few other reviewers I expected this book to be about the authors expoits during the Second World War. The book covered this subject admirably, plus his childhood and schooling which I found fascinating. This is probably one of the best "behind the lines" accounts of the Second World War that I have read to date. However, the author spoils the book by turning it into a name dropping exercise regarding his successes since the War. The author is obviously a remarkable chap, but was it necessary to name in detail all of the businesses he has worked for and the board positions he has successfully held since then? What started off as a biography earning a five star review quickly became deteriorated to three stars, and by the end became very tedious. My suggestion is that any readers should put the book down and lose it at the point where the War ends, allowing your opinion of the author to remain in the hero category which he justifiably deserves.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2010
A fascinating and very readable life story of one of the real tough men of that generation who are fast disappearing. It is to Sir Tommy's great credit that he has committed his story to print for us to get some insight into what happened during WW2. This is one of those rare books that I will read again very soon after the first reading and I thoroughly recommend it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2011
This is a book guaranteed to make you feel totally inadequate! Sir Tommy seemed to succeed in everything he attempted. The fact that he got through the war at all was a feat in itself given his exploits. I agree with the majority of other reviewers that the second half of the book, about his business life mainly, was dull and full of name dropping. That said, I thought his description of his politics tutorials at Oxford which he shared with Tony Crosland was fascinating.

Definitely worth purchasing if you want a nice easy read to while away a few hours at an airport!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2010
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am pleased and grateful that Sir Tommy MacPherson got around to sharing his story with a wider public. It is well written by his ghostwriter Richard Bath. Although I would agree with another reviewer that the chapters on childhood and civilian life might be of less interest than his wartime experiences, in my opinion these DO add something to the book: it is clear that Sir Tommy is an extremely able and determined character who managed to surmount all sorts of difficulties from childhood onwards. I don't read war stories usually, but would certainly recommend this one highly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2011
This book is the first ive read from the ww2 genre and i highly rate it, if you want to read about true heroes from ww2 then this is the book.... buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2013
I simply could not put this book down! it is pacy, fascinating in its historic detail and tells the story of a remarkable man without sounding boastful. It brought home to me how increasingly distant our connections to this extraordinary generation are necessarily becoming, and how important it is to remember and thank them for what they did.
I recommend it to everyone
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on 27 January 2015
I was rather disappointed by this book. I ordered it following Tommy MacPherson's recent death, and the short obituaries suggested that an account of his life entitled "Behind Enemy Lines" would focus largely on his SOE experiences, and in particular the time he spent in occupied France. I found this part of the account somewhat superficial, with little material about his personal engagement with the local French resistance, and it gave scant clue as to the real dynamics of working as an enemy agent in France. This book is really a full autobiography of MacPherson (steered by the author's view of what were the signifcant elements of his own life). Thus it deals almost as much with his early (and privileged) life, and upbringing in Scotland, and his subsequent business career, as it does with the substance of the story suggested by the title. So it is of more interest to someone interested in MacPherson's life history as a whole than to a reader with a specific SOE history interest. It could have benefitted from sharper editing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2012
I like to read about the 2nd world war.
Reading this book makes you aware of how brave most of our soldiers were and how willing they were to carry out what was demanded of them.
The commandoes and later the SAS were extremely brave.
I am still reading this book and can't put it down
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2013
A very interesting read of a young man who went to fight in the second world war, and did some amazing things. And able to buy from Amazon UK and read it months before I saw it available in a local book shop here in Albury, NSW., Australia!
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