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Sat on the fence in a bubble of scepticism.
on 9 April 2014
Horace Greasley relives his experiences as a WWII POW and the horrors he suffered at the hands of the Germans. It's a testament to his friends, the ones who made it and the ones who were not so fortunate.
Horace is sent to France and shortly after is captured after one of his seniors surrenders to the Germans. After this point Horace becomes a POW and endures many moments that are to test his will. He makes great friends and ones who are willing to protect him and did so on more than one occasion. He's a very stubborn young man and this shows after his numerous beatings.
After one of his fellow POWs lets slip the conditions of the camp, they're moved on. This is where Horace meets and, eventually, falls in love with a German girl, Rosa, who insists she is a Silesian. Her father owns the second camp that Horace is staying at. They are both devastated when Horace is once again moved on but they continue their illicit affair. He continues to sneak out of the camp and back in with food and eventually parts to build a radio. They know they are putting their lives and others' lives in danger but continue to see each other.
I'm not quite sure what to make of his accounts. I'm in no means saying they didn't happen but I'm sure there must have been a slight exaggeration on some accounts. I found it hard to believe after 65 years a man remembers the conversations he had and the letter he wrote to his lover or the first letter she wrote him - during a raid their belongings got destroyed. I, also, found it hard to like the man. He was so full of himself. I won't deny he did some pretty heroic things but I couldn't really get past how he had to constantly big himself up.
The man talks incessantly about his penis and how endowed he is. It's almost as if he's bragging and he even goes on to show his fellow POWs and how shocked they all are at how big it is.
Throughout the book, whether intentional or otherwise, he's portrayed as an arrogant and cocky young man who at times doesn't seem to be thinking of his fellow POWs when he's trying to win one over the Germans.
Aside from his arrogance and need to tell us about his huge penis it was quite an enjoyable read. It's hard to imagine how a human could treat another in such a cold and callous way.
I laughed and was horrified throughout this book. The funny times were funny and the horrific times were just disgusting.
The ending of the book left a lot to be desired. So many questions are left unanswered.