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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2014
Very disappointed with this book. Not really interested to read about Jim having an erection in the morning, very soft core porn. Also how they managed to get rid of a cruel and dangerous SS guard was to contrived. Hated the guard because of his cruelty and then find out that he gets his comeuppance pure fiction?.
Give it my best try but give up after reading half the book . The plot was to unlikely. Yes a lot of elements of truth but also to much FICTION .
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2013
The introduction of this book completely misleads the reader to plough on through a shallow childlike 'history'. It's pretty poor.
I can't believe the 'author' in his eighties described the constant sexual encounters in such graphic soft porn terms. Nor can one believe the ghost writer's claim that he 'was only the fingers on the typewriter'
A very poor book that has little to do with the subject matter - unless you like adult comics.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2014
The artistic licence shown by the author (Ghost writer) goes beyond plain fantasy and appears to be motivated by a political agenda. Rubbish laced with an attempt to titilate.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 23 November 2013
This VERY disappointing book could usefully be employed in a course for budding writers as a classic example of how to RUIN what could have been great story with a narrative laced with quasi-titillating, voyeuristic sexual scenes, ludicrous and unbelievable heroics attributed to the central all-singing, all-dancing, all-shagging character - even down to size of his erection - and stereo-typically stupid Nazis brutalising him and his doughty companions as 'English pig-dogs'
Absolutely awful.
Potentially an inspiring memoir of Horace Greasley's bravery in the face of overpowering odds sadly reduced to unbelievable fantasy .. pity.

If you want James Bond read Ian Fleming .. a writer who knew how to leave a little to the reader's imagination.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 2013
I've read a lot of military history books and can forgive poor writing for a good read. But this is very much along the lines that someone would tell their grandchildren rather than expect reasonable adults to read it. The ghost writer takes far too much liberty with dialogue and actions outside of his characters' own experience. I also didn't expect this to be a tale of largely the protagonist's sexual exploits.

I found this so disappointing as to justify my rating the book beyond my normal approach of just giving it stars.
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55 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2013
It's got an introduction which promises a great war story but I was hugely disappointed in this book. The story largely concentrates on the physical relationships with women that Horace Greasley had rather than his war experiences at a POW camp and the graphic descriptions are extremely clumsy, puerile and at times, sadly laughable. I'm not a particularly delicate flower but I tired of the regular use of the c-word and I felt I could have understood and appreciated Greasley's wartime story without the seemingly endless and very detailed descriptions of his sex life which seemed unnecessary, a bit tedious and at times made me snort with appalled laughter (and I'm not sure they were supposed to be funny).

I genuinely wouldn't recommend this book to anyone and particularly not younger adult readers. There are much, much better war memoirs out there and I think this book's tone is quite damaging to the memory of those who served. I don't often bin books rather than take them to the charity shop but I did in this case because I didn't like the idea of someone picking this up and thinking it was a historical book and then discovering it was actually pretty sordid. A good sub could have pulled this into a great story but instead it was more kiss and tell than historical record. Such a shame.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2013
What could have been an interesting and moving account of a soldier's somewhat unusual experience of captivity is ruined by the appalling writing. Do we really need to know how big the protagonist's erection is? Or how powerful his ejaculations were? Or how he galvanised the spirits of those around him or how he almost won the Second World War single-handed? And as for the dialogue - I could barely read a page of this book without wanting to throw it against the wall. Or burn it. Which might have been inappropriate given the subject matter.
I have no doubt that Horace Greasley was a brave man, but I do doubt that he essentially wrote this and that Ken Scott merely acted as his hands. If this was really the work of Mr Greasley then not only was he a truly brave man but he must have had an ego the size of a planet.
The book reads as though it was written by Richard "The Hamster" Hammond after binging on 80's buddy movies and Columbian nasal powder in order to be read to Jeremy Clarkson as a bedtime story. A hideous image.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2014
i have no idea if Horace Greasley is real but the writer of the book should have done his research a lot better and left out the old undertaker joke that was obviously lifted from the colditz film, also he has some Irish POW singing what can only be 'the fields of athenry' not composed til the 1970's and has them at liberation all carried away on landrovers, not produced till 1948, these are just 2 little points that made me wonder just how much else he got wrong, the book as a whole is poor soft porn,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2015
Really a very poor book. The factual inaccuracies are many, from land rovers being around in 1945, to Dakotas with bomb bay doors and prisoners knowing of kamikaze pilots in 1941 make you doubt about an awful lot of the stories facts. A 20 year old girl being able to travel in wartime Poland to a prisoner of war camp in the countryside. All too fanciful. Other reviews have commented on the tabloid nature of the prose, not to mention the constant blowing of his own trumpet.
I do not doubt that many many allied prisoners of war suffered, and there are many good books detailing their experiences. This boys own badly researched book does their bravery, frustration and poor treatment a disservice.
An important story very badly told.
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