Most helpful positive review
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
An outstanding and exceptional historical novel - nothing short of a masterpiece
on 26 September 2011
Start reading The Long Road to Baghdad and you will become quickly drawn into the lives of the central characters, and genuinely care about what happens to them. Their stories are compelling, and cover friendship, romance, passion, love, duty, loss and grief.
As you follow the characters through the book, you follow the campaign in Mesopotamia in the First World War, and are witness to how the war affects them in different ways. How the soldiers and officers attempt to cope with their duties, their orders, and all the horrors and obscenities of war that emerge and escalate throughout the campaign. And, how the wives and families of the soldiers attempt to cope - with their worries, their loneliness, the changes to their loved ones, their losses and grief.
One of the characters in the book says "War does things to men. I don't think anyone can understand what it's like until they've been through it." Of course this is true, but I believe books like this fulfil an incredibly important role in our society by going someway to helping us to understand. For this reason, I feel The Long Road to Baghdad is a very important book that deserves to be published and read by a wide audience.
The book is exceptionally well researched and contains a factual, accurate, unbiased account of the campaign in Mesopotamia during WW1. Don't be put off by the author's warning about the book's length. It does not feel like a long book, and as it is a real page turner, it can be read quite rapidly. There are many harrowing scenes however (to be expected in a book set during WW1), especially towards the end of the book, and because you care about the characters these scenes seem all the more real. But as another reviewer quoted "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
This book is Colliers Magnum Opus and I really hope she is given the opportunity to compete the trilogy she planned to cover the whole campaign. It would be a valuable legacy for our children, and children's children, to learn from. I for one can't wait for the sequels...