Most helpful positive review
109 of 111 people found the following review helpful
Exactly what I wished - and then some...
on 2 October 2007
I had seen Harry interviewed on TV, as the world suddenly became aware that the old WW1 soldiers were fading away. He stood out from the rest as being sharp, witty and engaging. I felt I could listen to him all day.
As soon as I heard this book had been printed, I rushed to get a copy and can say I was not disappointed. In fact, it is more than I expected. You expect the focus to concentrate on the Great War. that's what Harry is famous for now, after all.
What we get instead is an enlightening snapshot of Harry's life. The same sharpness and witty style that I remember from the interview, with historical notes from Richard van Emden. Not only that, the anecdotes open up with such lovely detail the little everyday things of the various time periods, that people always take for granted. From early 1900s youth to 1920s and beyond.
My family lost 3 members at Paschendaele, my Taid (grandad) was also a machine gunner there. This helps me get closer to people I never knew. To understand more what their lives were like. It makes it more important I travel to honour their graves. For that alone, I can only thank Harry.
In a world where 'celebrity' nonentities and overpampered, overpaid so-called icons write their life stories after a single 'event' or having scored a goal for England at 17, this is a refreshing change. I read it feeling priveliged to have been shown a part of Harry Patch's life and leave it feeling nothing but warmth for the man.
The best literary purchase I have made for many years. Not bad for 109!