Customer Reviews


148 Reviews
5 star:
 (59)
4 star:
 (29)
3 star:
 (26)
2 star:
 (11)
1 star:
 (23)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Page Turner
I must confess that I have not read a Ben Elton novel for sometime (Blast From the Past being the last), which is odd as it was Ben that inspired me to have a go at writing. Having read an article on The First Casualty I gave it a go... and loved it. Yes, like many I picked up on the obvious Blackadder 4 links, but as a period project obviously close to the author's heart...
Published on 20 Oct 2006 by Steve Horsfall - Author / Writer

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A good book ruined by the protagonist
I started reading this book expecting an analysis of the first world war on a personal level. In that respect it performs admirably, accurately describing the horrors that soldiers went through during those 4 years.

However, the story of the protagonist, Douglas Kingsley, and his moral crisis surrounding his involvement in the war is absolutely terrible. It...
Published on 22 Aug 2011 by a reader


‹ Previous | 113 14 15 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish, 24 Jun 2008
By 
Stuart M. Wilson "Stuart" (Newport on Tay, Fife Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The First Casualty (Hardcover)
This book got one star as it is the lowest rating possible - the truth is it doesn't deserve any.

I think it must rate as the worst novel I have ever read - the plot is stupid, the characters idiotic and some of the premises are just ridiculous.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Please ignore the pompous idiots below, 1 Sep 2006
This review is from: The First Casualty (Hardcover)
This novel, is exactly that, a novel. Nobody should buy this book because of the belief it will give you a definitive and accurate look at world war one. Because it's not only about WW1 it is about excitement, adventure, and most of all sales. Does one go out to buy a reference book for the sheer pleasure of indulging in hundreds of small facts that leave you satisfied and glad that you just read it cover to cover? No. The First Casualty on the other hand does just that.

Now admittedly Elton has taken a much different approach to this than all his previous efforts. It carries a much more serious tone and definitely attempts to tone down the sheer hilarity contained in some other of his other pieces, so it may not be for the die-hard Elton fans wafting around in cyber space. BUT it is still a fantastic read and self important gits that find themselves needing to make it clear that they find themselves superior to others by pointing out the innacuracies of the historical content merely for the fact that they haven't had a girlfriend for ten years nor will have one for another should not put you off buying this book.

Ben Elton is a literary genius and it will keep you entertained for as long as you turn the pages.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars review, 6 July 2006
This review is from: The First Casualty (Paperback)
This book was overall very good and portrayed some very alternate opinions to the soldiers of WW1.

The shell shocked poet (who seems to portray Sassoon in the way he is a decorated war hero turned against the war and winds up in a hospital for shell shoc.k His admirer, Stamford, seemed largely to reflect the war poet Owen, as the younger soldier looks up to the older, admires his poetry and they have an affair (Sasson and Owen also were ruined have sexual feelings towards each other.)

Some of the poetry supposedly written by the older shell shocked poet also reflects that of famous war poets. 'Forever England' reflecting Rupert Brookes' 'The Soldier' and terms such as 'coughing like hags' and 'bent double' which seem very similar to Owens 'Dulce et Decorum est...'

This awareness of Elton seeming to pinch bits from other war literature does make you feel a little cheated although it is only apparent though if you have read other WW1 literature.

In my opinion Elton can write very well about WW1 and offers a refreshing opinion of the war, its supposed heros and the futility of it all. However I would say that in some parts of the book he uses war only as a back drop to what does become rather a boring crime story which drags out for much too long.

In conclusion Elton does seem to pinch bits and peices from others and drag out his crime story, however it must be admitted that his writing on WW1 is extremely refreshing, there are no ideal heroic soldiers as in some WW1 literature, instead Elton reveals the corruption of the war and the effect it had on the conscience and morality of every soldier.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars In a foriegn field I will bury my copy, 11 July 2007
This review is from: The First Casualty (Paperback)
Awful stereotypical rubbish- first page or two interesting then becomes a schoolboy essay -seems to make things up as he goes along-and this is from a reader who loved Bens first books.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, but..., 15 May 2007
This review is from: The First Casualty (Paperback)
I had two 5 hour train journeys to make in a day, and took this book with me to read.

After reading the other reviews here I must admit that the negative ones are more accurate than the positive ones.

The characters are formulaic, there are a number of inconsistancies in the plot, and the ending hangs on the reader not noticing a comment made half way through the book.

Unfortunately I did notice, so the ending came at no surprise. What puzzled me was that the inspector failed to notice this also, even though sometimes his powers of observation and deduction bordered on Sherlock Holmes'.

Good page turner but ultimately disappointing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Birdsong it isn`t!, 17 April 2007
This review is from: The First Casualty (Paperback)
This is one of those books that falls short whichever way you look at it. Not accurate enough to be military novel like Cornwell`s Sharpe or O'Brien`s Jack Aubrey. Not a good detective novel. Not a good war story. the Characters are simply reworked Blackadder The villian is clearly Captain Flasheart! This sets out to be too many things and doesn't do any of them well. Ok to read if you work nights and don't want to think, otherwise avoid it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars average at best, 28 Aug 2007
By 
K. GOODCHILD (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The First Casualty (Paperback)
Reasonable story centred on the main character, Douglas Kingsley, and his struggle with the rights and wrongs of war as he is plunged headlong into it. I Couldn't help thinking of Black Adder goes forth while reading this and then no suprise the obligatory knob gap has to make an appearance! Wasn't he doing this 25 years ago in the young ones........

I've read much better books by Ben Elton.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I thought it would be, 19 Sep 2010
This review is from: The First Casualty (Paperback)
Was so excited about this book as I love Ben Elton! They usually have a diffrent take on things. THis was not what I wanted it to be. Story of trench life, very gory, then brings in other elements and I can't even remember what happened at the end, disappointed. Elton seems to be trying to cover too many 'issues' and the story loses out
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ben Elton does 'serious'. Badly., 2 Oct 2006
This review is from: The First Casualty (Paperback)
Elton's comedy novels have a characteristic pace and occasionally land their satiric points with some accuracy. This new book is really not progress though. Attempting some serious comments about WWI, pacifism, the sufragettes, police cruelty (and too many more political issues of the time to mention) it is burdened with clunky writing and a 'thriller' plot that is too simple for words. It has its moments, curiously the flashes of mordant wit tend to be perceptive, but some aspects are farcically implausible and the characters cliched in the extreme.

Elton can write, but he either needs to stick to his comedy style or discover a richer and more considered method to tackle weightier issues in a serious vein.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sociology not History, 28 Jan 2007
This review is from: The First Casualty (Paperback)
Although a decent read and an entertaining story, please do not treat this as a lesson in WW1 history. Mr. Elton's research for the book must only have been superficial, for example, how could the major in the Blues and Royals at the Lavender Lamp Club in chapter 4 even have been there in 1917? The Blues and Royals did not exist as a regiment until 1969 - he was 52 years before his time!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 113 14 15 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews