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4.2 out of 5 stars53
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 4 August 2000
This is without doubt the funniest book I have read for years and I wasn't even in the forces. I have given this book to several friends and they have all laughed. I laughed out loud continuously.
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on 22 June 2000
This must be the funniest book on any bookshelf. Thorne has an easy knack of painting authentic pictures of his service from those far off years. I served at a similar time and he brought so many memories flooding back. Anyone who has served must get a copy of this book and anyone who wants to have a good laugh should read it as well.
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on 17 July 2000
I reside in Califonia but I was fortunate enough to be sent a copy of Brasso , Blanco and Bull by a friend in England who noted how funny it was and thought that I would enjoy the sense of humor displayed in the book. I was never in the sevice myself but I found myself chuckling out loud . I was so entertained that I ordered four more copies which I gave to friends, all of whom have fedback to me how funny they found the book . The humor is international and certainly not limited to those with a military background.I would strongly reccomend that you publish the book in the U S A as the self deprecating British humor, which is the essence of Brasso, Blanco and Bull, is very appealing to most americans .
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on 4 February 2015
I read a lot of similar books and for that reason I wouldn't have missed this one for the world and am glad I have it on my bookshelf. That's probably the reason I found this book a little bland as well. If it had been the first such memoir I'd read I'd probably have loved it. As an ex-serviceman myself I know a lot of the things which go on in the army and in barrack rooms so very little surprises me but some things do give me a laugh. I didn't find enough of that in this book. So if you're a seasoned reader of memoirs you might want to know all of this in advance.

If you know nothing about National Service or the army then do order the book because it contains lots of useful and memorable information, some of which even I found quite useful. If you've never heard of the sort of things soldiers get up to then you'll very likely fall down laughing.
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on 25 December 2013
A full 5 stars from me on this one well done Tony on such a wonderful book. National service ended some 6 years before I left school however due to my many years of experience as a senior officer in the reserves l can fully relate to the experiences Tony speaks of, from desolate army camps to the camaraderie of a close knit team. The humour plays its part well and to the prospective reader I say enjoy, it's well worth the read.
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on 15 September 2013
A terrific story of life in the army while doing National Service. Full of insight into a time gone past that for good or bad reasons we may never again experience. Both insightful and hilarious. Being a military "groupy", never having actually served but often wishing I had, it made me even more nostalgic for this compulsory period in many people's lives. I missed National Service by about 3 years and chose not to do it optionally, but if everyone had had to do it then I would have done it willingly - and hopefully would have enjoyed it as much as this story relates. A great non-fiction read with a level of humour not often found in real life. As a result I have since bought "Picking up the Brass" which was equally if not more hilarious as well as being educational as an insight into life in the military - and am now reading its sequel "The Map of Africa" by the same author, Eddy Nugent. All three are thoroughly recommended for the armchair military fan, with a bloke-ish sense of humour, who wants a laugh a page, if not a laugh a line.
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on 12 September 2012
In my opinion, this book is rather over-hyped. It does indeed tell the tale, but more from a potential officers viewpoint than a typical "squaddies" rough & tumble account and THEIR unique humour. Reasonable, and with the occasional funny anecdote, but not the hilarious tales I was expecting ; ( I served 25 years as a soldier,the first years alongside National servicemen, and so was hoping for more than this book offered in the way of humorous military experiences). It was OK, but nothing more, hence my slight disappointment. JKW
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on 12 June 2000
As an ex-GI of the US Army, I read an early copy of the book and found that I identified by type most of the young commissioned officers and the older non-coms in the Brisitish Army with those I encountered in the same time frme. The book reads like Thorne talks, and it is obvious that his real "buddies" are the guys who endured the peace-time army with himj. It really brought back my memories, and those of several friends here in the Colonies who also read my copy.
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on 15 September 2013
As a former soldier serving about the same time, my opinion of young officers was that they were often like children playing cowboys and indians. This very funny book confirms that they were just as confused as the rest of us. Some of these incidents could have come from my own experiences, this caused me to burst out laughing several times. Near the end of his story the incident with the armoured truck demolishing the cookhouse reminded me of a similar incident when in a drunken condition, I accidentally demolished a water hydrant which supplied the mains water to the whole camp.I spent 1 week in the cells while the rest of guys carried buckets of water to and fro, all calling out , "Murray you stupid bastard", while I sat there polishing my brasses.
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on 13 June 2014
The book started great, thought this is going to be funny, alas our Squaddie went on a OTC, unfortunately the book lost steam and in the end became very boring as Officers were,.In view of the fact that we both did our National Service at the same time I was wondering whose Army this lad was in. It would seem the RASC was a great deal more fun than "The Buffs". I had two years of almost a free holiday, so much so friends asked what Army was I in. Aldershot and Brecon Dering Lines, was thinking of asking for my money back on this book, sorry and all that S/23313441
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