Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2007
I bought this book for my husband as he has an avid interest in the wars. He became engrossed and encouraged me to read it. I am glad I did. I clearly didn't read it as closely as the reader who commented on the editing; which is probably just as well because it may have spolit my enjoyment of what I consider to be a well written book. Just enough sentiment; just enough description; just enough love; just enough gore; just enough history. Beautiful and poignant.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2006
I didn't think any book could better The Burning Blue by the same author but this has by a very wide margin. The historical accuracy and characterisation is amazing. I thought historians were supposed to be boring. Not in this case.

Where in The Burning Blue I liked and cared for the main characters, I loved them in this book and shed real tears on their behalf. I now feel a deep sense of loss at having parted company. What am I to do? I plan to read the author's other novels as quick as I can but beg him to write more soon.

Please, please, please!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2006
A great read,once in a while a good read comes along after which
you cant pick up another book to read that comes close,this is one of those.
Starting in the present you jump back and forth to WW2 normally
I cant stand this but it works fine in this novel.
I highly recommend this book
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 11 December 2008
This is a powerful, tragic and deeply moving tale of a man who has shut down his emotions following the trauma of WWII; a man who, aged 73, finally begins to confront his grief.

The book takes us on a journey back in time through the wartime experiences of Spitfire ace, Edward Enderby, as he departs the relative safety of Cornwall to fight in the hell that was Malta in 1942. And finally, the emotional climax of the story, to Italy in the last phases of the German retreat in 1944.

This is a book about a man who finally confronts his tragic past, the loss of soul partner, untimely and brutally ripped from being. For many years his grief is irreconcileable. Nowadays, there would be an army of counsellors, psychologists, case workers, etc, deployed to unlock the trauma; then there was only stiff English reserve and a lifetime of regret.

I thought this was a far better book than 'Burning Blue', it was grittier, full of detailed and absorbing action. The writing is much tauter and the portrayal of war more realistic and convincing. There is also far greater depth of characterisation. This is the second James Holland I have read; the narrative skill is improving with every new chapter. I am really looking forward to reading more.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 25 June 2011
A very moving novel of the siege of Malta and the tragedy of WW2 in Italy, the story of one man's belated journey to salve the personal anguish he has lived with for fifty years.

I read this novel shortly after reading `Italy's Sorrow', James Holland's historical account of the bitterly fought war up the `leg' of Italy, and also his `Fortress Malta'. For those who have any concerns about the authenticity of the plot, you will recognise many threads in the personal testimonies, especially that of Cornelia Paselli. As soon as the two sisters entered the plot, I could feel the inexorable draw to the tragic conclusion.

There are always pedants, who will pick up immaterial flaws about Bren guns (I ignore them), but I fly - not a Spitfire unfortunately - and the flying sequences are excellent, even down to the mix of fear and calm when you're lost.

More intense than `The Burning Blue' and leaves you emotionally drained and wanting a final chapter.
Italy's Sorrow: A Year of War 1944-45
Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege 1940-1943 (Cassell Military Paperbacks)
First Light (Penguin World War II Collection)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 27 July 2011
I bought the book for my Kindle on the recommendation of my daughter. She explained that the author had visited their school, and she was quite impressed by him. I quickly warmed to his style. The book begins with a retired schoolmaster being dragged reluctantly to the 50th anniversary of VE day by his son and grandson. There he begins a journey back through his wartime experiences as a fighter pilot, gradually coming to terms with his experiences, and the effect they have had on his post war life.

I warmed to Edward Enderby, there are many character traits I recognised in people I grew up with. The style of writing takes you on the journey back and the book is easy to pick up (not so to put down). There are a couple of minor technical inaccuracies, but they don't detract from a well researched and believable novel. The plot is based on real experiences and real events, but I won't spoil it.

I thoroughly recommend it - it's a stark reminder of the effects of combat stress and the deep invisible wounds that war makes in its survivors.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2014
Amazing depth of knowledge and writing skill.
The then and now flitting back and forth keeps the mind perfectly engaged to the subject matter.
Brings home the sacrifice that many made for our freedom, and the profound effect the experience had on them.
I challenge this not to affect you in some way.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I really enjoyed this one - bags of flying action particularly over Malta and a love story to boot. It just shows that people can be affected by war in different ways - the main character here is just a lad who went to war and fought not just over Malta but with the partisans in Italy - and although he would never admit it, was scarred for life - and its takes 50 years to try and come to terms with it.
The flying action is excellent you could almost taste the dust on the airfields in Malta and the scale and desperatin of the struggle to survive
The brutality of the war in Italy is also brough to life and the happiness and horror he experiences
Well recommended
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 5 August 2014
A lovely story that moves comfortably between the past and the present. The central character reflects on his wartime experiences and considers its consequences on the present day. This is something we must all learn to do more of. The story is beautifully written and is one that can certainly be appreciated by all ages and gender. With a storyline that follows a number of real wartime events, the author takes the reader on an exciting yet often terrifying journey. Be prepared to stop, think and shed a tear. One of the best books I've enjoyed reading so far this year. The first James Holland book I've read, I've already got another lined up so I better get to it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 15 December 2009
This book, on the surface about WWll and fighter pilots is so much more than that. It's a story about hope, friendship, cruelty, bravery and ultimately love.

It explores all these without becoming mawkish or lapsing into boys own stories. The love interest is intoxicating, the flying sequences are brilliant - and frightening and parts of the story are truly shocking. Each character is beautifully developed.

But the ultimate compliment and credit to James Hollands characterisation skills may be that I really wanted to know what happened next.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed

The Burning Blue
The Burning Blue by James Holland (Paperback - 17 Jun. 2004)
£8.99

Duty Calls: Battle of Britain: World War 2 Fiction
Duty Calls: Battle of Britain: World War 2 Fiction by James Holland (Paperback - 7 Jun. 2012)
£5.99
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.