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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An involving read
Being privileged to know Stephen Grady,I was anxious to discover whether this book does him and his extraordinary story justice. Michael Wright has captured Steve's dry wit and penchant for hyperbole and even the grimest episodes have moments of humour and light relief that lift the narrative and show the character, intelligence and sensitivity of the man. The story...
Published 22 months ago by Sue Elliott

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1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reads like 1950's war fiction
This was seriously disappointing, and gives the strong impression of being ghost-written and padded out around a collection of an old man's memories. It reads like 1950's English war fiction, with continuous tiresome hate-filled references to "Boche", and has too many detailed descriptions of trivial domestic incidents. The domestic life of the family, if it had...
Published 10 months ago by Martha Watkins


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An involving read, 26 Feb 2013
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Being privileged to know Stephen Grady,I was anxious to discover whether this book does him and his extraordinary story justice. Michael Wright has captured Steve's dry wit and penchant for hyperbole and even the grimest episodes have moments of humour and light relief that lift the narrative and show the character, intelligence and sensitivity of the man. The story rattles along and is involving from the start. Like the previous reviewer, I would have liked more about his post-War life, but this is a war story, not a biography. It's wonderful that it has been told in full while Steve is still around to enjoy the belated recognition.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gardens of Stone, 26 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Gardens of Stone: My Boyhood in the French Resistance (Kindle Edition)
An excellent read bringing home the wonders, and failures of the human spirit. It gives an up close feel of the horrors and impact of war on those most innocent. The book and the way it is written will appeal across the board from a Boys Own adventure to those of social and war historical interest.
Mr Grady is clearly someone special and I should have liked just a bit more of the post 1947 account to round off a wonderful read. John McNeill. A 4 star read.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant book, 14 Feb 2013
A brilliant interesting read which keeps you captivated to the end. I couldn't put it down and highly recomemend it to any reader.A fantastic read!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Moving and very appreciated History, 1 July 2013
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This review is from: Gardens of Stone: My Boyhood in the French Resistance (Kindle Edition)
I thought that the book was getting bogged down in childhood memories but the build up, the clear character (and national character) descriptions, and the detail all helped to transport one to a world that today we can barely imagine. This is a riveting story, worthy of Hollywood's attention...and it's a true story of a remarkable man. I highly recommend this book to students of history, of military history, and anyone who would enjoy a real life adventure story. I particularly found the war graves component to be very interesting.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Inspiration, 22 Feb 2013
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I bought this book for my kindle on Monday and finished it within three days. Stephen and his generation never cease to be an inspiration. I was filled with every emotion during my journey through this book and was deeply moved by the bravery shown by so many. A fascinating read which i would recommend to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without doubt the BEST book I have ever read. An incredible true story about the bravest of the brave., 20 May 2014
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I'm not one to read lots books as a rule (rarely sit still long enough), but I love learning more about World War 2, watching films like 'Where Eagles Dare' for the umpteenth time, and so when my Amazon search came up with 'Gardens of Stone', I thought it might be a good book to take with me and the wife on our week long holiday to Kefalonia. I started reading it on the plane over and, from the outset, I was gripped and totally absorbed by the amazing tale that unfolded. The sheer depth of gratitude we owe Stephen Grady and countless other true heroes like him is immense, for they risked so much to help free others from the most terrible Nazi atrocities, and lived in constant fear of torture and death for themselves, their friends and their families as a result. I finished this most thought provoking and humbling of books three weeks ago and not a day has gone by since when I haven't reflected on the people in it and the lives they endured 70 years ago. It certainly puts my life in perspective and has made me realise that whatever life throws at me, I have to be truly grateful for the life I have. A wonderfully written book and one I shall treasure and reread, not least should I ever again feel that life has been unkind to me. If there was ever a subject that would make a great film, Stephen Grady and his Gardens of Stone would, without question, be it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 26 April 2013
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This review is from: Gardens of Stone: My Boyhood in the French Resistance (Kindle Edition)
I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in this part of history, and certainly if coupled with an interest in particularly rural France. I shall hopefully visit this area on a future trip.

To an extent it is like a 'boys own' story, but the reality of the terror that lies behind most of the tales is clear in the writing. Quite extraordinary how one so young was singled out for leadership, without his having any inkling at the outset of his own capabilities.

There are also some excellent examples of how less can be quite often better than more, and some humour in Stephen's clever translations between French Resistance fighters and English and American fugitives, just to maintain the entente cordiale.

Not usually a very quick reader but went through this in no time unfortunately.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!, 3 Dec 2013
This review is from: Gardens of Stone: My Boyhood in the French Resistance (Kindle Edition)
I really didn't want this to end. I am a fan of Michael Wright, so I expected his treatment of this true story to be handled with sensitivity and humour. I was not disappointed. Like Michael, I also live in France and often see the roadside monuments to the Resistants, usually where they were gunned down. The story illuminated this tragic era of our recent history and, in my opinion, provides a vivid picture of the heroes and cowards who found themselves handling this turbulent time in their own ways. The story alone is breathtaking. Add to this Michael Wrights skilful writing and you have a true story that reads like an action and adventure novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written memoire, 18 Nov 2013
A memorable, and evocative memoire of life in Northern France under the Nazi occupation. A real pager turner, I found myself hanging onto every word, and could hardly put down this beautifully written account. Though it is clear that even now a few events are almost too painful to describe, some other incidents are by turns amusing and thought provoking. I must thank Stephen Grady (with the superb, light touch of Michael Wright) for reminding me of how very lucky so many of us post war children are, and how much we really do owe to those who suffered so much during the war, without the benefit of knowing its eventual outcome.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eminently readable and absorbing, 5 Nov 2013
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I was looking for Michael Wright's latest book when I came across this one. It is an excellent read with Wright's influence evident. It brings out clearly the difficulties and dilemmas faced by the resistance fighters who wanted to hurt the Nazis while knowing that their every action was likely to bring retaliation on the innocent civilian population.
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