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4.6 out of 5 stars65
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 3 November 2009
This is not just the obvious exciting adventure of escape and evasion in enemy territory but also a mystery, told with detective-novel skill, of a son's slow unveiling of the biggest story of his father's life and the extraordinary, daily and nightly, kindness of strangers that saved a PoW on the run. The hero being Field Marshal Montgomery's stepson, the book also sheds light on the private life of Monty whose harsh and even nasty professional demeanour masked a fondness for the simple and silly delights of being with children: this is a man who wept, in uniform, at his wife's funeral.
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on 27 September 2011
Where The Hell Have You Been? This is the best book that I have read in a long time. I thought it was going to be about Monty, but it was a fascinating insight into his wider family, especially his step son and his war-time in Italy. Given the book by my brother in-law and haven't been able to put it down till just now, when I finished it (thanks Alan).

My only disappointment is having just come online to find another Tom Carver book, I can't find any. Enjoyed the way this was written, it suited me down to the ground.
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on 1 October 2009
Really enjoyable. Part touching biography, part boys own Second World War story. Where The Hell Have You Been sheds new light on the character and career of Monty from a wholly original angle. Highly recommended.
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on 12 October 2009
Very enjoyable book. Part history book - detailing his father's escape from a POW camp - and part personal memoir, it is a touching and enlightening account.

Well worth reading by all those interested in Montgomery, or in POW escapes, or in all of our relationships with our fathers.

Recommended.

BW
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on 24 October 2009
Not sure how to rightly describe Where The Hell Have You Been? Sometimes feels like a book about General Montgomery. Sometimes feels like a son's book to his father (both in terms of the author writing to his father - and Richard Carver writing about his step-father, Monty). Can rightly say though that book is superbly researched and well written - and different aspects and voices in book make Where The Hell Have You Been? greater than the sum of its parts.
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on 1 February 2010
A fantastic yarn in its own right, this book is so enriched by the often poignant family narrative that the author weaves in and around the main escape story . A journey of discovery by the author delivers wholesome justice to the memory of his father who like so many of his generation were reluctant and modest heroes. We owe them so much
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on 9 September 2010
I couldn't put it down. A thoroughly engaging story of a man captured during the desert campaign of WWII, his incarceration by the Italians and his trek down through Italy after the Italian surrender until he reached the allied lines. Coincidentally, he was Montgomery's stepson. It also describes how the Italian peasants helped him and other allied "escapees" in spite of strong and brutal German forces. Especially poignant when describing his and his helpers' efforts to make contact long after the end of the war.
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on 8 May 2011
This is an exciting story written in a restrained manner which befits the central character, Richard Carver. Tom Carver, Monty's step-grandson has written about his late father's wartime experience. Richard was an ADC to Montgomery, his step-father, and was captured almost by accident in Libya by Rommel's men. The Germans flew him to Italy and POW camps there though his real identity never became known to them. This is also a story of families damaged and broken by sudden and early death, and the impact on Richard Carver. The author refers to his father as being absent and withdrawn from his family, almost a stranger. However this book is filled with Tom Carver's affection and love for his father. I think the understated way in which he has written about his father's experiences show just how well he came to know him before he died at a great age. A very good read.
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In the years between 1945 and around 1960 there appeared a swathe of 'What I did in the War' and 'Heroic Event' biographies including many that were turned into successful movies during that period including 'The Dambusters', 'Cockleshell Heroes', 'Reach for the Sky' and 'Sink the Bismarck' among a great many more. 'U-571' and 'Enigma' (both based upon the same core events), and 'The Great Escape' which followed in later years were partly fictionalised versions of others as was the TV series 'Colditz'. Over the following decades, the numbers of similar books pertaining to WW2 grew fewer but others relating to more recent wars continue to appear.

Although the numbers of surviving WW2 participants are growing fewer with time, a few more of this ilk are beginning to appear and 'Where the Hell Have You Been?' is a recently published story of one of those involved in the North African campaign during the earlier years of WWII.

As one whose soldier father of low military rank was captured during the early stages of that campaign although initially a POW at Italian hands, Richard Carver may have benefitted from some personal advantages. Not only was he a junior officer, he was also the stepson of Field Marshall Montgomery. When captured by the Germans during the battle of El Alamein, his captors were bewildered and unsure how to handle him.

Somehow, Carver was able to escape and trek hundreds of miles to safety and then get back to the front. When he appeared in front of his step-father, somewhat dishevelled and much the worse for wear, after a year's unexplained absence the resulting comment clarifies the book's unusual title. The book makes for an interesting and atypical story from WWII and is lightly illustrated with some personal and other photographs, a few maps and graphics.

Written by Carver's son Tom, a one-time and long-serving correspondent for the BBC, and not therefore a first-hand telling it is still within living memory.
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on 20 April 2014
Tom writes well, with a good sense of pace and narrative, and there's a sense of 'boy's own' adventure to the book which makes it an easy, page turning read. The complex relationship with his Dad is well written, with much affection and some sadness, which adds depth to the book. I very much enjoyed reading it, and the book adds an extra dimension to the already well documented 'Monty' story. Only one tiny gripe, the kindle edition has numerous typos, but hey...
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