Customer Reviews


56 Reviews
5 star:
 (53)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumph of comedic writing, 9 Mar 2001
By 
Amazon Customer (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Complete McAuslan (Paperback)
Because THE COMPLETE MCAUSLAN isn't available in the Colonies, I had to spend the extra gold to get it shipped across The Pond - and it was worth every penny.
This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. Granted, it's actually a compendium of three works previously published over many years, but I salute Fraser's ability to sustain the level of humor from the beginning to end of his McAuslan saga.
Another of the author's remarkable talents is his ability to recreate in text a heavy Scottish dialect. After finishing, I gave the book to a colleague from Scotland, and she delightedly pronounced the dialogue authentic.
I suspect that this collection of stories, based on Fraser's reminiscences of his own stint with a Highland regiment, will entertain anyone who's ever served in the military, no matter what country or service branch. I myself spent 11 years in the U.S. Navy, and I couldn't put it down.
Absolutely first class!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do Not Judge This Book By Its Covers, 27 Jan 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Complete McAuslan (Paperback)
Strange, although I am a hard core GMF fan, I was not tempted by his McAuslan trilogy until recently. For some reason, his publishers marketed it - foolishly - as farce: most editions, like this one, have cartoons on the cover that imply they are Tom Sharpe type satires. They are nothing of the sort. The tone is somewhere between GMF's "Flashman" and his superb war memoirs, "Quartered Safe Out Here". The eponymous McAuslan is the clown of the series, not the principal character. The protagonist is Lieutenant Dand McNeill - a thinly disguised GMF - and the stories are based on the author's own experiences as a young army officer just after the end of the Second World War. The key to appreciating the stories is remembering a fact that is mentioned very delicately but never overstressed: these characters are in a limbo after the end of hard war service, most of them awaiting demobilisation and most of them slightly amazed to have survived. Recently commissioned from the ranks after combat in Burma, McNeill himself has experienced many extraordinary things, but is still a young man with limited experience of ordinary life. These stories are not farces but the rites of passage of a boy who has resumed the process of growing up after a horrifying intermission. It is a poignant evocation of a lost youth, and of a lost time and place. As such, it succeeds brilliantly. It is not one of GMF's major works but even minor GMF is better than anything that has ever won the Booker.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars three wonderful books in one, 2 July 2004
By 
L O'connor (richmond, surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Complete McAuslan (Paperback)
All three of George Macdonald Fraser's entrancing collections of armys stories are gathered together in this incredibly good value book. The stories are narrated by Dand McNeil, a young subaltern in a Scottish regiment serving in North Africa just after WW2.McNeil has to deal with such typical problems of army life as a General who wants to dance a hundred-and-twenty-eightsome reel, a soldier being court-martialed for refusing to admit he's dirty, a general knowledge quiz between rival regiments, looking after a screaming baby on a night train to Palestine, and his kilt falling off while he mounts guard at Edinburgh Castle. These storeis are absolutely wonderful, almost all hilarious, a few very moving,and full of unforgettable characters, the wily old Colonel, the very highland Pipe Sergeant, the enigmatic RSM, wee Wullie, and of course McAuslan, the Dirtiest Soldier in the World.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Because the RSM said so.", 6 Mar 2004
This review is from: The Complete McAuslan (Paperback)
This is one of the most fantastic books based on military life i have ever read. As a soldier this holds extra intrigue for me but would thrill civilians alike. Fraser once again shows his skills in showing the true humour of a situation and the uses this wherever possible. McAuslan is a character i will never forget and whom i am not sorry i will never serve with although i have much compassion for him. I was glued to this book for days and when finished i wanted more, i would definatlely recommend this to anyone as it is a masterpeice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!, 23 Oct 2007
By 
Didier (Ghent, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Complete McAuslan (Paperback)
What can I say? This book had me laughing out loud constantly at the incredible stories about private McAuslan in the first years after World War II. Some of it may be exaggerated but most of it sounds true enough (probably is, I've been in the army too), which makes it all the more fun. I've read all of the Flashman-novels as well and, though it's set in an entirely different period and with a very different main character, McAuslan is as funny. This book is a guaranteed cure for any kind of blues!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fraser's Best., 28 Aug 2003
By 
H.S.A. (Washington, D.C. United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Complete McAuslan (Paperback)
By now, I've read about 70% of Fraser's published work.
The Flashman series, is in a class by itself. 'Steel Bonnets' was slightly tough sledding for me. 'Quartered Safe Out Here' was excellent. But, 'The Complete McAuslan' was phenomenal. I can't really say anything better than has been said by the other reviewers.
Though the humor is subtle, I was practically rolling on the floor with tears through most of it. Having never served in the military, I can't say that I can personally relate to much of what's in the book, but, that's the beauty of it. Fraser is such an excellent writer, you don't have to be a former serviceman to get it or appreciate it! (It's as much about Scotland as the Gordons).
This book was so good I didn't want to end.
Had I read it as a teen, I probably would have run off to Scotland and tried to enlist in the Black Watch. (They're one of the few Regiments that'll take Americans...)
It's not in print in America, but I'm glad it's in print in the UK. Right after I finished it, I ordered about 4 or 5 copies for my friends over here, as gifts.
Great book!!! I can't say enough about it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 22 Dec 2009
By 
Chris "Achnot" (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Complete McAuslan (Paperback)
Let me pre-empt my review by saying that i absolutely adore Flashman, both the character and nearly every one of the books so when i picked this book up i did so with a few ideas already square in my mind. Firstly i'd never heard of it and i had heard of the pyrates and reavers, both of which are not nearly as highly thought of as Flashman leading me to wrongly assume that this must be a lesser book to those. and secondly i assumed Flashman to be the absolutely peak of this mans writing talent...i was wrong. Flashman is a stunning read but McAuslan is equally as enjoyable for different reasons perhaps. FM and McA are equally as humorous and fun and while Fm is no doubt more exciting and action packed there was just nothing better then starting the second or third McAuslan book to return to the same characters who GMDF's wonderful writing had made you come to love the first time round, Flashman has of course little or no recurring characters. In fact the characters are what makes this book fantastic, every one of them. Flashman is all about the history and locals, something that is sidelined quite a lot here.

I understand this is not a very detailed review(Badly written to boot) but if could just get one thing across is that both FM and McA are equally good in very different ways and for some unknown reason McA is not nearly as highly regarded, so to all FM lovers out there dont weep when you turn the last page, head for your nearest bookshop and pick up this gem because i guarantee you wont be disappointed, all the magic of George McDonalds Fraser's writing is in here. Buy it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best kept secret, 10 Jun 2005
By 
M. J. Bailey (Nottingham United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Complete McAuslan (Paperback)
Don't tell anyone about this book. Let them wait for the film or TV series and then when everyone in the office mimics The Dirtiest Soldier In The World, casually announce that you read the book years ago. Then they will finally understand why you used to sit & chuckle to yourself for no apparent reason.

If you found a seam of gold in your local woods, would you tell everyone about it ? Of course you wouldn't. Well the same goes for this book. Keep shtum.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb window into a different world, 14 Aug 2009
By 
John Middleton (Brisbane, QLD, AUST) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Complete McAuslan (Paperback)
George Macdonald Fraser is most famous for his 12 volume Flashman series, chock full of amorous adventure and poltroonery. This is much quieter work, but just as good.

The "McAuslan" tales are a semi-autobiographical account of the British army in the lean years following the end of WWII (Fraser's war service is superbly told in Quartered Safe Out Here). Each chapter is a stand alone tale and Macauslan, the worst and dirtiest soldier ever encountered, is not even mentioned in some of them, while in others he has a central role.

In all cases the characters shine through. Only after finishing 500+ pages did I realise that, unlike Flashman, the number of "rogerings" discussed numbered about zero and weapon discharges in anger about one.

This collection is really a long love letter to the British Army, or more properly, the men Fraser served with. His descriptions of the regimental mess, with its trophies of past battles over hundreds of years, are (rightfully) full of martial pride: not personal pride mind you, but rather pride in something bigger than oneself (namely, the Highland divisions of the British army, and Scotland). Reading those scenes is nearly overwhelming, all the more so as so much of that history has since been lost.

A last word - the book is truly hilarious. You will laugh out loud repeatedly. I did while reading it on a plane.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and touching., 4 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Complete McAuslan (Paperback)
This is a dry and witty account of soldiery written by someone with a delightful sense of the absurd. It is extremely well observed and has touches of pathos which lift it out of the class of idle humour. I had not expected this particular quality from the author of the Flashman series. With this insight into Fraser's range, I intend to read more. You should too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Complete McAuslan
The Complete McAuslan by George MacDonald Fraser
£4.66
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews