2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Pick up your Parrots and Monkeys...: A Boy Soldier in India (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Paperback)
What fun the author must have had writing this and certainly the first part makes very good reading. The author writes well and has a good sense of humour and eye for detail and paints a delightful picture of the pre-war army world, firstly at Woolwich and then in India. Unfortunately, his experiences in Burma were anything but pleasant which presumably explains why the book gets a bit woolly when we get to Burma - this part of the book is much padded out with potted history and geography and left me frustrated as the author glosses over so much which would have been interesting and - why was he posted from 19th Ind. Div to 2nd British Div - the occasion that a Japanese officer almost decapitates him with a sword - when, where? Etc etc. He mentions that he received the Military Cross but doesn't say for what - which is a glaring omission in a memoir so delightedly detailed up then. His account of his time in Burma is also permeated with his absolute hatred for the Japanese (the 14th Army did hate them with a loathing which survived decades after the war) and I think a more sympathetic editor would have encouraged him to make the point, but without so much repetition.
One gets the feeling that he has been reluctant to re-live, on paper, his Burma campaign, relatively short though it was, in quite the same detail as he recounts his military life up to 1944. Understandable, but I'm sorry he wasn't prepared to grasp that nettle harder, as he is a good and interesting story-teller and writer.