10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Not as good as I expected - a frustrating read.,
This review is from: Paddy Mayne: Lt Col Blair 'Paddy' Mayne, 1 SAS Regiment (Paperback)
I've been waiting for this book, or something like it, to come out and I was looking forward to reading it.
Hamish Ross set out to write a correction to the previous works on Paddy Mayne and to an extent he's succeeded in this. I thought it was a passable enough biography, but sometimes there was just too much attention to detail and it interfered with the narrative. For God's sake, who needs to know who handled what bit of paper in Cairo in 1942, for example?
Taking sideswipes at other authors' work on a regular basis throughout is also irritating to the reader and only needs to be done once.
However, those are just minor points. Of much more concern, to me at least, were two main things; the disjointed flow of events in the story (I got the impression that parts of it were written a long time removed from others and he'd forgotten he'd already covered certain incidents just a few pages earlier) and how little description was given to many individual, and important, actions Mayne took part in. Relying on the laconic and spare letters of Mayne to describe an action is a waste of the reader's time and isn't what we pay an author for.
Ross is a historical author who seems to have done fairly thorough research, but frankly he's not that much of a storyteller and Paddy Mayne deserves a better job than this.
In conclusion - I'm glad I only borrowed it, for I'd be mightily pissed off if I'd paid good money for this.