Buy Used
£288.14
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Your purchase also supports literacy charities.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Alamein to Zem Zem Unknown Binding – 1946

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£34.90
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
£288.14
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Editions Poetry London (1946)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007J1DDM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,776,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This first-hand account of the battle of El Alamein by a tank commander who was also a well-regarded poet is well worth reading. While it is rather more gung-ho, the closest parallel I can think of is some of Wilfred Owen's poetry from the Western Front of the previous round of Unpleasantness. I was particularly struck by something that is very common in real military memoirs but almost entirely absent from fictional ones: that soldiers - even officers - rarely know what's going on, are frequently confused, spend far more time waiting around than they do fighting, and that their biggest enemy is often the environment as opposed to the other side's soldiers. Some of the confusion seeps through to the pages. In a very short book, it is sometimes hard to keep track of who is who in Douglas's squadron, but whereas in a work of fiction that would be terribly important, in this true account it really doesn't matter - the overall impression is what counts. In short, this is one of the few books that I can whole-heartedly recommend to absolutely everyone, no matter whether your normal diet is great literature or formulaic pot-boiler thrillers. Buy it. Now.
Comment 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read about Keith Douglas in The 20th Century in Poetry - also available from Amazon - an excellent anthology edited by Michael Hulse and Simon Rae:

Page 271 : ‘A young tank officer, Keith Douglas, served in the North Africa campaign, and wrote an excellent memoir about his experiences, Alamein to Zem Zem. ‘In tank warfare you only saw your enemy when he surrendered or when as in Vergissmeinnicht, you came upon his rotting corpse.’ Douglas was killed himself in Normandy a year later, leaving arguably the best war poems of any Englishman in the conflict.’

I’ve grown to be wary of such accolades – especially the ‘arguably’ – which often seems to be used as an rear-guarding caveat, for just about anything can be so described – but my interest in the literature of war; the even tenor of the introductions to the various sections of the anthology and the selection of poems were good enough for me to order Keith Douglas’s book from Amazon.

I found that reading material by a person whom you know was killed a short time later (Alamein took place in November 1942 and the author was killed in July 1944) was quite special but in a way I find difficult to define. I can however say that it’s very different from reading the memoirs of someone you know didn’t die until some considerable period of time after they had written a book e.g. Eisenhower’s Crusade in Europe.

I wonder what the mechanics of setting down Alamein to Zem Zem were? At the very least he must have scribbled in down in a jotter and then passed it on to get written-up. Also, how did he manage to find time to write? There seems something of Isaac Rosenberg in his hurried scribblings, something quite noble.
Read more ›
3 Comments 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is really good. It has great descriptions of the North African battle environment, and it does a great job in describing the life of an infantry soldier in battle. Other than just the informative descriptions, that make a great book on their own, the author's thoughts and impressions of the battle routine, other soldiers, commanders and the war mentality in general reflects well in the book. The book has it's own unique sort of philosophy on the war, and the author did a great job in putting it into words. The fact that the book was written by an English infantry soldier while he fought in the battle of El-Alamein in WWII, and later died in Normandy, makes the words stand out even more. I enjoyed the book very much.
1 Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One thye really great literary accounts which emerged from World War II. There is no better account of the war in the weestern desert. It's beautifu;l;ly written, very honest and often very funny.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Riveting evocation of day to day existence in a tank unit fighting across N Africa. Stretches of boredom (fascinatingly described!) punctuated by explosive chaos and terror. Beautifully judged sketches of regimental characters, many of whom we get to know just in time to lose them tragically in action. Virtuosic writing from this impossibly young writer, battle-wise and tough as iron at 22.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An outstanding and very personal exposition of life in a tank in combat in North Africa by an equally outstanding war poet...
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse


Feedback