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Jungle Soldier: The true story of Freddy Spencer Chapman by [Moynahan, Brian]
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Jungle Soldier: The true story of Freddy Spencer Chapman Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Length: 353 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

'Incredible ... the death-defying adventures of a great British war hero' Chris Ryan. (Chris Ryan)

'This story of endurance in the fetid heat of the Malayan jungle is surely one of the most inspiring of the whole war ... A courageous and utterly English hero' Daily Mail. (Daily Mail)

'Freddy Spencer Chapman is the greatest war hero you have probably never heard of ... Perhaps this book will help win final recognition for a truly extraordinary man' Sunday Times. (Sunday Times)

'An extraordinary life ... Quite why Chapman hasn't found Lawrence of Arabia's fame is anyone's guess' Guardian. (Guardian)

From the Back Cover

Arctic explorer, survival expert and naturalist Freddy Spencer Chapman was trapped behind enemy lines when the Japanese overran Malaya in 1942. His response was to begin a commando campaign of such lethal effectiveness that the Japanese deployed an entire regiment against him, hunting for him as they did for no other.
He was wounded, and racked by tropical disease. His companions were killed, or captured and then beheaded. Cut off from friendly forces, his only shelter the deep jungle, Chapman held out for three years and five months. Jungle Soldier recounts the thrilling and unforgettable adventures of the north country orphan who survived against all odds to become a legend of guerrilla warfare.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3886 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (16 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009S8HA80
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #90,145 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes, this is an interesting tale, but Moynahan's writing style leaves a lot to be desired. It's quite drab and uneven. In certain sections, he will recount in painstaking detail a certain day in Chapman's life, but then the next few months are just rushed over, where a variety of characters are abruptly dropped into the story with no form of introduction as to what they are like or what their motives may be.

Furthermore, Moynahan paints Chapman as an all-round hero and is quite fawning, but he still does not succeed in making him appear very appealing. Whilst Chapman undoubtedly was a good soldier and someone whom you would want next to you in the trenches, he comes across as too much of an earnest goody-goody boy scout-type to really feel like wanting to get to know him and his inner character. In other words, not a fun guy to go down the pub with.

Perhaps I have been spoilt somewhat as I came to this book, straight after finishing Agent Zigzag: The True Wartime Story of Eddie Chapman: Lover, Traitor, Hero, Spy, which is a fantastic tale of another Chapman in the Second World War. If the author of Zigzag, Ben Macintyre, had written Jungle Soldier, it probably would have been transformed into something much more gripping.

I wanted to like this book, but I am afraid it was quite mediocre in my opinion and Moynahan's other work is not something that I shall be seeking out.
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Format: Paperback
Its ok. I found the first bit quite boring where he writes in intricate detail about the exploits in the North Pole and surrounding areas. Once he was in the jungle the book picked up but then again after "mad fortnight" it fell back into fairly monotonous trudging through the jungle for days weeks or months.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
if you like to get feel for the 'reality' of conflcit and what people will do and can do this is very good read. Can be slow and dry in places but does not detract from the qulaity of the book and story
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think that Mr Chapman was an amazing man. The first half of the book was a great read. But after that its entirely about trudging through the jungle. Yes the jungle is a very tough place, we understand that. But please I dont need half a book describing the horrors of the jungle.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Personal account of 1 mans war, I read this after readying the back of the book and was very excited, the books starts off with his adventures from school to Greenland, it had some good bits to it but seemed rushed through in places. Then comes the war against the Japanese. Ok I was expecting along comes some behind the lines soldier who does to the Japanese what the Vietcong did to the Americans in vietnam. Erm.... No.

Spoiler alert.

He does hardly anything. Can honest say I felt cheated!
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Format: Paperback
I came to this book already knowing a fair bit about Spencer Chapman's exploits, but wanted to learn something of what he did after he returned to 'normal' life. That period was 25 out of his 64 years, but gets a paltry 8 pages out of 324 in this book.

Most of the book is devoted to Spencer Chapman's travels in the Himalayas & Tibet, Greenland, and Malaya during WWII. I am always worried when, in books like this, I find rudimentary mistakes. In an incident in Greenland, Spencer Chapman and two others deduced they were close to, but north-west of, a tent they were trying to locate. Moynahan describes how the three of them spread out and then walked in a north-westerly direction!

The major part of Moynahan's book covers what is in Spencer Chapman's "The Jungle is Neutral". Apart from pointing out that in a few details what is in that book is not 100% true(!), Moynahan adds very little to the subject. He comments in places about what locations look like today, which seems totally irrelevant (but he'd obviously like us to know that he's visited them). I have just started re-reading "The Jungle is Neutral" and felt insulted by Moynahan's efforts. The maps in Moynahan's book are a straight lift (uncredited) of the originals, and the title of one of the most noteworthy chapters is the same ("The Mad Fortnight") as in Spencer Chapman's own book.

Moynahan's acknowledgement to others is scant, and there are no references. While reading his book I kept thinking that he was just re-telling what's in Spencer Chapman's own books.

Spencer Chapman was a remarkable survivor, and what he did is worth reading about, but do yourself a favour and get hold of his own books: Watkins' Last Expedition (Greenland), Memoirs of a Mountaineer (Tibet & Himalayas), and (especially) The Jungle is Neutral, which in my view read better than this biography.
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Format: Paperback
It started off quite interesting with freddys exploring Greenland but the author just skimmed over the men who went with him. How did they get together etc? A lot of questions about this! The jungle part was better but every so often the writing style seemed to just appear like separate paragraphs written by someone else. The word He and They started a lot of sentences and too many sentences were too short and could have been joined together making the reading flow better.

I agree with a previous reviewer - I really wanted to know more about freddys life after all the jungle trauma, illness etc. And how it affected him to such a tragic death.
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