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Somme Mud Paperback – 9 Oct 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; paperback / softback edition (9 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553819135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553819137
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"As haunting and graphic a description of trench warfare as any I have read... this is a warrior's tale... a great read and a moving eye-witness account of a living hell from which few emerged unscathed" (Daily Express)

"Compares to All Quiet on the Western Front... Both are front-line memoirs of men steadily becoming more professional and more disillusioned... Both are magnificently written" (Prof William Gammage)

"Here is the stink and stench of war... horrifying, scarifying and very humbling as well" (Herald Sun)

"Brilliantly evokes the terror, horror, elation, friendship, gore and depression that made a combat infantryman's life so dangerous, so traumatic and, if he survived, so memorable" (Courier Mail)

"His observations on life in the line and of his emotions in a battle strike a chord. Difficult to put down - it has the feel of being written by a soldier for soldiers" (Soldier Magazine)

Book Description

A dramatic, immediate, personal account of life and death in the trenches on the Western Front - 1st July 2016 marks the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I bought this book as it sounded an interesting read. At first the way it is written takes a bit of getting used to, it isn't written after all by a professional story teller - the original text was penned by a soldier, Private Lynch, on returning from the Great War where, as an Australian infantryman, he fought in the front line and acted as a 'runner' for his CO. On his return in 1919, amazingly still alive, he wrote it all down in a number of exercise books as a method of making sense and coming to terms of the whole experience. The book is written as a diary and describes the every day life of a soldier on the front line. He gets wounded a couple of times and describes the deaths of others around him but, amazingly, he comes through scrape after scrape. The horror of his situation is all too real right down to the hand to hand trench bayonette fighting and the tragic losses on both sides. There are plenty of WW1 books written to clinically analyse the battles but Private Edward Lynch had the foresight to write down what he and others actually experienced. Some of the things he describes are vivid and horific but we all have a duty to read books like this, in my opinion, so we don't forget that we owe them our respect.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great memoir, instantly ranking with book such as frank Richard's Old Soldiers Never Die as among the most evocative voices of the Great War as seen by the PBI. Lynch was an Australian, fighting with the 45th Battalion AIF from late 1916 to the end of the war. The centrepieces of this book are the descriptions of hand to hand trench fighting, which are raw and immediate. The most chilling description (apart from numerous descriptions of shellfire) are the images of the Somme battlefield in the freezing winter of 1916-1917, with casualties still frozen into the postures of brutal trench combat.

This is the Great War memoir of our time, if such as statement isn't something of a paradox. Lynch's Australian sensibility, his cheerful challenges to authority and the democratic flavour of Anzac `mateship' are more attuned to a 20th century sensibility than some of the more literary laments to the `futility' of the war in the 1920s and 1930s. (The attitudes to other races in the opening chapter are shocking but not surprising for a memoir of the time; their omission would have been a pointless and historically dishonest piece of editing).

A singular and powerfully important memoir of 1914-1918.
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Format: Hardcover
There are books about the Great War, and then there is Somme Mud.

The days of glorified war stories are over, and this book takes the reader on a gritty, totally from-the-heart account of every horrific day in the Western Front.

Whilst full of frightening moments, it also conveys the real sense of comradeship and frequent dark humour of those serving under conditions none of us can know today.

What struck me most about this book was the reminder that the prospect of being sniped, shelled (sometimes by your own side), gassed, or just drowned in flooded shell holes, was present every moment of just about every day. It's also a stark reminder of the appalling conditions men endured for several years.

A brilliant book that ranks amongst the best ever written in terms of actually comprehending - as far as we can today - what men went through, far from home.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read many books on the first world war and the western front in particular. Many of these have been excellent, such as the Lyn McDonald books, which give great insight into the horrors that the ordinary soldier had to endure. What sets this work apart from them is that it is a full acount of the war, written by an ordinary man in exceptional circumstances. It soon becomes clear that staying alive was just as difficult during spells of 'holding the line' as it was during a major battle. An incredible tale, honestly told with bravery and dignity. A must-read.
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Format: Hardcover
fantastic read,a must for anybody with an intrest in this period of history. A book thats once i started found hard to put down, gripping and fantastically detailed of the lives they lived fighting the first world war.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The most harrowing, brutally honest and mesmerizing book I have ever read in my life. I read a great deal of history and past favorites like Stalingrad or Berlin by Antony Beevor or The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajor which I found gripping really do pale a little by comparison to this. Perhaps not in the historically informative way Beevor presents things but as a first person perspective of the hideous violence which took place in the Great War or any conflict this cannot be surpassed.

There is a moment in the book where Lynch writes about going for a walk through trenches wrestled from the Germans a couple of weeks before and now behind the front line. He talks about rows of British corpses lying in straight lines, shoulder to shoulder. Each a little closer to the German trench as the first were wiped out, the second made it another 20 yards as the Germans reloaded, the third line making it 20 yards closer etc. Then he describes the scene of the hand to hand combat which took place by the position of the corpses. It is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Had Lynch not written about it, who would ever even know how these men died? We still do not know their names but at least we know it happened.

There is simply no possibility that I could do this book or it's author justice or even praise it highly enough but will say that this book is as enthralling as it is important.
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