- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 50 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House AudioBooks
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 18 May 2011
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0051P3BUK
The War and Uncle Walter Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
Musto was 60 in early 1939 when he started the diary. His life before had been mixed: sent to New Zealand at 14 to make his way in life, starting as an agricultural labourer --and hard it sounds from the brief references--, then as an industrial chemist; finally, as a factory inspector, a kind of civil servant. He lived latterly in a detached house in East Molesey, near Esher, a place touched peripherally by the War (minor collateral damage only). His own war service as a fire auxiliary seems to have been a mix of quiet localized heroism and Dad's Army.
His own views are very idealistic, somewhat rose-coloured at times, but decent, nature-loving, art and literature-loving (he reads everything from Confucious to John Stewart Mill and even Nostradamus), which says something for his native intellect though he left school at 14 asn had little formal education. Parts of his musings are, in the better sense of the term, Orwellian. I could not agree with his Churchill-worship (obviously not shared by others he mentions in the diary) and he is certainly naive and even stupid at times in relation to, for example, the Soviet Union (he despises it as it attacks "gallnt little Finland" but is all for it later in the war). I felt that the wartime propaganda influenced him a lot, despite his railing against the propaganda of Goebbels. He does not realize that he himself is a victim of brainwashing, to a point.
Overall, the diary of a decent ordinary Englishman probably typical of his age and times, meaning the Stanley Baldwin 1930's era more than WW2, the mid-1930's being the time when "hobbies" like gardening etc were elevated to an ideal, as the nation "cultivated its garden" literally as well as metaphorically. Musto does not come across as the promised "eccentric" though, except that he gardens in the nude, which even today would be regarded as odd!
Very good though. Sad, stoic, with (disregarding the naiveties) idealism and warmth. Worth publishing; worth reading.
The story follows Walter on his day to day routine between his work which
takes him away from his wife and home for days at a time.
When he is home Walter likes to rise with the dawn chorus and wander about
his garden naked and enjoy a cigaret in the peace and serenity he finds there.
The story follows Walter as he endeavours to make sense of the reality of
his wife being gradually taken from him through a progressive illness.
One also can get just a glimpse of what life might have been like what with
the blackout and rationing not to mention air raids and being on fire duty
half the night and still get out to work the following morning after getting an
hour or two's sleep in the back yard shelter.
The story at times is quite funny but also poignant as Walter deals with the
eventual demise of his wife of many years.
There is however a little twist nearing the end as Walter brings a long time
female friend in as a servant ,one gets a feeling that maybe just maybe Walter
may have had mistress for some time.
Most recent customer reviews
living his life in turbulent times