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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 9 July 2006
If you've enjoyed Spike Milligan's books "Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall" et al, or "Don't Cry For Me Sergeant Major" by Jeremy Hands and Robert McGowan, then you're going to love this book too. If you haven't read them, then I suggest you buy all of them, as well as this one.

It is likely to be funnier for those of a military persuasion, and submariners in particular, because they will be able to identify with the humour, but that said, this book is definitely worth the read whatever your background. There are some truly priceless moments of humour that will have you crying with laughter (the scooters in Corfu) or just crying (the padlock incident).

You may find yourselves wondering if the stories are true, and I have no doubt that they are, having had a flavour of the real thing myself, or even if the protagonists are sane, which you could argue either way. However, the author tempers the often outrageous antics with some quite telling stories about his marriage and home life, and how the service affected them. These show a much more `human' side to the submariner's tale, and also a marriage that I'm sure will be able to withstand anything that life has to throw at it; although having read the book, I doubt there is much left that could surpass what it has dealt with already. Even these stories are written in a light and humorous manner that will leave you smiling, and never wanting to purchase a "grade B" turkey!

Many service personnel have written books about their experiences, and the band wagon and bookshelves could be considered to be overflowing. Having read many of them, I would like to suggest that this offering is a little different to the rest. It is a warts and all account of one submariner's life in the services, and although it will often leave you cringing, I don't think you'll manage to read it without laughing out loud. There is above all no attempt to glorify anything or anyone, with the exception maybe of the author's wife. If there were medals for wifery, I would suggest that she, and many other submariners' wives, should be awarded a bucket load each.

The unique blend of British military humour and an easy writing style make it too good to put down.

Get this book.
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on 7 January 2010
Being an ex submariner myself I can fully identify with the author and the escapades he wrote about. I know that a civilian might think he was stretching the truth of the tales he has told ...far from it, their are many other similar tales which any submariner will tell you.
For me it was a cracking read, I didn't put it down. I think that even a non submariner would read this and enjoy it although he may not fully understand some of the technical terms used in the book. I can only say the book truly reflects submarine life, I know, I spent 20 years in boats.
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on 23 October 2012
I must have served in the RN sometime after Chas who wrote this book.

I too was at HMS Collingwood, drafted to Dolphin and ended up in boats as a marine engineer on the nuclear powered hunter killers based in Faslane. So his descriptions of those places are accurate, very funny and true.

I loved his run in with the Master At Arms aka a Jaunty, a bastardisation of Gendarme, the French for policeman, and all Jaunty's were bastards. They were the Navy's police but without the brain.

For any ex-submariner in the RN the book is a must. No gung ho stuff in this one, just a great observation on life in a blue (but dirty) suit.

For non service people the trick with the condom might be hard to appreciate
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on 4 November 2015
I seem to be one of the very few to review this book who hasn't been in the Royal Navy or submarines (perish the thought!), but I do know enough about the Service to agree with others that this sparkles with gaudy, raucous authenticity. In my experience, the term 'hilarious' is only rarely correctly used in reviews, but this is one of those rare cases: this actually had me laughing out loud on several occasions. Can't wait for the sequel.
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on 17 April 2006
Brilliant humour, good writing style. I laughed like a drain, however, there were some parts that made me squirm! Especially the story about the steward and the condom.
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on 8 November 2012
This was one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. It is a true story of one of my ex-colleagues experiences whilst he was a submariner in the Royal Navy. I found parts of it so funny that I was laughing to myself in bed, causing it to rock and incurring the lash of my wife's tongue as she was trying to sleep. I can heartily recommend it to anyone, especially the men who may have served in the armed forces or police.
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on 16 March 2013
A readable book but not as funny as other reviewers have stated. I found a lot of it predictable which makes me wonder if the events actually happened to the author or was he using "writers licence" to recount others experiences or make them up. Having said that, if you have nothing better to read then this book would pass a few hours.
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on 20 May 2006
As a friend of the author you may think that I am being slightly biased about this book. Yes I have heard some of the stories before (Some more than once, some that many times that I feel like I was there!!!) but the book was genuinely funny. I don't read alot but couldn't put this down. If you're in the forces or have been you will appreciate the humour....not sure about the civilian population, they may not be ready for you yet Chas!

I hope you will write a follow up, only leave me out of it.
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on 22 October 2012
I downloaded this book, and could not put it down until I finished it. I had very similar experiences in the Royal Navy Submarine Service, so I could relate to Chas's career path and the various ups and downs of life onboard a submarine. It bought back many memories for me, highly recommended reading for anybody (whether or not they have served, the book is still an excellent read)
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on 11 July 2013
The author must have served in the same type of boats as myself and at the same time (except for polariods of course)(Polaris) Every word of what he describes I too walked in those shoes, except for a few which is individual to certain submariners. I have loved my time in boats (18 years) but couldn't put my life to paper like Chas does. For anyone wishing to read a present day book on submarines this is it, there is no other. Chas, if our pathes crossed and it bloody well should have,I congratulate you on an excellent book. I cannot sing the praises enough about this book but can say it is accurate in all it describes, ask my ex wife, infact ask all our ex wives. So to hold on to your wife for all those years is an amazing feat, Well done Caroline. I can tell you this book is so correct it
made me laugh insanely in parts and made me cry in others. I am proud to say 'I was one of you' To anyone with any doubt, buy the bloody book, you will not regret it.
ONE LAST THING. Does anyone know where I can acquire a paper copy of this book. It seems they don't have any more in print.
H. Barrett
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