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Mr. Rj Ayre "robtheblob39" (London, UK)

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Temperature's Rising: A Midsummer's Night Steam (Midsummer's Nights Steam)
Temperature's Rising: A Midsummer's Night Steam (Midsummer's Nights Steam)
by Amanda Young
Edition: Paperback

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gay-tastic!, 11 Oct. 2008
Simply a beautiful love story between two (dare i say it)dashing young men. Based on Shakespeare's play, the story follows the courtship and love between two men of very different backgrounds, in a Lady Chatterley's lover style affair. The film builds to an explosive climax, which will leave the viewer wet with anticipation for number two. Thoroughly highly recommended!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 10, 2009 2:31 PM GMT

by James Jones
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completes Jones' incredible, painful trilogy, 30 July 2004
This review is from: Whistle (Paperback)
'It will say all I have to say, or well ever have to say, about the human condition of war.' These words by James Jones refer to his trilogy started by 'From Here to Eternity', carried on by 'The Thin Red Line' and finished by 'Whistle'. These are, quite simply, three of the best books I have ever read, and leave you with an impression of immense sadness. Cleverly, intelligently, and without ever being over-dramatic or obvious, through these three books Jones shows us the pity of war, the way it takes good young men and destroys them either in the rush and chaos of combat, or more subtly, and more slowly, from the mental difficulties that follow.
'Whistle' is a book you cannot appreciate to its fullest without having read the previous two books in the trilogy. I would highly recommend the three books (don't be put off if you didn't like the film of 'The Thin Red Line'), because in terms of fulfillment and quality there are few better works, and if you want to understand the effects of war on those who fight it, these books will show you. They are fantastic, terrifying and immensely powerful, and also bitterly sad.
'Whistle' shows us the end of four of the characters' journeys, and it makes for a sometimes happy, lively, raunchy read, but finishes on a sad, painful note. You cannot escape the effects of war, even if you escape the live through the bullets untouched, Jones tells us, and combat is only the beginning of your suffering.
If you want a greater understanding of war, these three books will give you it, far more than any histories or even most autobiographies will. Read them.

Monte Cassino: The Story of the Hardest-fought Battle of World War Two
Monte Cassino: The Story of the Hardest-fought Battle of World War Two
by Matthew Parker
Edition: Hardcover

60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well-researched, intelligent and thought-provoking history, 27 July 2004
This book deals with the Italian Campaign, from its beginnings mired in confusion, to the bitter struggles that gained the Allied forces yard after slow yard in central Italy, to the climatic, but empty, victory at Cassino, which cost 200,000 people their lives or health. Parker is very in touch with the soldier on the ground, and shows us their plight in intimate, frightening detail, often following the lives of several soldiers during the whole course of the campaign, giving us a detailed view of what each single infantryman or soldier had to suffer just to survive, never mind fight, in such an inhospitable place. Parker shows us the bravery of the Allied soldiers, and also the steadfast guts and intelligence of the Germans.
I have also read John Ellis' 'Hollow Victory' on the same subject, and, in comparison to Parker's book, Ellis is more concerned with allocating blame to the various Allied commanders who lead their soldiers so pitifully, and let petty squabbles get in the way of good strategy, but is perhaps less in touch with the single soldier's plight on the ground. Parker, I feel, gave a much better impression of what the 'Poor Bloody Infantry' suffered. Ellis gives us a more impressive view of the grand strategy behind the campaign, and also better describes the battles after Cassino, while Parker simply alludes to them. Parker tells us how it all lead up to Cassino though, so you can see the two books in many cases complement each other well, and for a complete understanding of this battle I would recommend first reading Parker's work, then Ellis'.
Both, individually, however, are very good histories, detailing a very long, very bitter, very hard-fought and hugely costly battle in a long, bitter war.
I would thoroughly recommend this book, especially for those who believe the Second World War was somehow 'easier' than the First. If you want to get as good an impression of war as you can from words and script, this book will show you.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 11, 2014 12:32 PM GMT

From Here to Eternity
From Here to Eternity
by James Jones
Edition: Paperback

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, well-written, intelligent and haunting, 27 Jun. 2004
This review is from: From Here to Eternity (Paperback)
'From Here to Eternity' is a powerful, strongly-written, intelligent and ultimately haunting book. Private Prewitt and 1st Sergeant Warden are two of the most fully-realised, realistic characters ever constructed, and it is Jones' full psychological description of these soldiers that, in my view, carries this book. We learn about everything from their relationships, their loves and fears, their strengths and weaknesses to their basic ideologies, and they are two very interesting, very intelligent, very powerful characters. Prewitt, especially, will stick with you long after you finish this book. Read 'From Here to Eternity': it is simply the best book I have ever read and it is a story you will not forget, and a book that you will feel changed for having explored.
Also, buy Jones' 'The Thin Red Line', which details the actions and lives of a company of soldiers in combat in the Pacific Theatre of World War Two (and is therefore the natural follow on from 'From Here to Eternity'). These are two very honest, very powerful stories, showing us the lives of men and also the bitter reality of war, and what happens to normal men dragged through it. The books make a powerful combination.

Blackfoot Is Missing
Blackfoot Is Missing
by William F. Owen
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well researched and fast-paced, 25 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Blackfoot Is Missing (Paperback)
This is a book you will not easily get bored of; it's packed full of firefights and rescues, and appears well researched and detailed. Characterisation, however, can be quite two-dimensional and I personally never cared too much about what happened to any of the characters present in the book; this counted especially so for the main character, who just wasn't that interesting or compelling, and who could verge on annoying. Also, the book seems to lack any story arc - it feels like it's never going anywhere and you're never sure of the point of it.
It also has a natural disadvantage in being fiction; there are many non-fiction accounts of the American conflict in South East Asia and they have much more drama behind them for being real.
However, this is an interesting book to read and it details well the toughness required to do such a job, the danger of it and the futility involved in it. It is a chronicle of raging firefight after raging firefight, and it's a book you'll find hard to put down, being detailed, fast-paced and carefully written; still, at the end, you will feel it a rather hollow and empty experience to read.

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