Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Please hurry up and write some more
on 23 September 2011
Read some of the other reviews with surprise. I suppose it just goes to show beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Anyway, just to contradict myself straight away, here's why I really enjoyed this book and it's sequel.
I liked the story and the pacing. There's lots of interesting and apparently accurate historical background . The characters are likeable and believable in the context of the unlikely set of events in the story (yes I know that sounds like I'm contradicting myself again ). The story has touches of warm humour, action and excitement, and can also be touching. Without giving too much away, one of the final scenes really captures the conflicting emotions of relief, suddenly changing to frustration, guilt and sadness at the randomness of war.
Where the book does itself no favours is with the cover design and choice of reviews. I can see why people have made references to Flashman, Jeeves & Worcester but they are misleading.
Coward is an upper class wealthy landowner with an eccentric farther who has decided whichever son has the 'best' war shall inherent the estate. Unfortunately the brother is a cad. Coward is accompanied into battle by Price his down to earth, cynical batman who is an experienced soldier and would much rather be back on the estate running the stables.
Coward himself is also a very experienced soldier who just happens to have a lot of luck (good and bad). The family motto should be 'the road to hell is paved with good intention.' In particular, poor Coward can't help making a fool out of himself over the beautiful Gina. He does have his faults, mainly occaisional snobbery, but he admits these himself (especially in the case of the Landgirl someone mentioned in another review).
The book is written as his memoirs, recorded for his grandson after playing a PlayStation game together.
Anyway, I'm waffling, I've read the book twice now and was sad to get to the end on both occaision. My wife has also read it and enjoyed it and she would not normally read anything war related. We both found it added to our understanding and appreciation of a recent trip to the Normandy beaches.
I read the second book soon after the first and thought it was even better.
I hope the next one arrives soon and look forward to finding out more about the other adventures alluded to.