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on 2 December 2013
This looks to be a good read, but very soon it is very evident that it is a work of fiction, utterly. I was astonished by how many reviewers have fallen for this. The story is laced with technical and historic errors. Research Horace, lightly through Wikipedia, and you will see that 99% of citations are attributed to this ridiculous book. There are no other references. This story is too good to be true throughout. I'm disappointed to have made Ken Scott, the author, any money at all. Don't be gullible!
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on 27 May 2014
... it was so inaccurate (he can't even be consistent as to which of his sisters is older for 2 pages in a row - what exactly do ghost writers get paid for??), so badly written, had such cringing, pathetic sex scenes that I eventually just skimmed through it before putting it back to the library. As another reviewer said, had I owned it I would have binned it rather than give it to a charity shop and risk inflicting this total drivel on another unsuspecting reader. If Horace really does exist (which I doubt very much) he is a creep, in fact possibly a lot worse than that - I mean he pretty much rapes the so called love of his life on their first "encounter" and even the dedication to his (probably made-up) wife is slightly creepy. Honestly, don't waste your time. It's astonishing though how Ken Scott, being such a busy and important writer dontcha know, has time to respond to all the negative reviews of (t)his book. And of course good old Mr C W Rowlands as back-up - with all his many many book reviews on Amazon for us to peruse and learn from. What a farce!
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on 4 June 2013
I purchased this book thinking it would give some insights into the life of a soldier. Sadly the author seemed to use the book to attack conscientious objectors and the church.The language used is mostly obscene to shock and probably attempts to hide a very poor writing style. The author has also interpolated between factual events to add non factual accounts.

I am sorry I wasted my money on this limited book. there a lot better and more informative books out there in this subject area.
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on 11 September 2013
Events somewhat similar to this MAY have happened but this book is pure fiction with a number of factual errors that indicate to me that the Author does not know much about the time he is writing about and certainly a 90 year old man would not have used expressions attributed to him. The Author may have inserted his own modern style and knowledge but the book is supposed to be the words etc of Horace. To talk of "transistors" and "BBC News Channels" during the Second World War is ridiculous and revealing. Can I have my money back !?
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on 23 November 2013
This VERY disappointing book could usefully be employed in a course for budding writers as a classic example of how to RUIN what could have been great story with a narrative laced with quasi-titillating, voyeuristic sexual scenes, ludicrous and unbelievable heroics attributed to the central all-singing, all-dancing, all-shagging character - even down to size of his erection - and stereo-typically stupid Nazis brutalising him and his doughty companions as 'English pig-dogs'
Absolutely awful.
Potentially an inspiring memoir of Horace Greasley's bravery in the face of overpowering odds sadly reduced to unbelievable fantasy .. pity.

If you want James Bond read Ian Fleming .. a writer who knew how to leave a little to the reader's imagination.
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on 10 May 2013
It's got an introduction which promises a great war story but I was hugely disappointed in this book. The story largely concentrates on the physical relationships with women that Horace Greasley had rather than his war experiences at a POW camp and the graphic descriptions are extremely clumsy, puerile and at times, sadly laughable. I'm not a particularly delicate flower but I tired of the regular use of the c-word and I felt I could have understood and appreciated Greasley's wartime story without the seemingly endless and very detailed descriptions of his sex life which seemed unnecessary, a bit tedious and at times made me snort with appalled laughter (and I'm not sure they were supposed to be funny).

I genuinely wouldn't recommend this book to anyone and particularly not younger adult readers. There are much, much better war memoirs out there and I think this book's tone is quite damaging to the memory of those who served. I don't often bin books rather than take them to the charity shop but I did in this case because I didn't like the idea of someone picking this up and thinking it was a historical book and then discovering it was actually pretty sordid. A good sub could have pulled this into a great story but instead it was more kiss and tell than historical record. Such a shame.
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on 12 November 2013
I've read a lot of military history books and can forgive poor writing for a good read. But this is very much along the lines that someone would tell their grandchildren rather than expect reasonable adults to read it. The ghost writer takes far too much liberty with dialogue and actions outside of his characters' own experience. I also didn't expect this to be a tale of largely the protagonist's sexual exploits.

I found this so disappointing as to justify my rating the book beyond my normal approach of just giving it stars.
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on 2 January 2014
Easy reading, although the true horror of the German atrocities didn't get enough exposure. In parts it seemed like the POW's were staying at a one star self catering apartment rather than Nazi death camps.
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on 9 April 2014
Horace Greasley relives his experiences as a WWII POW and the horrors he suffered at the hands of the Germans. It's a testament to his friends, the ones who made it and the ones who were not so fortunate.

Horace is sent to France and shortly after is captured after one of his seniors surrenders to the Germans. After this point Horace becomes a POW and endures many moments that are to test his will. He makes great friends and ones who are willing to protect him and did so on more than one occasion. He's a very stubborn young man and this shows after his numerous beatings.

After one of his fellow POWs lets slip the conditions of the camp, they're moved on. This is where Horace meets and, eventually, falls in love with a German girl, Rosa, who insists she is a Silesian. Her father owns the second camp that Horace is staying at. They are both devastated when Horace is once again moved on but they continue their illicit affair. He continues to sneak out of the camp and back in with food and eventually parts to build a radio. They know they are putting their lives and others' lives in danger but continue to see each other.

I'm not quite sure what to make of his accounts. I'm in no means saying they didn't happen but I'm sure there must have been a slight exaggeration on some accounts. I found it hard to believe after 65 years a man remembers the conversations he had and the letter he wrote to his lover or the first letter she wrote him - during a raid their belongings got destroyed. I, also, found it hard to like the man. He was so full of himself. I won't deny he did some pretty heroic things but I couldn't really get past how he had to constantly big himself up.

The man talks incessantly about his penis and how endowed he is. It's almost as if he's bragging and he even goes on to show his fellow POWs and how shocked they all are at how big it is.

Throughout the book, whether intentional or otherwise, he's portrayed as an arrogant and cocky young man who at times doesn't seem to be thinking of his fellow POWs when he's trying to win one over the Germans.

Aside from his arrogance and need to tell us about his huge penis it was quite an enjoyable read. It's hard to imagine how a human could treat another in such a cold and callous way.

I laughed and was horrified throughout this book. The funny times were funny and the horrific times were just disgusting.

The ending of the book left a lot to be desired. So many questions are left unanswered.
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on 26 September 2013
The book is advertised as an "incredible" story, and I do find parts of it literally unbelievable.

I don't believe that the hero could know the private thoughts of Rose and of German guards.

I don't believe he would have known various other incidents such as she was thrown forward when a train suddenly stopped.

I don't believe that Rose, living in a remote area could have obtained a list of radio components to order in the middle of the war - including a transistor that wasn't invented until several years later.

In short, either Horace or the author has quite an imagination.
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