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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

on 27 January 2017
Bought this because of the many good reviews. An interesting story line which could have made for an excellent novel - but I found the authors style of writing and the prose not to my taste. The characters seemed shallow and very under developed which, for me, made for a frustrating read. Disappointing.
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on 19 November 2017
This book started so strongly as a war story but faded considerably as it became just another romance drama. I found it really interesting, emotional and engaging until the villain of the piece arrived, then I’m sad to say it became a little ridiculous. Personally I think a story about fleeing Burma on elephants whilst being hotly pursued by the Japanese is exciting enough without the rather convenient plot points that came on half way through. It was still a good read but I wish Mr Sweeney had just stuck to the Japanese threat and journey challenges rather than focused on the irksome Mr Gregory and the flimsy romance plotlines.
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on 1 May 2017
Labouring through this over-wrought tale (cost precludes the description "penny-dreadful" ) I was at a loss to understand why John Sweeney's style is so inconsistent. Some passages have excellent writing - good enough to forgive all the improbabilities of the storyline. After all Thomas Hardy didn't baulk at the implausible in inventing some of the incredible coincidences that kept his p(l)ot boiling. The truly dreadful writing comes when Sweeney goes way OTT every time the main villain is in the story, pouring out cliche after cliche in comic book language that wouldn't have been used then (and shouldn't now). Quite spoiled the whole effect for me.
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on 1 November 2015
This is not the usual genre I read, but thankfully Amazon recommended it.
An unusual story about the escape from Burma of a group of school children who, led by their teacher, attempt to reach India as the Imperial Japanese army advanced.

Betrayal, death, hunger and murder are just a few of the adversities to be overcome yet, love, loyalty and laughter coupled with the amazing strength and intelligence of elephants who assist their escape make this a truly remarkable story.

Elephant Moon ,although a work of fiction, brings to life not only the failings of certain British military leaders at this crucial period of WW11, but highlights the struggles and suffering of those prepared to fight for freedom.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 November 2013
Elephant Moon - John Sweeney

Grace Collins decides that the sixty two half-caste orphans lives are just as valuable to save as her own and talks the principal (Miss Furroughs) of the Bishop Strachan Boarding School into fleeing Rangoon, Burma when the Japanese start their invasion during WW2.

The first part of their escape is in an old bus which has been donated by the Hants & Dorset Motor Bus Company. (My bus service - now called Wilts & Dorset!) and their flight towards India is only stopped by the Japanese strafing the vehicle, killing the driver.

They manage to link up with Sam Metcalf and Havildar Singh and the fifty two elephants they control and thanks to these beautiful creatures, they make their way, slowly but surely to safety in India.

This sounds such a lame review and I apologise, because this is a beautiful, wonderful story of survival against all odds. It's a story of elephants and how they seem to link to humans remembering kindness to them, but also unkindness - something they will not tolerate!
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on 27 May 2017
I am no good at reading non-fiction, but I do love to find out more about the history and the sociology of countries and institutions. A really good, fast moving novel is the ideal way to do this. They say that history is written by the victors, so it is refreshing to see a bit of history showing a more balanced view.
I shall look out for more fiction by John Sweeney
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on 14 July 2017
Turned the pages quickly. The story was a good one. But a few flaws made this only 4 stars for me. Some of the speech used was often more modern day than ww2 lingo. The challenges faced by the school girls was barely touched on and we got to know very few of them.
But I loved hearing about the elephants and learning about Burma during WW2 and the story was very good.
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on 11 October 2017
I loved this book and thought it was a true story it was convincingly told. My heart was in my mouth all the way through it was such a riveting strong. I would recommend this book to everyone, particularly animal lovers. I could not help gaining a greater respect for those noble elephant's.
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on 16 February 2016
Very interesting tale of adventure in Burma at the beginning of the Japanese invasion, old English bridge games and tea parties; cowardice and bravery, love, murder, and elephants. Whats not to like? Well researched and informative of the local conditions.
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on 22 November 2014
A fantastic cliff-hanger of a first novel from a respected writer, set in the days of the Japanese invasion of Burma. A second world war Gladys Aylward, in the shape of a dedicated school teacher meets with a kaleidoscope of characters (some benevolent, some definitely not!) in this fictional, fact-based and almost incredible story. You will never elephants in the same light again, having read it!

Highly recomended.
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