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on 22 January 2016
Chock full of tales and it was a good read some people thought that being Montgomery's stepson was like drawing a short straw but Tom Carver had a lot of love and respect for his stepdad and it showed . Montgomery's reputation was systematically destroyed by the Americans who never gave a sucker and even chance and to add a little vitriol to the mix the Yanks also nursed the biggest inferiority complex since the time of Brutus and Julius Caesar. Montgomery's private life was full of tragedies and achievements coping with it made him who he was.

Tom Carver had it hard sometimes he got captured in the Western Desert and then he endured the variable attentions of the Italians in prisoncamps in Italy to eventually escape and then spend a frustrating and paralous interlude unable to break through the German Lines to freedom along the way Tom Carver and his friend met a poor Italian peasant Family who adopted them and and thanks to this poor Italian family they survived and eventually reached the Allied Lines Tom Carver went to see his stepfather and typically Montgomery burst out "Where the Hell have You Been" just like my dad did when I got lost on the beach at bridlington in the fifties. The book then goes to the time after the Second World Ware when Tom Carver took his wife and sons to italy to try to find the family which had saved his life for him - the story goes on and they meet eventually... read the rest to findout.

He was made out of steel he was a tough guy case hardened by his terrible upbringing as a child by his prison chaplain father and ramrod strict Mother serving up Jesus Christ knows what in a prison in Hobart Australia Then he was literally shot peened by serving in the trenches during The First World War just a few years after the War he had married a widow with two boys he lost his wife suddenly and tragically to an insect bite in bournemouth and then Montgomery had a ready made family to support alone.. Bernard Law Montgomery then determined to spend the rest of his life as a professional soldier but he cared about his stepsons and he always did his best for them. This book tells us that he succeeded in both roles admirably Bernard Law Montgomery was cast into a role by the hard hand of a hard fate due to this few men could be as he was fate decreed that he was who he had been made to be and thanks to his professionalism we owe him so much.
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on 12 August 2017
I enjoyed the book and in a way I agree with most comments. But I have one disagreement. As I particularly dislike the books written by relatives of celebrities trying to debunk-demithologize ditto celebrities, this otherwise very good book has a tinge of it. The autor boasts about his connection with Monty, and finds a certain pleasure in belittling him (an air of "Look how cool I am, that I am not that impressed by my old fatuous step-grandfather!"). Of course it's only a tinge; otherwise I would hate the book and I still like it and declare it a very good read. The author is a good story teller, but is he a fine fellow? I don't know, if I have to choose I stay with Monty
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 30 April 2014
In the years between 1945 and around 1960 there appeared a swathe of 'What I did in the War' and 'Heroic Event' biographies including many that were turned into successful movies during that period including 'The Dambusters', 'Cockleshell Heroes', 'Reach for the Sky' and 'Sink the Bismarck' among a great many more. 'U-571' and 'Enigma' (both based upon the same core events), and 'The Great Escape' which followed in later years were partly fictionalised versions of others as was the TV series 'Colditz'. Over the following decades, the numbers of similar books pertaining to WW2 grew fewer but others relating to more recent wars continue to appear.

Although the numbers of surviving WW2 participants are growing fewer with time, a few more of this ilk are beginning to appear and 'Where the Hell Have You Been?' is a recently published story of one of those involved in the North African campaign during the earlier years of WWII.

As one whose soldier father of low military rank was captured during the early stages of that campaign although initially a POW at Italian hands, Richard Carver may have benefitted from some personal advantages. Not only was he a junior officer, he was also the stepson of Field Marshall Montgomery. When captured by the Germans during the battle of El Alamein, his captors were bewildered and unsure how to handle him.

Somehow, Carver was able to escape and trek hundreds of miles to safety and then get back to the front. When he appeared in front of his step-father, somewhat dishevelled and much the worse for wear, after a year's unexplained absence the resulting comment clarifies the book's unusual title. The book makes for an interesting and atypical story from WWII and is lightly illustrated with some personal and other photographs, a few maps and graphics.

Written by Carver's son Tom, a one-time and long-serving correspondent for the BBC, and not therefore a first-hand telling it is still within living memory.
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on 14 February 2015
As Monty never seemed to me as being a family man, I never really thought he actually had a family. But he did (he wasn't delivered by a stork after all) and this book reveals a lot about the Montgomery family. The author has a wonderful style, swift, but thorough. It shows all the necessary details without getting lost in them. Of course, the chief character is the step-son of Monty, still we learn about the changing attitudes within families, about changes in life styles and in the end we see a man who went through war almost unscathed while civilian life wan't so kind to him. A great book and a great story.
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on 8 May 2011
This is an exciting story written in a restrained manner which befits the central character, Richard Carver. Tom Carver, Monty's step-grandson has written about his late father's wartime experience. Richard was an ADC to Montgomery, his step-father, and was captured almost by accident in Libya by Rommel's men. The Germans flew him to Italy and POW camps there though his real identity never became known to them. This is also a story of families damaged and broken by sudden and early death, and the impact on Richard Carver. The author refers to his father as being absent and withdrawn from his family, almost a stranger. However this book is filled with Tom Carver's affection and love for his father. I think the understated way in which he has written about his father's experiences show just how well he came to know him before he died at a great age. A very good read.
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on 20 April 2014
Tom writes well, with a good sense of pace and narrative, and there's a sense of 'boy's own' adventure to the book which makes it an easy, page turning read. The complex relationship with his Dad is well written, with much affection and some sadness, which adds depth to the book. I very much enjoyed reading it, and the book adds an extra dimension to the already well documented 'Monty' story. Only one tiny gripe, the kindle edition has numerous typos, but hey...
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on 14 June 2018
Book is a bit short on the most interesting details - i.e. the journey through German occupied Italy.
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on 3 August 2017
A good and entertaining book.
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on 21 May 2014
I did enjoy this book. I did feel it had been stretched out a bit, with lots of emphasis on the Monty connection.
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on 28 March 2018
heavy going
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