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4.5 out of 5 stars
115
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition|Change
Price:£3.48


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on 29 October 2013
Moving in its simplicity, the journals of a young man of a different generation, I was engrossed from the first page to the last. How different the emphasis from today's cult of personality, the sheer bare faced effrontery of riding his bike to Rome beggars belief. The style is spartan but an easier read for it and the story line rockets along, punctuated by deep insightful comments on his feelings and motivation. Our country produced these men who 's sense of responsibility, duty and conviction is beyond our ken today. For all SAS devotees, this is a must read, for all historians it's a searing insight into the SPF of WW2, warts and all and for all us story seekers, a hidden gem
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on 6 July 2017
A sel-published style of book, where the author is wishing to tell a story, in this case his father, with a bursting pride, justifiably so. The book therefore suffers from the less-professional narrative and content flow, but this was made up by the actual achievements made during WW2 by the authors father. 12 Commando, SSRF and 2SAS were the select and noble band of soldiers that he served in and made it thro to the end of the war, something many of his compatriots did not achieve.
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on 23 October 2013
An excellent read. The book tells in simple empathetic prose the story of one young mans life altering experiences of the second world war.
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on 29 October 2013
Do not expect Andy McNab's characters to leap from this. No disrespect to that now-famous successful ex-SAS author, but these are the real words from the journal of an ordinary bloke, in a war that required even ordinary people to become extraordinary. It is told simply, with few embellishments, by the author of the journal, topped and tailed by his son, the author of this book. These are the words of a generation who are now almost all gone and it is the very ordinariness of the words that makes it so real and the story so strong. Kept hidden since the war, passed onto his son and only published now, this is a little gem. Ordinary words by an ordinary bloke turned extraordinary. No ordinary book indeed.
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on 4 March 2014
This book is little more than a pamphlet written in large type with wide spacing to fill up189 pages. Yes the man was a brave soldier but there was little substance to it. I ordered it after seeing it mentioned in the press but have now returned it.
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on 1 December 2013
I guess it's impossible to verify every detail of this soldiers diary due to the obviously secretive nature of the subject matter. Personally, i believed it all. A beautifully simple, working mans narrative of WWII which i found absolutely fascinating, touching, funny and inspiring in so many ways. No big parades, no medals, just a desire to do his bit. Thank you Stokey, we all owe you one.
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on 25 November 2013
I have just finished reading this book in one sitting - be warned, once you pick it up you won't put it down until you've finished reading, probably with tears in your eyes. I won't demean the book by offering any analysis - just buy it, read it and recommend it to all your friends.
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on 5 January 2014
While the theme is an exciting one (young Birmingham lad joins up at the start of WW2, enters the special services and carries out covert ops), the book is badly written and could have done with a decent editor to point out both repetitions and glaring holes. Many of the potentially most interesting parts are either vague or compressed into a few lines; one suspects that a lot more research would have been necessary to turn the journal into a compelling book; waiting so long to write it probably didn't help. The book is skimpy on detail in so many places; the parts in Italy offer glimpses but then run out. One suspects that only better research and interviews with survivors from this period would have been able to provide the extra sources of material needed to turn this into a more rounded read.
A pity since there is a really interesting story to be told here but unfortunately only part of it has been revealed.
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on 21 November 2013
a friend wrote this book so although the subject matter is not my usual fare i bought it out of duty. im so glad i did. i know nothing of war or the trials described by my friends dad but i feel i have had a glimpse into his life which i found really enlightening. it is also a timely reminder of why we never want to have such a war again. well done stokesy
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on 20 November 2013
This book is a fabulously engaging and accessible read whether you have an understanding or interest in the military or not. It's written with such raw honesty and yet it's almost what is unspoken that leaves the most impact. It makes you realise both the order and ad hoc nature of war and how survival is based on elements of luck and sheer bloody minded grit and determination.
It's amazing how this story remained a secret until the author's Dad shared his war memoirs. Amazing to have carried such an experience in silence for all his life.
I was also interested to read a glimpse of the military life of the author and how the values of leadership and strong moral attitude obviously disseminated through the family. A great read Peter! :-)
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