©2007 George MacDonald Fraser; (P)2010 Random House
GMF is one of my all time favourites, but I am not sure about the reader. GMF was Anglo-Scottish so why have a very upper class English drawl for the reading? Especially as he has to do the Cumbrian voices, which are so much of the magic of the book. I'm not sure if they are authentic,not being a Cumbrian but frequently they end up sounding like North country Daleks, which I suspect is not quite right!
But get past this, and the book itself is a wonder - Frasers unsentimental vivid ability to put you in the events with him is extraordinary, as is his ability to evoke characters and make the reader empathise with his pride in his comrades. And then there are the desperately moving or very funny set pieces - the scenes where the section share out the kit of a comrade killed in action, the looting of the air drop, and best of all GMF's speculating about what the section would have done if they'd been given the option of dropping the bomb or not, which truly raises the hairs on the back of your neck. And most of all the dialogue.
It pains me as a Flashman fan to say this, but this is the best GMF ever did.
Avid "reader" of history - military and with a more British slant the past few years. Rarely read novels but Anthony Powell's DTMoTime zomg
Superbly written memoir of combat and British army life in Burma and I do love this narrator's style that fits this so well. (he does a great narration of Orwell too)
In my unimportant opinion, it does a great
Job of showing the frontline jabber etc of men of the line. I have zero military experience so wouldn't know for sure. I began to love each character though and lament their hardships. I laughed quite a bit at their hilarious sayings and jokes.
Not a ton of action, again I'm superficial probably, but recollections of battles were very cool. Thank you to the author and the men who served.
Mr. Fraser's narrative of his time in the British Army during the Burma campaign of WWII successfully framed the wartime for the rank and file soldier. The reader is brought into the relationships he had with his fellow brothers in arms, his leaders, and the demands on the mind and body that accompany such extraordinary circumstances. Mr. Case enhances the listener's experience by associating the nuances of British language and culture described by the author in a way that makes the characters unique and matches the tempo of his speech to the events unfolding in the storyline. I found myself being drawn into the performance and into the mind of the author.
Fraser is an author who deserves your attention. This is one of the best WW2 diary accounts I've read or listened to. Written 40 years after the events he writes about, Fraser is honest, balanced and humorous at appropriate times. He carries you into the Burmese fighting along with his 14th Army section and informs you about his thoughts and motivations while providing rationale sharpened by nearly 40 years of honest introspection. This one deserves to be in your Audible bookshelf whether or not you are interested in the amazing history of the 20th Century's defining conflict. And the narrator makes this come alive with his varied accents & verbal virtuosity. Two thumbs way up.
Not read but performed with verisimilitude of accents. Excellent memoir from one the famous "historic tragics'. Places you in the jungles of Burma and brings alive the various characters in his section. A first rate memoir and a first class performance.
My favorite book. Read all other George MacDonald Fraser books but I always come back to this. Read it
three times and listened to David Case's narration countless times.
History enthusiast with military and legal background.
this is not up there with Flashman or Mr. American, but it was interesting. It is the persona memoirs of a man who suffered through life in combat. Combat, which he explained so well is 99% parts fighting the elements and boredom and 10% fighting the enemy. It is amazing to see how the world over, soldiers are the same. They spend their time discussing and worrying about trvial things while they are in the process of making history. Something never change. This could have been written by a Roman solider 2,000 years ago and it would have been almost the same book and just as enjoyable.
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