The author has taken the (to me) novel tactic of presenting the story of a London family getting embroiled in the Kaiser’s War as a sort of fictional modern chat room. For me this doesn’t really work, largely because as fiction it fails my test of whether I really care about the characters as people. This in spite of the care that has been taken to ensure period phraseology and language generally. The attempt to dumb down proper English with arbitrary double negatives comes across to me as stilted.
- Walter Carter
Briefly, the story revolves around the adventures of Charles Carter, a pre-war regular soldier, and his brother Walter, a railway porter and Territorial, from March 1914 to June 1915. They ‘chat’ to their family and friends about what is happening to them and this forms the narrative to the reader.
The book is copiously illustrated with contemporary photographs and newspaper entries and cartoons, cleverly selected and neatly juxtaposed. Unfortunately the quality of reproduction, coupled with the need to shrink the exhibits, make some almost unreadable; however many will already be familiar.
I found this book unsatisfying. 1/5.