The worst book Ive ever read...

Bit of an old one now but probably available cheap: Douglas Porch's hefty but well researched tome on the Legion. It's pretty good.

Plenty of decent memoirs of Legionnaires like Simon Murray's that are a decent read too.
Legionnaire by Simon Murray is an excellent book. I really enjoyed it.
 
Has anyone said "50 Shades of Gray" yet? I couldn't bare to do more than skim through it and then throw it away, but from what I could tell nothing much ever happens. It's just some tedious bint repeating the words "Holy shit" every few lines. They don't even kiss until half way through the book. What little sex it contains is tame and unoriginal. I don't understand why this piece of trash is supposed to be a BDSM classic. I had more hardcore conversations with my school friends when I was 10. It's nothing more than Barbara Cartland with worse grammar.
Saw this review on Amazon. Seems to sum it up quite nicely.
 

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Birdsong. Bloody awful.
Agreed. I tried really hard to like it but it just doesn't do anything for me. The TV Adaptation with Wooden Redmayne was even worse.

A Whispered Name by William Brodrick is worth a read however.
 
Agreed. I tried really hard to like it but it just doesn't do anything for me. The TV Adaptation with Wooden Redmayne was even worse.

A Whispered Name by William Brodrick is worth a read however.
I kept hearing how 'good' it was, but the first thing I saw when I flicked through it was the hero bloke porking his married landlady against a bookshelf in Amiens.

It went downhill from there, everyone knows there was no sex ever before Philip Larkin's derisory poetry in 1964.

Thank God.
 
You think that the DaVinci code is bad, try Dan Brown's Digital Fortress.
 
Birdsong. Bloody awful.
Agree completely, and I was prepared to like it considering I was once a Sapper (though not that long ago..), but it simply didn't gel with me. On the other hand though...

A book I read decades ago I found to be completely compelling: Covenant with Death, by John Harris.

Covenant With Death by John Harris

It fairly came to life in my mind, and it was well realised, with the story taken from the memories and tales of WW1 veterans the Author worked with as a young lad, and others he listened to in Sheffield. If anyone has a bent for very believeable Great War stories and hasn't tried this, I recommend they give it a go.
 
Agree completely, and I was prepared to like it considering I was once a Sapper (though not that long ago..), but it simply didn't gel with me. On the other hand though...

A book I read decades ago I found to be completely compelling: Covenant with Death, by John Harris.

Covenant With Death by John Harris

It fairly came to life in my mind, and it was well realised, with the story taken from the memories and tales of WW1 veterans the Author worked with as a young lad, and others he listened to in Sheffield. If anyone has a bent for very believeable Great War stories and hasn't tried this, I recommend they give it a go.
The worst story I ever heard about the Great War (and I heard it repeatedly by different people) was that veterans, trying to rebuild their lives after the war, could never bear to hear their babies crying, because that was exactly the same pitch and sound as their mates dying out in no-man's-land.

Absolutely bloody horrific.
 
Stern Justice by Adam Wakeling

The sub-title is "The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials". Following the Nuremberg precedent there was a war crimes trial held in Tokyo which had an Australian judge as its president. Also represented on the bench were the UK, US, France, New Zealand, China, Soviet Union, Netherlands and India. The problems it faced were enormous not the least being that there was a shortage of competent translators.

However, there were serious legal problems that included the Australian President of the tribunal had spent some time as an investigator into Japanese war-time atrocities. Another issue that unlike Germany, the Japanese government throughout the war was not an homogenous unit and had at times included people very opposed to the war. However, the single biggest issue was the desire, especially by Australia, to include the Emperor as a defendant. This was very firmly opposed by MacArthur who saw the Emperor as the key to rebuilding the country as a counter to growing communism in the far east. The author gives a good account of how Japan had turned from a solid ally in WW1 to the ultra-nationalistic militaristic country it was in WW2.

The rules of evidence were loosened to the point that convictions were assured (majority verdicts permitted) and of the 28 defendants 7 were sentenced to death, which was carried out on 23 December 1948. Yes the tribunal took over 2 years to complete its work. Of the others 2 received a determinate sentence and the remainder were sentenced to life. 3 of the lifers died in prison and the others were paroled during the 1950s'. It is notable that the Indian judge very early on decided that there was no legal justification for the trial and ruled an acquittal for all the defendants. Is it any wonder that there is a monument to him in Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine which also commemorates the executed Japanese.

What then followed were a series of war crime trials throughout south-east Asia and the Pacific. These were conducted in the main by the nations who suffered the atrocities and the book looks at the Australian trials mostly held at Rabaul and Morotai but some were held in Darwin. While the same relaxed rules of evidence were in play the thirst for blood was cooling and there were some acquittals. It is notable that the only defendant sentenced to death in the Darwin trials was transported back to where the crimes were committed for execution.

The author does a good job in highlighting the legal complications surrounding the trials and also the very particular elements in relation to the Japanese psyche. For example, could you imagine in the west a condemned prisoner on the eve of his execution playing a lively tune on a flute to which several women from the Australian Womens Army Service danced a jitterbug. Other prisoners drew a cartoon showing the condemned man playing his flute for the firing squad which was comprised of the women armed with Owen sub-machine guns. The man's final letter to his parents is very moving and shows a very different attitude to death than the conventional.

It is a very interesting read regarding an area not well known, even in Australia. Well worth reading.
 
For me it has to be List the Bugle by major general Corran Purdon which is a shame considering the history this man has behind him from the raid in St Nazair and ending up in Colditz and getting a MC along the way..

The book is mostly his love of cricket/rugby/and flying round Oman taking pics..
RIP
FAUGH-A-BALLAGH
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
Stern Justice by Adam Wakeling

The sub-title is "The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials". Following the Nuremberg precedent there was a war crimes trial held in Tokyo which had an Australian judge as its president. Also represented on the bench were the UK, US, France, New Zealand, China, Soviet Union, Netherlands and India. The problems it faced were enormous not the least being that there was a shortage of competent translators.

However, there were serious legal problems that included the Australian President of the tribunal had spent some time as an investigator into Japanese war-time atrocities. Another issue that unlike Germany, the Japanese government throughout the war was not an homogenous unit and had at times included people very opposed to the war. However, the single biggest issue was the desire, especially by Australia, to include the Emperor as a defendant. This was very firmly opposed by MacArthur who saw the Emperor as the key to rebuilding the country as a counter to growing communism in the far east. The author gives a good account of how Japan had turned from a solid ally in WW1 to the ultra-nationalistic militaristic country it was in WW2.

The rules of evidence were loosened to the point that convictions were assured (majority verdicts permitted) and of the 28 defendants 7 were sentenced to death, which was carried out on 23 December 1948. Yes the tribunal took over 2 years to complete its work. Of the others 2 received a determinate sentence and the remainder were sentenced to life. 3 of the lifers died in prison and the others were paroled during the 1950s'. It is notable that the Indian judge very early on decided that there was no legal justification for the trial and ruled an acquittal for all the defendants. Is it any wonder that there is a monument to him in Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine which also commemorates the executed Japanese.

What then followed were a series of war crime trials throughout south-east Asia and the Pacific. These were conducted in the main by the nations who suffered the atrocities and the book looks at the Australian trials mostly held at Rabaul and Morotai but some were held in Darwin. While the same relaxed rules of evidence were in play the thirst for blood was cooling and there were some acquittals. It is notable that the only defendant sentenced to death in the Darwin trials was transported back to where the crimes were committed for execution.

The author does a good job in highlighting the legal complications surrounding the trials and also the very particular elements in relation to the Japanese psyche. For example, could you imagine in the west a condemned prisoner on the eve of his execution playing a lively tune on a flute to which several women from the Australian Womens Army Service danced a jitterbug. Other prisoners drew a cartoon showing the condemned man playing his flute for the firing squad which was comprised of the women armed with Owen sub-machine guns. The man's final letter to his parents is very moving and shows a very different attitude to death than the conventional.

It is a very interesting read regarding an area not well known, even in Australia. Well worth reading.
This is the worst book you've ever read?
 

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