What are you reading right now?

Chickenhawk.
50 odd pages in. So far, so good.
I’d never heard of it until I read about it on here.
Who knew flying those whirlybirds was so complicated.
 

aardvark64

Old-Salt
Cornwell is bloody excellent!
The Sharpe and Arthur series were excellent. However, I thought his Saxon Chronicle books were just tarted-up TV scripts: a cash-in on the success of the 'Last Kingdom' series.
 

Fire4effect

Old-Salt
The Sharpe and Arthur series were excellent. However, I thought his Saxon Chronicle books were just tarted-up TV scripts: a cash-in on the success of the 'Last Kingdom' series.
I thought his series on the Arthur legend was excellent but I wasn’t so taken with The Last Kingdom. If you do like that kind of thing Conn Iggulden’s Conqueror series about Genghis Khan and the Emperor series about Julius Caesar are superb.


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Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
I thought his series on the Arthur legend was excellent but I wasn’t so taken with The Last Kingdom. If you do like that kind of thing Conn Iggulden’s Conqueror series about Genghis Khan and the Emperor series about Julius Caesar are superb.


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I enjoy Iggulden's books, having been introduced to them by the present Mr. GRB.

I have been very keen on Bernard Cornwell's output, but lately I have wondered whether he has joined the club of US authors who pay young writers to produce stuff in his style, over his name. Quality has slipped.
 
I enjoy Iggulden's books, having been introduced to them by the present Mr. GRB.

I have been very keen on Bernard Cornwell's output, but lately I have wondered whether he has joined the club of US authors who pay young writers to produce stuff in his style, over his name. Quality has slipped.
Cornwell wise I believe it's still him but writing at pace to suit the publisher wanting to cash in on the TV series.

He has a habit and always has of his more quality or deeper set novel series getting put on the back burner to suit other projects.

The Starbuck Chronicles has been due a 5th installment for nearly 30 years but he's said a few times it's dependent upon other schedules.

The Last Kingdom novels are a mixed bag. The original Saxon Chronicles that predate the BBC series are better quality than the rushed later ones.
 

Lacking Moral Fibre

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer


I'm reading this at the moment. Bernard Fall a Frenchman was one of the few journo's to cover the doomed attempt by the French to reoccupy Indochina after WW2. He was killed by a landmine while out accompanying a USMC patrol back in S Vietnam in the 1960's.
He describes the fighting in great detail, many of the battles were the Viet minh ambushing the road convoys as they crawled through the jungle clad hills. There were few helicopters in the early 1950's so most operations were road borne. A large part of the French army were colonial troops or foreign legion. Small garrisons of colonial troops lead by a few French NCO's or an officer fought off many ferocious night attacks before the survivors escaped into the hills dragging the wounded desperate to reach the next fortified strong point. However they all fought with great determination when the odds were always against them.
Much of the kit was American supplied and they also financed much of the war as France was broke after WW2. There were many airborne drops and on most of these female medics jumped in as well. Strangely on a few occasions the Communists allowed wounded French forces to be collected and evacuated something that never happened later on. Like the later Vietnam War the war was unpopular back in France and had little support internationally. Even some of the American supplied vehicles had been sabotaged by US dockworkers.
He wrote another book about the climatic battle at Dien Bien Phu so there isn't much on that. However he describes the loss of Group Mobile 100, an armoured brigade that was ambushed to destruction in great detail.
I think its a good book, a little dated the bigger war hadn't got going yet, but I'd recommend it.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
'The Secret History of the Blitz' which I reviewed four years ago - as with other re-reads, no sense of deja-vu at all, all the material comes across as quite new!

 
Anyone read the “Bob Servant” books? I think they were on the radio as well.
Just finished “Why me?” And I have not laughed that hard in years. I was in the bath and the long-suffering Mrs R came upstairs as she thought I was having a heart attack.
 
How does it compare to “I Flew for the Fuhrer”?
I haven't read that yet, like I said it's not a bad book but around a quarter of it is about his childhood,he joined up in 1940 has various postings and training posts before finally making it as a pilot,then through no fault of his own he gets sent off for training and becoming an instructor before finally being sent to an operational unit in March 45 getting shot down in his first air combat and then getting shot down and captured on June 7. Other than some mildly interesting passages on flying not much really happens.
Ps, he never met or knew a single Nazi.
 
I haven't read that yet, like I said it's not a bad book but around a quarter of it is about his childhood,he joined up in 1940 has various postings and training posts before finally making it as a pilot,then through no fault of his own he gets sent off for training and becoming an instructor before finally being sent to an operational unit in March 45 getting shot down in his first air combat and then getting shot down and captured on June 7. Other than some mildly interesting passages on flying not much really happens.
Ps, he never met or knew a single Nazi.
OK. Fairly sure someone will tell about Heinz Knoke’s book. One thing I will say, the length of training the Luftwaffe went through was surprising in its length. No spoilers, though.
 

exspy

LE
... before finally being sent to an operational unit in March 45 getting shot down in his first air combat and then getting shot down and captured on June 7.
He must have been pissed getting shot down a month after VE-Day.
 

TamH70

MIA
The first in the Scottish-set police procedural series featuring DI Anderson and DS Costello by Caro Ramsay, "Absolution". Quite good so far, and unlike the slightly similar works done by Christopher Brookmyre, (the Jasmine Sharp/Catherine McCleod trilogy - also rather good), she isn't afraid to use real geography for her locations.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
Very battered Penguin (I think a survival of my son's GCSE set books) of 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch' by Alexander Solzhenitzin (see his Wiki). Chronicles (from personal experience) the ghastliness of a political prisoner's day in January 1951 in a camp in the Gulag with brutal realism.

Most people have heard of this book.

Everybody should read it.
 

Whining Civvy

Old-Salt
I thought his series on the Arthur legend was excellent but I wasn’t so taken with The Last Kingdom. If you do like that kind of thing Conn Iggulden’s Conqueror series about Genghis Khan and the Emperor series about Julius Caesar are superb.


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Robert Harris does pretty good historical fiction - Pompeii and Imperium and the like.
 
I ripped through Timothy Hallinan's Fool's River quite quickly, it and the entire Poke Rafferty series I found gripping; exciting, emotional and hard to put down.

I have now started this:

prague-fatale-5.jpg


I know Bernie Gunther is familiar to many Arrsers, but this is the synopsis:

Bernie Gunther returns to his desk on homicide from the horrors of the Eastern Front to find Berlin changed for the worse.

He begins to investigate the death of a railway worker, but is obliged to drop everything when Reinhard Heydrich of the SD orders him to Prague to spend a weekend at his country house. Bernie accepts reluctantly, especially when he learns that his fellow guests are all senior figures in the SS and SD.

The weekend quickly turns sour when a body is found in a room locked from the inside. If Bernie fails to solve this impossible mystery not only is his reputation at stake, but also that of Reinhard Heydrich, a man who cannot bear to lose face.
 

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