Army Rumour Service

This is a sample guest message. Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

What are you reading right now?

Brazen Chariots / Major Bob Crisp DSO MC
Anyone with an interest in armoured warfare and the Desert Campaign should read this book .
The author , an absolute legend ( see below ) , has great a flair for telling a story and I can hardly put the book down .
Another book on the campaign not to miss is Alamein to Zem Zem by Lt Keith Douglas , who sadly was killed in the early days of the Normandy campaign
 

Whining Civvy

War Hero
View attachment 493795
On the day after Halloween, in the year 1327, four children slip away from the cathedral city of Kingsbridge. They are a thief, a bully, a boy genius and a girl who wants to be a doctor. In the forest they see two men killed.

As adults, their lives will be braided together by ambition, love, greed and revenge. They will see prosperity and famine, plague and war. One boy will travel the world but come home in the end; the other will be a powerful, corrupt nobleman. One girl will defy the might of the medieval church; the other will pursue an impossible love. And always they will live under the long shadow of the unexplained killing they witnessed on that fateful childhood day.

A good book but the characters and plots are too similar to the first book.
So is the third. The first is a fantastic book just for the sheer originality of it, the followups are still very enjoyable but a bit samey samey.
 
started reading this, gave it up as a waste of reading time, the first opening scene's of two off duty Marines (their most importation identification, ie which Marine Division to which they belonged is not mentioned by the author, a sign of things to come.) they swam and watched as Pearl is attacked, and P38s and Mustangs get up to attack the Japanese aircraft formations. P38's & Mustangs!
what can I take from this book after five pages?
we take WW2 accuracy far more seriously now than they did in the 1950-60s, mainly due to the efforts of those who demand the truth and finally listen to the men who were there. The rest is just crap.
View attachment 496051
Cheers I shall be deleting my copy unread
 

Whining Civvy

War Hero
And made into the most execrable television drama I have ever had the misfortune to watch.

And now for something completely different.

Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage. Published in 1998 it follows US attempts to use submarines for spying on Russian activities from its beginning in 1949 to the fall of the Soviet Union and the shift to spying on other nations.

It details some of the triumphs and tragedies along the way; documents all known collisions between US (and one UK) subs and Soviet vessels; the attempt to lift a Golf class sub from the Pacific floor; and the internecine fighting between the CIA and Office of Naval Intelligence over access to funding and resources.

The book also looks in some detail at Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, the person who single-mindedly drove the US nuclear submarine program but who could not stand being excluded from knowing what his boats were doing when tasked with intelligence gathering missions. His volatility at being denied information cost the careers of several officers most unfairly. However, I did like one officer's response when being interviewed for a position on one of Rickover's nuclear subs and was told to "Piss me off if you can." Without saying a word the candidate lifted his arm and with one motion swept Rickover's desk clean. He got the job.

View attachment 494211
Yeah I can second this review, I have a copy. It's a great read.
 
Started reading A Town like Alice by Nevil Shute. Quite more to the story than the excellent film with Peter Finch and Virginia McKenna (currently on iPlayer for a couple more weeks so worth a watch)
 

RedDinger

Clanker
Started reading A Town like Alice by Nevil Shute. Quite more to the story than the excellent film with Peter Finch and Virginia McKenna (currently on iPlayer for a couple more weeks so worth a watch)
Try "On the Beach" next. Its equally as good. As was the film.
 
It doesn't take too long to knock off a book by Robert G. Barrett, so last night I started a different Barrett/t:

dragon-slayer-2.jpg


Synopsis:
The three short novels in this volume are related not simply by their milieu of Chinese culture but also by how the supernatural world – or our fears of it – can dramatically shape events in our daily lives.

In Bones of the Chinamen the hellish world of the Chinese slave trade is recreated; a world of violence, cruelty and sudden death. In Dragon Slayer, an American helicopter crew is suddenly transported from 1968 Vietnam into 1857 China where they find themselves caught up in the midst of yet another war. In Golden Dragon, along the barren coast of Down East Maine, local thugs kill employees of a Chinese restaurant, and believe themselves safe from retribution; until a mysterious and beautiful Chinese woman appears.

"Individually, each of these novellas is a stunning read. Together, they're a treatise on the author's limitless imagination, unbridled passion for his subject matter, and unerring instincts." - Jeff Cook, Round Table Reviews
 

Chimp

ADC
1597408407067.png

The usual majestic flowing prose from the man I and many others consider to be America's greatest living story teller. This is a beautifully told nihilistic tale the wheres and whens are unanswered - an American mountainous area?? at the turn of the lat century?? - and the bleakness has a scenery all of its own.
The closest we have is probably Jim Crace, his Arcadia is a stunner.
 
Last edited:
I am quite a fan of the work of Wigan's favourite son, Stuart Maconie. I have read a number of his books and I have found them to be well researched, well written and funny. Not overtly political but with a lefty slant. So I picked up his latest 'The Nanny State Made Me' and got started.
Wow. Halfway through the introduction I nearly chucked it in the bin, but I thought I've started so I'll finish. Thatcher's policy of privatisation gets a kicking but Tony Blair's government carried it on and this does not even get a mention in passing. Likewise, the banks. Stewie seems to have forgotten that we had a Labour government at the time of the financial crash. He also describes an encounter with... a group of 'veterans'... Why he used inverted commas on the word is not made clear, what is made clear is that he did not support the actions of the group who were protesting about the witch hunt of those of us who were in NI. He actually used the phrase 'accused of murdering innocent Irish civilians on Bloody Sunday'. And so it goes on. In Stewie's opinion the BBC (his paymaster) is definitely not politically biased and the licence fee is not compulsory. If that is the case then why do people get dragged into court if they don't pay it? Etc,etc.
So, I was very disappointed by this book and I will certainly think twice before shelling out my hard earned on any more of his work.
 
" Panzer Commander " by Col Hans Von Luck .
A very interesting read all round , slightly embellished here and there , but an interesting record of events leading up to the war to the late 80's , including his five years as a Soviet prisoner from 1945-50 .
 
Just finished this

513kxrN47ZL.jpg


A bit like a Berlitz Guide for wiseguys. Fairly tongue-in-cheek and pretty funny. And yes, I did read it in Ray Liotta's voice.
 
View attachment 497031
The usual majestic flowing prose from the man I and many others consider to be America's greatest living story teller. This is a beautifully told nihilistic tale the wheres and whens are answered - an American mountainous area?? at the turn of the lat century?? - and the bleakness has a scenery all of its own.
The closest we have is probably Jim Crace, his Arcadia is a stunner.

Absolutely agree on Cormac McCarthy. I have most of his works on my bookshelf just waiting for a re-read soon. He is one of the very few novelists I read and keep the book rather than consigning it to an op-shop bin.
 
I finished Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall a few days ago and just started on Bring Up The Bodies.

I can understand why writers through the centuries have been interested in the reign of King Henry VIII, it was a fascinating time. And Mantel's books bring the era to life, she must have put an awful lot of research into them. She seems to have taken a lot from Bernard Cornwell's format (unless it's the other way around, but I don't think so), in taking historical characters, players and events and woven actual and fictional, or semi-fictional, characters into the stories surrounding real events. Her writing style does take a bit of getting used to in that she centres the story on Thomas Cromwell and the writing focuses primarily on him, so she uses the word 'He' a lot, meaning Cromwell although another male is being discussed. At least, it took me a little while to get used to. I must say that I am thoroughly enjoying reading them, despite not thinking that I would, and I feel they are worthy winners of the Man Booker Prizes.

I find myself delving into the internet to do some small research on the players of the time and it becomes clear how much Thomas Cromwell influenced British history through, and alongside, Henry VIII - or is it vice versa - leading to the Armada, the English Civil War and, eventually, the British Empire.

Choosing to tell Cromwell's story as the central character is very astute, and you'll understand why when reading the books and by researching his extended family's subsequent history. A man, and family, to shape history.

5 beheadings out of 5.
 

Latest Threads

Top