The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin (Victor Gollancz, 1944); audiobook read by Paul Panting (HarperCollins, 2017) Crispin’s quasi-humorous style (satirically intended but sordidly directed) comes across merely as tiresome. The mystery’s ‘ingenious’ solution proves elusive mostly due to being ludicrously improbable and thoroughly reliant on coincidences. Gervase Fen, though a striking protagonist, doesn’t appear for the first…
Tag: Second World War
Johnny and the Bomb
Johnny and the Bomb by Terry Pratchett (Doubleday, 1996); audiobook read by Richard Mitchley (BBC Audiobooks, 1997) Pratchett gifts middle-grade readers the perfect introduction to time travel, albeit that his mid-1990s ‘now’ is itself receding into history, in rapid pursuit of the Second World War ‘then’. Thought-provoking and wryly funny, with memorable characters and a rich vein of dialogue. …
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows (Dial Press, 2008) audiobook read by Paul Boehmer, Susan Duerden, Rosalyn Landor, John Lee, and Juliet Mills (Random House Audio, 2008) An epistolary novel, rich in characterisation and engaging both for its historical content (recollections of the German occupation of Guernsey) and as a study…
The Brisbane Line
The Brisbane Line by Hugh MacMaster (Rockhampton, 2000); audiobook read by Graham Webster (QNS Audio, 2002 A locally produced account of Australia’s controversial Second World War defence strategy and the historical circumstances from which it arose. MacMaster succeeds admirably in detailing Australia’s war efforts and providing the global context of military mismanagement, clandestine manoeuvring and self-interested political short-sightedness.
The Captain [German: Der Hauptmann] dir. Robert Schwentke (2018) [Subtitled] A German deserter in the final weeks of the Second World War stumbles upon the uniform of a Luftwaffe captain and assumes his identity. A tense, grimly realised true story that unflaggingly defies audience expectation of some high-minded purpose behind the deception.