Tag: Second World War

The Case of the Gilded Fly

The Case of the Gilded Fly

by Edmund Crispin (Victor Gollancz, 1944); audiobook read by Paul Panting (HarperCollins, 2017)

Book cover: The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin

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 quarter.

Johnny and the Bomb

Johnny and the Bomb

by Terry Pratchett (Doubleday, 1996); audiobook read by Richard Mitchley (BBC Audiobooks, 1997)

Book cover: Johnny and the Bomb by Terry Pratchett

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)

Shaffer_Barrows_Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society

An epistolary novel, rich in characterisation and engaging both for its historical content (recollections of the German occupation of Guernsey) and as a study in community and friendships. The audiobook is blessed with several different readers, which helps keep the characters distinct.



The Brisbane Line

The Brisbane Line

by Hugh MacMaster (Rockhampton, 2000); audiobook read by Graham Webster (QNS Audio, 2002

MacMaster_Brisbane Line

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

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.