Going to the Wars by John Verney starts before the last war at a Yeomanry camp in Somerset. Amateur soldiering ing the 1930s is gaily described, and we are introduced to many of the characters whose comings and going form a striking pattern throughout the book. Among these characters Amos, debonair, aloof, confident, rather mysterious, is a memorable figure.
The war starts, the author finds himself in the Middle East learning, in spite of himself to be a soldire. At a later stage, he becomes a parachutist, joins an irregular organization on S.O.E. lines, and leads a 'drop' into Sardinia.
His adventures there, including two weeks wandering about in the enemy country, his capture and final escape, are brilliantly told. Woven into the fabric of this narrative of a young man growing relutantly to maturity and coming to terms with a way of life that is basically unongenial to him, is the theme of his wife Lucinda and his child whom he has never seen, and his longing to return to them both. A writer of considerable accomplishment: often extremely funny, often evocative and subtle, always distinctive, whether he is writing of his fellow soldiers, of his own adventures and misadventures, of his thoughts on war, life, and personal relationship, of the past or present.
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