Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Alamein - Iain Gale

 I was extremely reluctant to read this after Four Days in June, but I wasn't going to the library for another few days so had nothing else to delve into. I hope to keep this review short and sweet because there really isn't a lot I can say about this novel.

 It is in the same style as the last novel and looks at the Battle of Al Alamein through the eyes of Montgomery, Guigand, Rommel and a few other lesser known names. The writing I will say is better than Four Days in June being less flat and dull, but it still suffers from being too simplistic. This sort of writing is insulting and should be put into the young adults section of a library because it is way below even an average adults reading ability. It really is poor writing with absolutely nothing to commend about it.

 Gale at the end of novel boasts that he has read numerous books on the battle and says he got a good feel for the battle. I say bullshit!! He writes several scenes involving New Zealand and Australian soldiers and yet fails miserably to portray them as such They feel like soldiers from any-wheres-ville!! I mean it is so bad he has a couple of German soldiers call each other 'old man'! I mean how BAD is that! No nation's soldiers feel at all like they are from their particular country. The Aussies come across as a bunch of fairies and not the tough foul mouthed Diggers they were. The Germans are more English than German...arrggghhh it is just appalling. The lack of characterisation is some of the worst I've ever encountered. It is extremely poor and I can't believe a novel like this was ever published.

 It is so bad that in several scenes some American Red Cross volunteers are standing around yakking, sharing cigarettes, etc, while they have severely wounded men waiting in their ambulance. I mean how inaccurate is that?! Also scenes with officers giving orders almost read like a walk in the park and not of those in the middle of a war zone. Just poor, very poor.

 And that is it. I cannot in anyway find anything else to write. If you are like me and grew up in the late 1970's and the early 80's you'll remember the Commando comics well. Alamein in essence is a Commando comic but without the pictures. It is terrible and is nothing more than what  a schoolboy of 14 would find appealing.

 Terrible. An insult to your intellect and reading ability as it has no real redeeming features what so ever. AVOID!! ( If you need confirmation then go to and read the reviews there. This has an average rating of 1 out of 5 stars. Says it all does it not??! ).


  1. Good honest review, thanks for that.

  2. It is a poor book I'm afraid. I struggled to read it due to its total lack of engagement. It really is just schollboy stuff.

  3. A good review, but Brent doesn't seem impressed, i'm going to give it a flick through the next time im at a bookstore to see for myself! Thanks for the info!

  4. Entirely up to you!! It is what I liked reading when in highscholl and I'm well passed that level of writing now!!