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am 10. Mai 1998
Peter Amcotts' autobiography is the stuff of =best-selling fiction: adventure, romance, the best of times, the worstof times, betrayal, loss and finally peace. H.Rider Haggard could have written it. Or Edgar Rice Burroughs. But Amcotts wrote it himself, and it's not fiction. It's a true-life adventure that spans the globe. Amcotts, a World War II veteran, writes about life with verve and humor. He's experienced it all, from an abusive father to a British "public school" education, to the war, to love and marriage, to his experiences as an ex-pat in East Africa, Canada, Hawaii and the Middle East. Amcotts' adventures make for enjoyable reading, although his British reserve keeps him from writing as much about his feelings as one would have liked. Having met the author and his wife, and one of their daughters, it's a pleasure to see the pictures of them in by-gone days. Amcotts' descriptions of his life, especially the family's times in Kenya, are vivid. The family lived on part of a former coffee plantation that once belonged to Karen Blixen. During the Mau Mau insurgency, they went to bed with loaded pistols at their sides. Having known many American World War II veterans, I found it very interesting to read the experiences of a British soldier. Mrs.. Amcotts was also in uniform. Is a second installment of the family saga, her story, in order? Autobiography and reminiscences are genres that capture the past in the most personal of ways. The Best Laid Plans recreates part of the 20th century from the author's point of view. That personal history, and that point of view, is worth reading, and enjoying.
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am 24. März 1998
A review from Cliff Bowyer, the president of theBritish-American Club. =I have just finished a very interesting book, it is an Autobiography, but reads like a novel. It is a true story of adventure, travel, romance, world war, revolution, failure and success. Written by an ex-Brit, who recently moved to the Bay Area after living in many countries. It spans the years from the mid 1920s to the present day and covers four continents. The book tells the author's life as a boy growing up under the very dominant thumb of an over strict father. His years at public school, the W.W.II. Serving in the Royal Engineers in India. How he met his future wife who at the time was serving in the WRNS. The post war years in England were hard for ex-servicemen who had been subjected to life abroad. So austerity and the ever present search for adventure led the author to a new life in East Africa, at the time of the Mau Mau rebellion. You will read his journey to the New World and the many exciting travels and experiences that followed... but I could go on and on. I must admit I did get carried away with this very intriguing story. If you are someone who likes unusual Autobiographies, this is the book for you.
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am 1. März 1998
I find the style of the writing to be the most unique aspect of this biography. One sentence can convey a whole stream of related thoughts that could be expanded into a seperate novel, possibly fiction based on Mr. Amcotts experience that day. The episodes presented in Africa are the most intrigueing. I thought of some enlightened sreenwriter adapting a concept storyline from a single page and developing a major motion picture! Mr. Amcotts P.O.V.(Point of view) style of writing makes one wish for a slower, more colorful, pace. I find myself wanting to interupt his presentation to ask for explanations of "why" or maybe a more personal observation of the situation he has placed himself in. Retrospection is a useful teaching tool that should be used to fuller advantage for the benefit of the reader rather than the Author. But realizing that and reading between lines does provide some entertaining thoughts for the reader.
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