- Taschenbuch: 256 Seiten
- Verlag: Pen & Sword Books Ltd (18. Oktober 2012)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1781590710
- ISBN-13: 978-1781590713
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,7 x 3,2 x 19,7 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
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Coming Home (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 18. Oktober 2012
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Now retired, Roy E Stolworthy lives with his partner, Janice, of 25 years on the outskirts of Northampton. His parents, from the East End of London, were evacuated during the war. With an urge to see the world he signed up for a nine year regular engagement with RAF, quickly discovering a deep aversion to military discipline. An avid reader of anything close at hand, he always knew somewhere down deep inside of him he had a book waiting to be written. 'Coming Home' his first book, was shortlisted to the final 140 from 24,000 entries for the 2010 Brit Awards in London for unpublished fiction. His second book 'All In' a thriller is at the moment available as an e-book.
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The protagonist goes to war voluntarily, under-age for the army but driven by guilt and fear to throw himself into danger at every opportunity. Because of a terrible event early in the narrative, he assumes his older brother’s identity, thus complicating his relationship with the military authorities, his comrades and his family at home. How he deals with all of that—along with the usual issues of adolescent development—in the midst of the utter hell of the war is narrated with considerable power.
Through the author’s clear and unpretentious language, the thoughts and emotions of an ordinary teen-age boy from rural England are conveyed very well. The horror, filth, despair, friendship and heroism of the soldiers’ lives come fully alive. There are some cunning twists in the plot, especially towards the end of the book, that kept me reading eagerly. The conclusion was very satisfying.
I did wonder, though, whether the middle section of the novel needed to be as long. Yes, the author does a very good job of showing the folly and inhumanity of much military strategy, the deplorable conditions and the blind futility of the war as a whole. Yet some of the situations and battle incidents seemed to be making similar points without adding much to the development of character or plot. Was I missing a few things of value through lapses in concentration?
You be the judge. If you like stories about a rite de passage, or about a war that continues to shape our world a hundred years later, or if you simply like excellent suspense stories, I heartily recommend Roy E. Stolworthy’s novel to you.
I began this book knowing Roy Stolworthy wrote it. I knew it would difficult to put down because I have read two books authored by him; and it was. Coming Home is more than a war story; it is a deep look at humankind. It harks back with metaphors much like the efforts of legends that gave us the interior truth about humanity by men like Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, and Carl Jung, while Stolworthy led me to the journey of Thomas Elkin.
A main character with a secret takes the reader to his fifteenth year of life when his brother Archie dies in a way that make even the freakiest accidents seem average ways to die. As I read of his horrific situation, by the third chapter I saw that I was not following Thomas but rather, he was following me.
Within a dazzling effigy of a storyteller, Roy Stolworthy gives a bare and raw account of the jeopardies of World War 1. He creates images and builds momentums so intense that you cannot look away. With unique portrayals of a kind of hell that only exists in battle, he was able to redefine fear in a way I have never seen or heard before. A young boy being face to face with the enemy who wanted him and his comrades dead, and whom held no mercy for human life met a boy with less respect for his own, and that made him dangerous. He had no fear of hazards of combat. He welcomed them, and that fact was rich with irony when he earns honor for bravery while his morality seems absent.
Stolworthy gave me a clear view of the mental and emotional workings of each character, most especially Thomas who was frantically trying to fashion his death, scribing that event with his pen of guilt for the death of a brother. What better place to commit suicide unnoticed, than war? Moreover, what better way to do it... and be a sanctioned as hero, while posing as someone he was not?
Within the story line of Coming Home, Stolworthy allows us to eavesdrop on Thomas's superiors who chastise young Thomas for putting himself in harm's way and triggering risk to the other soldiers who have come to care for him, which caused them to risk their own life.
I must mention the weather. Roy Stolworthy can describe weather like a song. "Raining, raining, forever raining, it became like day is to daylight and dark is to darkness. The raindrops fell, whispering a symphony on the uneven panes of glass, and he thanked God that the fire crackled a smiling comforting hello."
As if every chapter isn't shocking enough; find out what happens to Thomas.
At fifteen years of age Thomas becomes a soldier in the Yorkshire Rifles in his deceased brother's place. He didn't go to war because it was a great adventure, didn't want to be a hero, and didn't do it for King and Country, either. He was responsible for his brother's death and guilt ridden, he wanted to die, and on the battlefield that was an honourable way in which to do it.
The author's style of writing is vivid, and it is hard to believe that this is a work of fiction. I have visited the battlefields of France and Belgium while researching my own World War 1 books, and I can tell you this, the descriptions of the countryside and battles are so vivid I could see the red poppies dancing in the fields, smell the cordite and hear the gunfire and screams of wounded and dying men. The fact that the author mentions places in France and Belgium that I have visited adds even more potency to Thomas Elkin's remarkable story. He is a boy of fifteen who becomes a battle hardened soldier at the tender age of sixteen years.
This book would stack up well with Sebastian Faulk's novel, Bird Song. I am biased as World War 1 is an era I am interested in, but I can honestly say, this is a story you won't be able to put down once you have started reading it. It deserves all the accolades it is receiving.