I've always wanted to pick this book up again and read it to the end, and it's been on my shelf ever since, reminding me of this fact and taunting me. Well, I've finally been in the right mind set and the right mood to pick it up again, and now can't think what all the fuss was about.
This is an excellent Australian War Classic, with a forward from Weary Dunlop, and provides a look at the lives of several Australian soldiers in the Second World War. I enjoyed joining them in this era, and making sense of their lingo and turns of phrase. I recognised their love of women and beer and was touched by their individual reflections on war and the situations they found themselves in.
I understood many of their observations from my own time in Defence and this book certainly rings true in so many ways. However by the end of the book, I would be surprised if any reader came to the conclusion that war is a good thing. In fact, I wonder how I would have felt if I'd finished reading this at ADFA and how I would have reconciled the anti-war nature of this book with the fact that I was training to be an Officer in the Defence Force.
My rating = ***1/2