The summary description of "Blame Hitler" covers the basics of the story well, without actually identifying the aspects that engage the reader making Thomas' bleeding bowel a topic of minor interest. Minor, because there is more going on in this story, between the characters, both within the current time and through flashbacks. Thomas is aging and while not doing too badly physically, mentally he is not coping all that well with the engaging qualities of the symptoms of aging: arthritis and other aches and pains, odd feelings, and the panorama of one's past in general. This is the core of the story and how Thomas eventually reconciles his current existence with both his past, his parents past and maybe his view of Wellington's place in history for that matter, is what sustains the reader to the end. I didn't think the author maintained the momentum at an even pace to the end, which became vague in the last 10 or 20 pages, but that is a personal criticism. That part portrays Thomas' crisis and maybe I missed the point, it just struck me as a little overdone. On the other hand, I wasn't dissatisfied with the resolution in the last 2 or 3 page. The writing is pleasant to read, the descriptions of France are attractive, and some of the incidents are very believable, even vivid. While not a compelling book, it is a long way short of being disappointing. Great for a plane trip and certainly won't be discouraging on a holiday. Give it a go.