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Canoneer "Canoneer" (North Canada)

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Fearless on Everest: The Quest for Sandy Irvine
Fearless on Everest: The Quest for Sandy Irvine
by Julie Summers
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 24.46
16 used & new from CDN$ 3.46

5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally it answers MANY of the Mallory/Irvine questions., Dec 16 2013
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 9 1/2 X 6 1/4 having 290 pages and 24 photo pages.
Most of us are familiar with the general story of the climb to Everest by Mallory and Irvine in 1924....nearly 30 years before Hillary and Tenzing and the POSSIBILITY that they succeeded....at least in reaching the top but not making it down.
The author, distantly related to Irvine and privy to many of his private papers has given us a new glimpse into this previously undervalued climber.
Younger than the other climbers he nonetheless had a climber's spirit and although hoping to have his chance to try for the top he ultimately had to settle for being little more than a support member for the 2 that would try for the top.
But for a fateful chance he would NOT have had his chance but when Mallory's climbing partner had to drop out at the last moment Irvine had his chance....and he took it.
Perhaps youth and TOO much enthusiasm was a contributing factor in his demise....we can only speculate but Ms Summers' account gives a glimpse into the personality of the man and we are privileged to see someone mechanically very gifted and confident...perhaps too much so but like others before him....he allowed confidence to guide him and feed him.
This book does not DEFINITIVELY answer the question of weather or not he/they reached the top but it does answer the question of what would he have sacrificed to ATTEMPT to reach the top...and for that I am grateful.....for it makes for a splendid read.
ABSOLUTELY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

Ensign in Italy: A Story of the Felix Factor : The Nine Lives of a Young Welsh Guards Officer Who Fought in Italy With His Regiment from the Ruins O
Ensign in Italy: A Story of the Felix Factor : The Nine Lives of a Young Welsh Guards Officer Who Fought in Italy With His Regiment from the Ruins O
by Philip Brutton
Edition: Hardcover
11 used & new from CDN$ 23.76

4.0 out of 5 stars Great account of hand to hand fighting in Casino., Dec 16 2013
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 9 1/2 X 6 1/4 having 195 pages and 8 photo pages.
This well written account is of the battles in and around Casino in Italy.
Although much of the major battle is over the minefield and advancement operation is incredible dangerous and read as well as any battle scene I have read of.
All around him is death and injury and the author has a gift for describing the action in vivid detail.
Later he is moved to Austria where he is part of the hand-over to the Croatian government...what became known as the great betrayal.
All in all a very exciting and well written account of the battle on the ground.

The Forgotten Trail
The Forgotten Trail
by Larry Pynn
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 5.30

1.0 out of 5 stars More chance of adventure in the corner store, Dec 16 2013
This review is from: The Forgotten Trail (Hardcover)
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 9 1/2 X 6 1/4 having 236 pages and lots of scattered photos.
Firstly let me comment on the photos. YES....there are lots of them but most look so distressingly posed I wondered if there was a cash reward for them.
Secondly there needs to be at least some rudimentary editing...I mean please...page 24...picture of a driftnet fish-boat...coast mountains backdrop inside the BC border with Alaska...and again on page 64...same boat...SLIGHTLY different angle but the same caption AND in between those 2 pics there are 2 pics ..pages 40 and 46 of Cominco's hovercraft with.....YES...YOU GUESSED IT.......THE SAME CAPTIONS!!!!
Let me guess.....the author...we'll call him Larry....writes the book....takes the pictures....probably does the editing and possible prints the books in his basement studio.
WOW.......I never would have guessed.
The only other pictures are ones gleaned from the BC archives and often seem to have little or no connection to the story.
Most times, however, the pictures look as if they were promised a spot in the book for another favour...who knows?
In any case, this is VERY LITTLE like an adventure on the Klondike trail although I'm not really sure exactly what it is.
One thing is certain....it's NOT an adventure......it's NOT exciting....and I DON'T recommend you spend any hard-earned on it.

With the Wind to the West: The Great Balloon Escape
With the Wind to the West: The Great Balloon Escape
by Jurgen Petschull
Edition: Hardcover
11 used & new from CDN$ 45.49

1.0 out of 5 stars Not heavy enough for a door-stop., Dec 16 2013
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 8 1/2 X 5 1/2 having 181 pages and about 6-8 scattered photos.
At best this story is incredibly dated and would be suitable as an inclusion in a collection of East German before the wall came down escapes but as a standalone book it is woefully thin on adventure.
As well, the writing is simply dreadful. Weather it suffers from translationitis or the author ( being one of the participants ) simply lacks writing skill is of no matter....what does matter is the story is dull....padded....slow-moving.....padded.....and unexciting.
Did I mention padded?
There's little point in mentioning any other unsavory features of the book as it simply is not worth even a short read.
A dull short story that is only duller and longer made into a book.
Leave this one to the East.

H. M. S. "Wild Swan"
H. M. S. "Wild Swan"
by Peter C. Smith
Edition: Hardcover
10 used & new from CDN$ 31.27

2.0 out of 5 stars Not at all up to his usual writing quality., Dec 16 2013
This review is from: H. M. S. "Wild Swan" (Hardcover)
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 9 1/2 X 6 1/4 having 256 pages and 16 photo pages.
Usually I find Mr Smith's books to be both informative and engagingly well written.....this one isn't up to his usual standard in my opinion.
While it is understandably a 'tribute' type book I was hoping for more personal stories with emotion brimming over....instead what I found was a somewhat dry and clinical account of the life of this particular destroyer and while the story itself 'might' be interesting the author's writing style...this time...seems to be disconnected and uninvolved emotionally.
Too bad because it might have been a great story but as it reads here it's just an ordinary story and I have rated it accordingly.
Not recommended for lovers of his usual writing.

Camera in Colditz
Camera in Colditz
by Ron Baybutt
Edition: Hardcover
19 used & new from CDN$ 0.78

5.0 out of 5 stars WOW....Colditz escape tunnels and prisoners as I have never seen them before!, Dec 16 2013
This review is from: Camera in Colditz (Hardcover)
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 10 X 7 1/2 having 128 pages and FULL of exciting photos.
I believe all the photos were taken at the time by a local ( Colditz city ) photographer with the intent of sending them on to other prison camps to let them know what to expect in some areas.
The photos are incredibly revealing and often give you a view of the captives and captors not seen before in other escape books.
I wish the book were twice as large as the photos are absolutely stunning and we see several well known officers in a different light and see many of the escape methods as they were found by their German captors.
All in all a fantastic look at the Colditz prisoner experience that could only be improved by a further 128 pages of photos.

The Last of the Cockleshell Heroes: A World War Two Memoir
The Last of the Cockleshell Heroes: A World War Two Memoir
by William Sparks
Edition: Hardcover
21 used & new from CDN$ 26.92

4.0 out of 5 stars VERY exciting BUT..... basically only one mission story., Dec 16 2013
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 9 1/2 X 6 1/4 having 152 pages and 4 photo pages.
The author wrote this exciting memoir at the age of 70 and recounts his early days in the services as well as early days in the commandos.
Selected, with 11 others, among them the more famous "Blondie" Hasler, their mission was to enter a French harbour and sink as many German ships as possible with the limpet mines they all carried with them.
Dropped outside the harbout by a submarine, in which they were none too comfortable, they made their way into the harbour.
Before even making it into the harbour area they lost one of the 6 'folboat' teams.
Shortly after they lost another and yet another in the violent tidal race they had to fight just to reach the general safety of the harbour.
Mr Sparks tells the story primarily from his viewpoint as a team member with Hasler although periodically he 'updates' us as the location and situation of the other boat teams.
Each team consisted of 2 men in a folding canoe-like folding boat made of canvas.
Obviously;y fragile in the ocean there were serious mishaps for most of the teams and we hear about them as they occur.
I won't spoil the book by revealing the outcome except to say that after the mission they were required to make their was across occupied France and try to make it to Gibraltar where they would be on British territory.
The whole adventure takes them the best part of a year and makes for very exciting reading...in fact the only thing missing is what happened in his military career after this mission.
It would seem that his career ends with the completion of this one mission and while it certainly was a time-consuming and dangerous mission one wonders what other missions he went on during the remaining years of the war.
All in all a very exciting book and well worth the read although at 152 pages it is quite short.
Being one of the last of the 'cockleshell' commandos makes this book a must for anyone interested in their exploits but it's short length and single mission make it something less than af 'full' a read as many others.

Raiders:Great Exploits Of The
Raiders:Great Exploits Of The
by Laffin John
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 3.53

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent coverage of 20 or so famous raids of WW2., Dec 6 2013
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 9 1/2 X 6 1/4 having 194 pages and lots of photos scattered throughout the book.
I was impressed by the quality of the binding and the paper itself in this book with the pages being made of near-photo-quality paper thus permitting photos to be inserted within the general content of the book.
I wish more publishers were aware of how important this quality is to some consumers....me for sure!
As always, author John Laffin knows his subject and writes authoritatively and knowledgeably on it.
Consisting of 22 chapters, each detailing one particular raid.
Most often these raids are by the Allied forces, as is befitting a book by an English author but other famous raids are covered as well.
The stories are concise and well written offering just enough information to explain what occurred and hopefully to stir your interest enough to read further on the raid(s) that interest you.
Included at the end of the book is a short but useful bibliography.
I found his writing style very readable making this book one of the 'page-turner' group.
Highly recommended

WE ONLY KILL EACH OTHER: THE LIFE AND BAD TIMES OF BUGSY SIEGEL.
WE ONLY KILL EACH OTHER: THE LIFE AND BAD TIMES OF BUGSY SIEGEL.
by Dean. Jennings
Edition: Hardcover
5 used & new from CDN$ 94.40

3.0 out of 5 stars Not great but not terrible either., Dec 6 2013
`This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 8 1/2 X 5 1/2 having 224 pages and 8 photo pages.
Providing us with a short history of Bugsy Siegel the author provides us only a little more information that could be garnered from a good encyclopedia.
Entertaining and not too badly written this book still manages to feel like a Reader's Digest version of a full book.
Nothing new and nothing left out or obviously incorrect to my knowledge the best I could say about the book is that it is certainly better than nothing but falls well short of what the modern reader expects in research and coverage in a biography.
Recommended untill something better comes along.

Who Downed the Aces in Wwi?
Who Downed the Aces in Wwi?
by Norman Franks
Edition: Hardcover
15 used & new from CDN$ 33.17

5.0 out of 5 stars INCREDIBLY well researched and presented., Dec 6 2013
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 9 1/2 X 6 1/4 having 218 pages and 24 photo pages.
At first i thought this book, after a quick scan, was going to be little more than a list of the downed pilots from each country year by year and while that does compromise part of the presentation Mr Franks has provided us far more than just that.
I MANY cases he has corrected or at the very least offered us solid fact-based speculation on the likely fate of many contentious downings during the air war of 19 14-18.
There was, naturally little or no coverage of some of the more famous aces of WW 1, notably Billy Bishop save one brief mention indicating Mr Franks is not a believer in the numbers shot down by Bishop.
I found this somewhat ingenuous in view of the MANY times he reminds us of the errors made in good faith by both sides and he doesn't give such short shrift to Ball and the other British aces.
Notwithstanding that I found this volume extremely well researched and presented and while offering us scads of battle statistics he nonetheless makes many of the battles come to life.
Obviously a fan and a knowledgeable enthusiast of air war Mr Franks has given us a very entertaining and informative book on what he believes are the fates of all the downed aces of WW1.
Highly recommended

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