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Born in Newport, Monmouthshire, 1931, Leslie Thomas is the son of a sailor who was lost of sea in 1943. His boyhood in an orphanage is evoked in This Time Next Week published in 1964. At sixteen, he became a reporter, before going on to do his national service. He won worldwide acclaim with his bestselling novel The Virgin Soldiers, which has achieved international sales of over two million copies. Leslie Thomas died in May 2014.
When you get an old trooper like Leslie Thomas you know you are in good hands. Essentially this is the story of people coping with, taking advantage of and loving war. There is a spirit of live now/ pay later about this novel which is steeped in nostalgia and spotted with true-blooded Brits, oh, and a French woman. Itâ€™s a lovely, light period read.Comparison: Alan Titchmarsh, Keith Waterhouse, David Lodge.Similar this month: Billy Hopkins.
Ein amusant-gescheiter Roman uber Manner und Frauen, die vom Aussteigen traumen. Was der "e;Held"e; nach seinem Ausbrechen aus Ehealltag und Anwaltsberuf rund um den Globus an Abenteuern erlebt, lat dem Leser auf jeder Seite das Herz aufgehen: Kurzweil und Spannung, Situationskomik, dichte Atmosphare, farbige Schauplatze und kostliche Episoden, die wie Perlen auf eine Schnur gereiht sind. (Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine fruhere Ausgabe.)
Die abenteuerliche Lebensgeschichte der Nellie Luscombe aus Devon zeigt, was ein braves Madchen alles erlebt, wenn die Natur es reichlich mit gewissen Talenten ausgestattet hat: Was immer sie tut, Nell wirkt in jeder Lebenslage auf Manner wie der Honigtopf auf Wespen ... Die kleine Nell lernt rasch, wie man solche Talente an den Mann bringt, Angenehmes mit Nutzlichem verbindet und obendrein noch seinen Spa dran hat. (Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine fruhere Ausgabe.)
In the spring of 1940, the spectre of war turned into grim reality. And on the English home front, men, women and children found themselves swept into a maelstrom of fear and uncertainty while events abroad led inexorably from the debacles of Norway and Dunkirk to the horror and glory of the Battle of Britain. For the Lovatt family - James, seconded on a hush-hush assignment to work with Churchill, and his brother Harry, a naval officer - for Bess Spofford, Joanne Schorner, Graham Smit and all the inhabitants of the history villages of the New Forest, it was the beginning of the most bizarre, funny and tragic episode of their lives.
Mid-winter, 1943. Britain is gripped by intense cold and in the darkest days of the war. It is six months before D-Day and the battle to liberate Nazi-occupied Europe. RAF officer Martin Paget is returning home for Christmas He has been on covert operations in France and knows he has to return there. While in England, he rediscovers a passion that he thought was long over. In a freezing hut on Salisbury Plain, Sergeant Harris's mind is occupied by questions of just how his young and ebullient wife is coping with their separation. His troops are training for landing on the shores of Normandy. US officer Harry Miller arrives in Somerset where his American division has set up its headquarters. His affair with an Englishwoman is both bittersweet and potentially dangerous. Enjoying fishing off the coast of occupied Jersey is German cook sergeant Fred Weber. He believes he has found a sort of peace in the midst of the terrible conflict. But his calm is soon to be shattered as his war takes on a violent twist... Each man is heading inexorably towards the beaches of France where the great battle will begin...
The new tale of love and life, rich with humour and pathos, from our best loved storyteller. From the prison cell where Chloe Smith, 43, is awaiting trial for the merciful murder of the only man who ever loved her with honesty, she recalls the men in her life who lied to her. She remembers her adored father, who drank too much; the loss of her virginity at Stonehenge to a schoolboy, her marriage to petty crook Zane Tomkins, the Isle of Wight ferryman who said he was a lonely deep sea sailor, the young priest who said he loved her but left to establish a church for men, or the lighthouse keeper who shouted in his sleep-all these men, and many others, have let Chloe down. Chloe`s Song is the story of one woman`s quest to get what every woman wants-a man who tells the truth.
In a sunlit, secret valley in the green mountains of central Italy, two people meet away from the horrors and clamour of battle. David Hopkins, a young fisherman from west Wales and Kate Medhurst, from a genteel town in the Thames Valley, embark upon an idyllic love affair away from the conflict that surrounds them. However, they cannot escape the war forever, and when they are targeted by a single enemy aeroplane their dreams are destroyed. Weeks later, Hopkins wakes up in a Russian hospital in Vienna where he's slowly recovering from serious wounds - with no recollection of the past. Eventually, transferred to an American hospital and then repatriated to Britain, Hopkins reluctantly returns to Wales. And there, alone and haunted by the months he cannot remember, Hopkins embarks upon a journey of rediscovery...
Summer 1940. The evacuation of Dunkirk proves that the British can rise to a challenge, even against seemingly insurmountable odds. But now the soldiers walk the streets of Dover, even wandering through Woolworths store, and take weary turns on the town's skating rink. Life, despite the threat of invasion and the reality of bombing, must go on and people must take comfort where they find it. Toby Hendry, a fighter pilot, is awaiting orders when he meets Giselle, a young Frenchwoman who took the chance to flee occupied France with the English troops. Their love affair feels like a summer idyll, but can it withstand the forces of war? Meanwhile, reserve naval commander Paul Instow has been called up to fight in a war for which he feels too old. Distracting him from his worries is Molly, a young Dover prostitute. Their relationship is tender and happy, but is this a love born from desperation or could it be something more permanent? And then there are Harold, Spots and Boot, three boys desperate to fight the German invaders, armed only with catapults and a stolen Bren gun... In Dover Beach Thomas chronicles the lives and loves of ordinary people in besiged Britain during these tense, but curiously elated days.
From Barnardo boy to original virgin soldier; from apprentice journalist in London's Fleet Street to famous novelist... At times funny, at times sad, but always honest and utterly compulsive, Leslie Thomas's story is straight out of fiction. As an orphan, he picked his way through the rubble of post-war Britain and was sent on national service to the Far East. Later he became a Fleet Street reporter, with hilarious experiences to relate, and then became the bestselling author of The Virgin Soldiers - the novel that, although scandalous in its day, is now recognised as a classic of its kind. He is also the creator of Dangerous Davies: The Last Detective, which has been adapted into a popular television series. In 2005, Leslie Thomas was awarded an OBE for services to literature. With a new introduction for this edition, this is an amazing story, and Leslie Thomas's magic touch brings it crackling to life with warmth, wit and humour.
Bursting with life and bawdy humour, National Serviceman Brigg is now a Regular Army sergeant, defending the Empire in the beds and bars of Hong Kong. Peace-time diversions include: sensual fireworks with a pair of delicious Chinese twins and a tender, erotic affair with the lonely wife of an American serviceman.
'It rained a lot and steamed when the sun shone. It was always hot. But it was safe...' One way or another the Communist guerrilla war in Malaya kept a whole British army occupied from 1948 until 1952. They were the virgin soldiers. Idle, homesick, afraid, bored, oversexed and unsatisfied. A young virgin like Brigg had to grab his fun while and where he could - in the Liberty Club, in Juicy Lucy's flat or up in Phillipa's room - in one frantic attempt at living before he died or got demobbed...
The worst has happened. On the eve of their return to Blighty, Brigg and his fellow National Servicemen find themselves sentenced to another six months in Panglin Barracks... Many of the surviving characters from The Virgin Soldiers live again in these pages: dogged Tasker, the odious Sergeant Wellbeloved, the vulnerable Colonel Bromley Pickering and the comically touching Juicy Lucy. But we encounter new characters too: the fanatical and demented Lieutenant Grainger; the endearing Welshman, Morris Morris - strong as a horse but bafflingly buxom; US Private Clay - mysteriously lost in transit by the American Army; and last, but not least, Bernice Harrison, the sporting nurse who threatens to replace the wayward Lucy in Brigg's affections...
The war, they said, would be over by Christmas. That was in 1939, and it is now January 1944. An exhausted Britain faces another year of conflict. Meanwhile, small coastal villages in Devon are facing an invasion from an army just as foreign as that of the Germans. The Americans are smart, well-fed and well-equipped, and they have swept the bewildered citizens of South Devon from their homes in deadly earnest rehearsal for D-Day. As the beaches echo to the sound of bullets and the local church to the strains of Glenn Miller, Americans and English are thrown together with sometimes hilarious, sometimes painful and puzzling results.
A walk through Kensal Green Cemetery, a meat pie in the greasy spoon, a weekend away complete with flannel pyjamas - Dangerous Davies knows how to treat the woman he loves. Detective Constable Davies has two things on his mind: Jemma Duval, the beautiful, black, hymn-singing social worker, and 'Lofty' Brock, the harmless old eccentric who drowned in the canal. To prove that Lofty's death was no accident, our hero sets out to do some undercover detective work. He soon discovers that something sinister is going on. Something that requires intuition, dedication, brilliant deduction - and a timely blow with a blunt instrument.
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