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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Shabby in the extreme


Desmond7

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A fantasticly insightful book, packed with facts regarding war the effects on the human condition and the development of psychology and psychiatry. I learned a great deal from this book and would recommend it to anyone who was interested in the above.

(So says the online customer review... time for you to add your thoughts I think)

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I posted this review from Psychiatric Bulletin on the Forum a couple of years ago in the thread about 'Forgotten Lunatics'.

I didn't find the book so offensive when I read it in 1998, but perhaps it depends on the point of view from which you're approaching it. It's meant for a popular audience, which must include me, because no-one here would accuse me of knowing anything much about the Great War, so I wasn't looking out for military errors.

I suspect that nine years more of psychiatric research available to authors now and a greater awareness of the psychiatric and psychological effects of trauma woiuld have produced a sounder book today.

Gwyn

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I take it that you don't think much of this book ,Des? :D

Dave

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I'm glad someone agrees with me about this book.

I got the feeling that because of the content it was completly non pc to criticise it.

Mick

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I wish people wouldn't post things like this. It really annoys me, to be frank.

Now Des goes and makes sure I'll have to read the blasted thing just to see how ropey it is :lol:

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I quote from P. 65

Confronted with a revolt on the German home front, with servicemen istigating mutiny and revolutionists whipping up anti-war fury, the NAZI (!!!)High Command signed the terms of surrender in Marshal Foch's railway carriage in the forest of Compiegene, France.

There are many more total horlicks moments in this pitiful, cobbled together, biased, immature, puerile, offensive book.

The one above sums it up for me.

Anyone else as 'shell shocked' as I was to see such a HOWLING error?

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Psychiatrists? "Well there you go" :rolleyes: as my children would say

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While obviously I wouldnt have wished such an indefensible mistake to pass into publication, I would suggest that there is a possibility that the non-specialist intended readership who bought the book to accompany the television series might have finished it knowing just a little more about psychiatric injury.

However, if this is going to degenerate into a thread slagging off psychiatric professionals, I'm out of it.

Gwyn

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, the NAZI (!!!)High Command signed the terms of surrender in Marshal Foch's railway carriage in the forest of Compiegene, France.

Well, they did (in a way). Problem is, is that it was 22 years later from the events that I presume are being talked about when they did do! :D

Dave.

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As Steve says, I now will have to get hold of a copy so that I can decide whether I agree with Des' reasoned moderate comments or not.

I hadn't really detected the thread lurching towards a shrink witch-hunt. (and I only use the term shrink because I can't spell psychiatrist.)

Whilst many have suggested I may need their services, I have only ever met one , who was a real babe but whose profession intimidated me - I am still working through the resentment , angst and confusion this caused me, I think!

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Even stranger, this author is really noted for rather fluffy bits of chick lit. In fact, that was my first thought upon seeing the name! ( Of course, my daily stress level has required me to read several of these!)

"There are more things in heaven and earth ..."

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Apologies if I offended anyone didnt mean to :mellow:

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The one above sums it up for me.

Des

How's about having another bash, and do a fuller critique, for those of us who havnt read it.

Interesting subject - worthy of your razor-sharp wit to pick it apart. As Gwyn points out a daft error can creep into anyone's prose.

John

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As I have said before and will say again, a poor book is of great value because it makes the reader think, far more so than a good book. I just feel sorry for the readers who don't think about what they read.

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Even stranger, this author is really noted for rather fluffy bits of chick lit. In fact, that was my first thought upon seeing the name!

I don't believe this to be the case.

The author of 'Shell Shock' now writes under the name Taylor Holden. Her photo is here. on her website.

This is Wendy Holden the chick lit author. Also here.

Gwyn

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How's about having another bash, and do a fuller critique, for those of us who havnt read it.

Yes.

I would agree that there are far better books on the subject, but as far as I know, the book was well received by people who were reading it from the position of wishing to know more about mental health issues affecting those engaged in war. At the time, it wasn't aimed at specialists; and our understanding of, and sensitivity to, the effects of trauma has been advanced since then, partly because of events such as 9/11 and the London terrorist bombings.

Gwyn

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P 15

In October 1915 the allies attempted an attack on the Germans across the Flanders plain in what became known as the FIRST battle of Ypres. It was abandoned after seven weeks .. blah blah. The following month (by the author's dateline November 1915), the so-called race to the sea attempt to turn the German flank also failed blah blah

P 29 - Between April and May 1915 at the SECOND battle of Ypres ...

P 33 - Referring to 1st July 1916 - blah blah .. 'or driven over by their OWN TANKS - used for the first time by the British ...'

Also P. 33 by the end of the battle around 600,000 Germans were DEAD.

The evaluation of shell shock in relation to shot at dawn cases reeks with imbalance.

I could go on. But I won't. Let people make up their own minds.

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Will you be adding this Book the Most Boring/Disliked Books Thread ?.. :D

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Surely such a blithe disregard for dates and facts throws a shadow over the content of the whole book? Some bad books, I feel compelled to read to see if I agree. This won't be one of them.

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Surely such a blithe disregard for dates and facts throws a shadow over the content of the whole book?

Yes, I agree. It undermines what may well have been a good analysis of the central issue. I just know that the anorak in me would get in the way of the reading.

Thanks for the extra, Des.

John

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This is Wendy Holden the chick lit author.

So, not only the wrong person, but also the wrong genre. From what Des says about it, this one seems to be cat lit.

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Whew! That's a relief.. Worlds did not collide then. However, it doesn't seem to have boosted the credibility of the book for some despite the absence of a chick lit resume.

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