As is my want, and having finally finished this latest spot of bedtime reading, it is customary to pen a short review, but with this splendid tale of 'Imaginary Combat' by Harry Pearson I intend to break with tradition a tad and direct you to the reviews of others. The first thing to acknowledge is that I own this book as a direct result of having read the positive reviews at both Paul's, 'The Man Cave' and Ben's, 'Monsieur le Rosbif & Johnny Frog'. Both Gentlemen had written such glowing reports that I quickly scribbled down the title and added it to my Christmas wish list - yes, I really do that!
On completion, I thought I would revisit their reviews and measure my own findings against their own and I have to confess that I found myself in total agreement with both, this really was a gem of a book and probably should be required reading for all that share an interest in this most wholesome of hobbies. So good, in fact, are Paul's and Ben's reviews that it seems a little churlish of me to reinvent them here, so I shall just quote a little from both and encourage you to read them in their entirety by following the links to their respective blogs.
from 'The Man Cave':
...the author goes on to make other wonderfully self mocking commentaries which apply to all of us gamers really. For example, after recording the time it took to paint 28 20mm soldiers (43hrs, 27mins - a full working week with a bit of overtime) he observes 'I thought of all the figures I had painted in my life.How many years it had taken to paint them. If I had put it into some sensible activity I might now be a lawyer, architect or neurosurgeon and you'd be reading a book by somebody sensible like John Grisham, Bernard Cornwell or Alain de Botton.' Certainly a perspective most gamer wives would agree with, even if only from a financial perspective. Nonetheless you can feel the love and enjoyment of modelling and gaming all the way through the book.
from 'Monsieur le Rosbif & Johnny Frog':
This book is a rolled-gold, authentic, laugh-out-loud cack-fest that should be required reading for all historical wargamers. While I only took up this hobby 6 years ago, my childhood was so filled with toy soldiers and dreams of heroism and glory that the author's reminiscences struck a clear note of recognition in me. His descriptions of role-playing-games and their players had me laughing till I shed tears, and his descriptions of wargames conventions and the people who attend them was uncomfortably close to the truth!
There will be no 'tie in' miniature to this title as in previous posts just the most sincerest recommendation and a strong four crown rating from yours truly - certainly worth every penny in my humble opinion.