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Biggles in France by W. E. Johns
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Biggles in France (1935)

by W. E. Johns

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I've been reading Biggles for a long time, we will not discuss the movie and how it was just wrong (not the worst movie just NOT BIGGLES!) The footnotes interrupt the flow (a glossary in the back could have been more useful). Captain W. E. Johns served himself and these stories read like vaguely fictionalised and co-joined accounts of life at the front line, the gallows humour, the pranks, the reality of dead friends.

The surface of this is the derring do of the adventurous World War I pilot, but underneath this is an acknowledgement that many of the pilots ate breakfast together and then didn't ever see each other again.

These are short stories, some a chapter long, others a few chapters looking at life in wartime Royal Flying Corps, yes it's a male only cast but that reflects front-line wartime situations that it's set in.

It's interesting to read as a kid and interesting to read some of the subtext as an adult. I got a bit of it as a kid but now I can see more. It is quite possible that Biggles and co were my first crushes, but the suck fairy didn't visit. The World War I stories and the just-post World War I are my favourites. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Jun 20, 2015 |
Much parodied exploits of the British WW1 cult hero.
  miketroll | Feb 22, 2007 |
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