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John Patrick Grogan.

Renfrew (ON), Juniper Books, c1982.
Distributed by Juniper Books, R.R. #2, Renfrew, ON, K7V 3Z5.
118pp, paper, $6.95.
ISBN 0-919137-05-9.

Grades 9 and up.
Reviewed by Alfred F. Greenwood.

Volume 12 Number 2
1984 March

Patrick Grogan has had a number of stories published in the Legion Magazine, The Ottawa Citizen, and The Ottawa Journal. This is his first book, and a little jewel it is.

Dieppe and Beyond is concerned with the (primarily) Canadian raid on the French seaside resort in August, 1942, only as an introduction to the author's life as a prisoner of war and his escapes. It is a simple book, ignoring strategy, politics, and the grand picture. It looks at the concerns of a foot-slogging soldier with his immediate, significant surroundings.

Written in a conversational low-key style, Dieppe and Beyond occasionally flashes with insight bordering on the poetic:

         I was hearing again. . .the fearful sounds of a hundred
         other devices made to destroy. . . .1 was 19 and I could
         fathom nothing worse than death. I was thirsty and I longed
         to be somewhere else. A quiet place.

A continuing theme is the soldiers' pride in their unit, in themselves, in each other, in their country. The whole Stalag, under the POW "Propaganda Minister" dressed, shined, spit and polished, inspected, and drilled the author for a visit to a German eye-doctor so that he, as their representative, would present a smart and proud appearance to all and sundry who saw him.

There are a few good guys and bad guys in this book, little emotion. The cold, hunger, and suffering of their long march is calmly and factually narrated. Understated but devastating contempt is shown for their Russian liberators:

         These frontline Russian troops were drunk most of the time.
         They looted and raped. We did not agree with this kind of
         behavior to people who had surrendered.

Dieppe gives an hour or so of good reading. It is a must for the World War II shelf.

Alfred F. Greenwood, Victoria, BC.
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