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A Hell of a War

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

16 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0312088078 / ISBN 13: 9780312088071
Published by St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1993
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Books by White (Winfield, KS, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne, New York. 1993. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. Book is tight, square, and unmarked. Book Condition: Fine. DJ: Near Fine; scratch on front cover near name. Dark blue boards and spine with bright red lettering on spine. 278 pp. A sequel to his first book, this one starts before Pearl Harbor when the author began his naval service. He spent most of his time in harm's way, including grueling experiences aboard a destroyer in the North Atlantic followed by combat in parts of the European Theater. Filled with tales of world leaders and stars and starlets in London. A clean pristine edition. Bookseller Inventory # 002733

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Hell of a War

Publisher: St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


It was just six weeks before Pearl Harbor, and the star of Gunga Din and The Prisoner of Zenda, now a newly commissioned lieutenant, began his naval service, leaving behind his wife and baby daughter, as well as a prospering movie career.<br />Unlike so many Hollywood heroes who never heard a shot fired, Fairbanks spent most of his time in harm's way, including gruelling experiences aboard a destroyer in the North Atlantic, followed by combat in parts of the European Theater. Towering figures - FDR, General Patton, King George VI, Marshal Tito, the Mountbattens - play significant roles in this fast-paced, enthralling story.<br />And there were lighter moments as well, notably in wartime London, where falling bombs took second place to frolics with old friends like Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Noel Coward, and David Niven.<br />A Hell of a War colorfully ends with the return of the sailor to his wife and two daughters, Daphne and Victoria, to their California home, and their bizarre reception by the motion picture community, including Cary Grant, Barbara Hutton, and Fairbank's first wife, Joan Crawford: a fitting Hollywood finale to four years crammed with enough adventures to leave a screenwriter delightfully dizzy.

From Kirkus Reviews:

The follow-up to Fairbanks's first volume of memoirs (Salad Days, 1988) finds him as charming and debonair as ever and abrim with tales of his naval service during WW II. Born in 1909, Fairbanks is, of course, the son of movie swashbuckler Douglas Fairbanks. Wisely, he reviews his first volume at length for those who haven't read it, and this proves a refreshing first course that sets up the reader for the author's hardships fighting his image as a glamour puss in uniform. With buddy and fellow-actor Robert Montgomery, Fairbanks enlists six months before the war, getting a Reserve commission from Secretary of the Navy Frank Know. Early duty as a deck officer finds him not only a greenhorn but green around the gills with mal de mer. He still moves among the famous when not at sea, being a great good friend of Lord Louis ``Dickie'' Mountbatten, who uses him as an ``American representative'' among the British in his Combined Operations staff for daring raids on Nazi-held Europe, with a grinning but inwardly foot-dragging Fairbanks slotted for amphibious landings. Many of Fairbanks's activities are quite exciting, especially on the beach at Anzio, or on board the US aircraft carrier Wasp, with planes making dangerous landings, or on convoy duty in the North Atlantic. During one run, the worst of the war, only 11 out of 35 merchant ships make it from the States into Russian ports. As for amusement, there's the showing of Fairbanks's last prewar film, The Corsican Brothers, on board the battleship Mississippi, attended by the ship's full company, thrilled and hooting, with Fairbanks red-faced throughout. Most satisfying, and a promised third volume should offer terrific dessert. (Sixteen pages of photos--not seen.) -- <i>Copyright &copy;1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.</i>

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