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Donald Jack Books In Order

Publication Order of The Bandy Papers Books

Three Cheers for Me (1962)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
That's Me in the Middle (1973)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
It's Me Again (1975)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Me Bandy, You Cissie (1979)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Me Too (1983)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
This One's on Me (1988)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Me So Far (1989)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hitler vs. Me (1996)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Stalin vs. Me (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Plays

The Canvas Barricade (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Sinc, Betty, And The Morning Man (1977)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rogues, Rebels and Geniuses (1981)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Donald Jack is a scriptwriter, playwright, and novelist of historical fiction and literature best known for the “Bandy Papers” series of novels. Jack was born in 1924 in Standlane, Radcliffe to a Scottish doctor named Robert Jack and a Canadian nurse named Sarah Lamont. His father was the medical officer for the small town of Bury for the seven years between 1936 and 1943. He went to Bury Grammar School and then Marr College in Scotland from where he earned the qualifications that got him into London University. Between 1943 and 1947, he served in the Royal Airforce and while what he did after leaving the RAF is unclear, it is known that he moved back to Radcliffe. It was during this time that he attempted to become an author though he was not sure if he had the talent needed for the endeavor. After several years of struggle that yielded nothing, he decided to leave home and emigrate to Canada to find something to do. In Canada, he went to the Toronto based Canadian Theatre School but soon learned that acting was not one of his strong suits. But he got the much-needed break when “Minuet for Brass Band” his first full-length stage play was praised by critics. He followed this with another successful stage play, which opened the doors for him and got him a job at Crawley Films Ltd as a scriptwriter. After several documentary film scripts for his parent company and several others, he decided to become a freelance author. By 1962, he had more than forty stage and television plays.

Donald Jack published his debut novel “Three Cheers for Me” in 1962 which proved the watershed moment for him as an author. The novel was the first of the “Bandy Papers” series of novels that would become the literary work he would become best known for. The series of novels were so popular that his folks back home in Radcliffe soon heard of his success. In 1963, the Radcliffe Times published an article about the author that drew comparisons between him and the likes of Kingsley Amis and PG Wodehouse. By 2005, he had nine titles in the series which culminated with “Stalin Versus Me’ the last novel he wrote before his death. For his work in the series, he won the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, which is one of Canada’s most prestigious honors. During the eighties, Jack had moved back to England with his family so that he could be close to his relatives in Scotland. By the time of his decease in 2003, he was hard at work at his latest novel of the “Bandy Papers “series. Jack died of a stroke and his life was celebrated in the Radcliffe Times that eulogized him as a comic genius and prolific author that was a treasure to the literary world.

Donald Jack was significantly influenced by his experiences serving in the RAF during World War II. However, he left it all behind and moved to Canada, where the less demanding situation made it possible for him to become an author and playwright. In Canada, he could laugh about the war as he felt far removed from it and this made it possible for him to produce humorous and satirical jokes about his experiences. By the time he wrote his award-winning debut novel in 1963, the pain of World War II that had been a constant while he was in England was replaced by an upbeat mood. Jack was thus more prone to writing stories about veterans in the form of funny memories. The “Bandy Papers” series does not shy away from the hairy dog fights, the muddy battles, and the trenches as they give a first-person account of a veteran of the war through the character Bartholomew Wolfe Bandy. The lead is a luckless and sometimes smart medical school dropout that fought as a pilot of a World War II plane. Because of the realistic nature of the stories, most readers and reviewers believe that these writing are actual memoirs of the author’s experiences in the war.

Donald Jack’s debut novel “Three Cheers for Me” introduces the lead character Bartholomew Bandy and his adventures through World War I and World War II. He is a cheerful and stolid man that was born to a provincial Canadian pastor that is conscripted into the army and had to go to Europe to fight a war. He is armed with strict parental commands to stay away from sex, tobacco, alcohol and to protect his feet at all times. He has promised to stay away from any vices that would bring shame to his family and particularly his clergyman father. But through no fault of his own, he often finds himself falling to temptations, which is something most people do when far away from the love and discipline of family. To survive in the chaotic situation of war, he adopts the strategy of going with the flow. While it seems that almost everything he does is unintentional, he soon begins to have some success. It is not long after arriving in France that he distinguishes himself and is soon transferred from the dangerous infantry war and into the Royal Flying Corps. Life gets easier once he is out of the trenches and flying a plane. Through a series of improbable incidents, he becomes friends with senior officers and aristocrats as he collects citations and medals.

“That’s Me in the Middle” by Donald Jack opens to Bartholomew Bandy as an air ace. While he is terrible on the ground and often leaves disasters in his wake, there is no one better than him in the air. He can shoot down dozens of Luftwaffe planes and while at it entertains with thrilling dog fights. He amazes everyone when in a few months he climbs the ranks to become Lieutenant Colonel Bandy. Given his new rank in the army, he gets to mingle with all manner of prominent people that include his fiancé and her family. He spends the first half of the novel with popular politicians, actors, and musicians. Through the character, we get a snapshot of the infighting and incompetence at the high levels of government and the debauchery and treachery of politicians. But it is not only about the bad as he also gets to have love and romance with Katherine Lewis his fiancé, when he is not involved in hair-raising aerial adventures across the English Channel.

Donald Jack’s “It’s Me Again” sees Bandy come back with a vengeance after he ran over a general coming back from the Western Front. It is 1918 and with the was still raging Bandy is determined to make a difference in it. He has been promoted to in charge of Sopwith Dolphins his own squadron and while he is relatively successful, the top brass is giving him a lot of problems just like they have always done. Unable to deal with his unpredictability, his superiors send him to Russia where the Western powers have made it their business to stop the Civil War. He has a lot of fun in Russia fighting Communist firing squads, capturing trains and facing the Bolsheviks. He also falls in love with Dasha Filipovna a diminutive woman that may just be the one to tame him.

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