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Leslie Thomas Books In Order

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Publication Order of Dangerous Davies Books

Dangerous Davies, the Last Detective (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dangerous In Love (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dangerous By Moonlight (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dangerous Davies und das einsame Herz (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Virgin Soldiers Books

The Virgin Soldiers (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Onward Virgin Soldiers (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stand Up Virgin Soldiers (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Orange Wednesday (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Love Beach (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Come To The War (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
His Lordship (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Man With The Power (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Arthur McCann And All His Women (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tropic Of Ruislip (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bare Nell (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Midnight Clear (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ormerod's Landing (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
That Old Gang of Mine (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Magic Army (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dearest and the Best (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Adventures Of Goodnight And Loving (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Orders for New York (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Loves And Journeys Of Revolving Jones (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
ArrivalsDepartures (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Running Away (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kensington Heights (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Chloe's Song (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Other Times (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Waiting for the Day (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dover Beach (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Soldiers and Lovers (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

This Time Next Week (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Some Lovely Islands (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hidden Places Of Britain (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
A World of Islands (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
In My Wildest Dreams (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Almost Heaven (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
My World of Islands (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Leslie Thomas is a literature and fiction author that was born in Newport in the United Kingdom. He was born to a wandering Welsh sailor from Newport Gwent.

While he was growing up, his father worked in merchant ships and was away most of the time. When he would come home, he was frequently drunk and violent.

He ultimately went on the dole and his wife used to collect the cash to ensure he did not drink it before he got home. At some point, he disappeared from home for two years and did not bother to send any word home.

When the war broke out, Leslie used to pray that his father’s ship would get sunk. His prayers ultimately came true when his father’s ship was targeted by a torpedo and he died in the subsequent inferno.

Soon after that, his mother died of cancer, and Leslie and his siblings were sent to various foster homes. To avoid getting beaten up by the many big boys at the foster home where he lived, Leslie became a storyteller.

He was constantly called up to entertain and he soon started earning money for his creativity. His first payment was when he wrote a description of the city and was paid 2s 6d.

While he was studying at Barnado’s in Kingston, he went on an exchange program to Kingston Technical school.

This is where Leslie Thomas met Charles Mitchell the author who encouraged him to study journalism at the Walthamstow-based South West Essex Technical College.

After he graduated from college, he started working in Essex for the “Wickford Times,” where he was a newspaper folder but soon enough graduated to reporting.

Nonetheless, all he ever wanted was to be called up which eventually happened as he ended up in the Royal Army Pay Corps. Starting in 1950, he lived in Singapore for 18 months, where he gathered all manner of hilarious stories and experiences.
Some of these he recounted in works such as “The Virgin Soldiers” and also in “In My Wildest Dreams” his 1984 autobiography. In fact, Thomas has said that he got the inspiration for “The Virgin Soldiers” from some sex vow made by some conscript.
Later on, he worked for the “Exchange Telegraph,” even as he submitted short stories to several publications.

Eventually, he got a job at the “Evening News,” which is where he penned his debut work “My Name is Mud,” which was unfortunately never published.

His first published work was the 1964 title “This Time Next Week.”

When he was low on cash, Leslie Thomas’ agent recommended that he pen a novel. This is what birthed “The Virgin Soldiers” and set him free from Fleet Street journalism as he became a bestselling author.
While his subsequent titles did not have as much success as his debut, they also offer a fascinating overview of life in Britain in times of great change.

In 2007, he wrote his last novel in “Soldiers and Lovers,” which explored the romance of characters living at the tail end of World War II.

Thomas was also involved in writing non-fiction works about picturesque places and islands in various works and collections.

Even as he was very successful as an author, he continued working casually as a journalist and was a familiar presence on television and radio.

Thomas got married to Diana Miles in the early 1970s and the two lived together until his death in May 2014.

Leslie Thomas’ novel “The Virgin Soldiers” is set on the Panglin base in Malaya during the early 1940s and 1950s.

The British soldiers living on the base all have to suffer from the all-pervasive and intense heat. Clothing soon becomes an unnecessary burden for the men in uniform and they are soon discarded.
But the soldiers are not only stripped down in terms of clothing but they are also inexperienced and wanting in matters of death and love.

They have barely formed their personalities and lack any meaningful experience in war let alone a comprehension of what life is.

Most of the recruits have some kind of sameness as they lack things in common that provide them with some kind of anonymity. Change one soldier for another and someone would hardly notice the difference.
The story and writing are similarly stripped down which means this is not a work of gorgeous adventure or prose.

It is a work that tells of life on a sleepy base where the people hardly have to worry about encroachment from the war against the communist guerillas.

Overall, it is an entertaining work that is told with a particular nonchalance and vivid imagery that brightens up the story.

“Onward Virgin Soldiers” by Leslie Thomas is a work in which Brigg who was introduced in the previous work has developed and aged. He is still a flawed character but is very much likable and ultimately heroic and humane.
This work introduces several new characters but the most interesting has to be Brigg’s son Charlie. Leslie Thomas makes fun of the British Army in South East Asia and particularly Malaya.

He mocks it as a place chocking with pointless regulation and men that have never experienced war. Their unnecessary and haphazard guarding of Hong Kong is compared to the lives of American marines who are on leave from the War in Vietnam.
Still, he never shows anything but affection for most people that he writes about. It is a touching novel that is at times also hilarious in that very British way.

Thomas writes some lovely prose with apt and unique descriptions of landscapes with sympathetic and three-dimensional characters.

In Leslie Thomas’ novel “Stand Up Virgin Soldiers” thngs take a turn for the worse.
On the eve of the return of Brigg and several of his colleagues find that the worst has happened. They have once again been consigned to live for another half year in Panglin Barracks.

Most of the characters from the previous two novels make a comeback in this work even as new characters such as Bernice Harrison come to the fore. The latter is the burse that has been threatening to boot Lucy from Brigg’s embrace.
It is another beautiful story of virgin soldiers and their life and death stories in Malaya. It is a privileged glimpse into the lives of young men under a lot of pressure and stress.

Thomas pens this work in a brilliant and quiet way but still manages to make for a sexy and funny story.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Leslie Thomas

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