Today I will be sharing my review of Do The Birds Still Sing In Hell? by Horace Greasley with you all.
Even in the most horrifying places on earth, hope still lingers in the darkness, waiting for the opportunity to take flight.
When war was declared Horace Greasley was just twenty years old. After seven weeks’ training with the 2/5th Battalion, the Royal Leicestershire Regiment, Horace found himself facing the might of the German Army in a muddy field south of Cherbourg, in northern France, with just thirty rounds in his ammunition pouch.
Horace’s war didn’t last long… On 25 May 1940 he was taken prisoner and so began the harrowing journey to a prisoner-of-war camp in Poland. Those who survived the gruelling ten-week march to the camp were left broken and exhausted, all chance of escape seemingly extinguished.
But when Horace met Rosa, the daughter of one of his captors, his story changed; fate, it seemed, had thrown him a lifeline. Horace risked everything in order to steal out of the camp to see his love, bringing back supplies for his fellow prisoners. In doing so he offered hope to his comrades, and defiance to one of the most brutal regimes in history.
I have always been interested in history, especially both World Wars, and from the moment I first heard about Do The Birds Still Sing In Hell?, I was desperate to read it. I wouldn’t say that I was disappointed by it, but it really wasn’t what I was expecting.
The stories of those who lived through the war are so important. They give us a unique insight in to how things really were, and the devastating times they had to go through. But, for me, this book seemed to be more about Horace reliving his youth than his experiences as a prisoner of war. There were way too many accounts of his sexual experiences, and they were described in a little too much detail, which didn’t really seem right to me, given how the book is described.
Ignoring all of the sexual content, Horace’s story was extremely interesting to read. He went through so much that nobody should ever have to go through, and he saw things that nobody should ever have to see. Despite what he was going through, he never stopped thinking of others, he went above and beyond to help his campmates and friends, and for that, Horace Greasley is a true hero. The friends Horace made throughout his time as a POW are also heroes, and there are a few who’s stories I would also love to hear.
However, there are definitely parts of this story that are questionable. I am in no position to argue with his accounts, but parts of the story simply don’t add up with proven fact. I am in no way saying that Horace is lying, but maybe some of the facts have been exaggerated and slightly twisted for the book.
Overall, I did enjoy this book, and I have to admit that the last few pages absolutely broke my heart. If you can get past the sexual content, and the questionable parts of the story, I would definitely recommend giving this book a read.
I give Do The Birds Still Sing In Hell? a 3.5 star rating.