Quartered Safe Out Here: A Recollection of the War in Burma

Written by George MacDonald Fraser
Review by Alycia Harris

A down and dirty book that doesn’t skimp on the detail. Here are the war memories of George Macdonald Fraser, which include vivid recollections of his fellow soldiers, their daily activities, and detailed accounts of what it is to fight in the War in Burma. But this isn’t like reading a history book with vague, broad references; it’s more like sitting down and listening to your grandfather tell war stories. As Fraser points out, when the history book says “and a tank was destroyed,” the soldier remembers the action that set the tank on fire, the smell of the smoke, and how long it burned. Written to include the vernacular of his fellow soldiers, Fraser manages to capture the flavor of his comrades while so vividly portraying the grittiness of combat. The reader is treated to the aspects of that specific time and thinking in British soldiers – from where they were born to how they make tea. The colloquial writing makes for difficult reading in places, but overall, the story can be “edge of your seat” and is very good reading.