BLOG TOUR: A Cellist Soldier

Why Did I Read This Book?

I chose to get involved with the Blog Tour of The Cellist Soldier as it is the highly anticipated prequel to A Cellist Friend. I enjoy books about war, so this book caught my eye when I was asked to read it by the publisher.

I am honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for this powerful book all about a soldier’s bravery and determination to fight for what is right.

What Did I Think?

One thing that really struck me about this book was that Robert J Fanshawe has a wonderful way with words. His writing is brilliantly descriptive and every sentence is encapsulating.

I enjoy reading books about the war, especially those that focus on the struggles of soldiers and every day people affected by the impact of war. However, I would say that this book was slightly out of my comfort zone in an attempt to broaden my horizons a little.

I really enjoyed the story and I thought it was one that did a wonderful job in humanising soldiers. I think it is often hard to envisage the men that gave up everything to go and fight for our freedom. They were just ordinary men (and often young lads), thrown very much into the deepest ends with little or no preparation.

I loved how the main character, Cello, was a musician before he was sent to war, and he tries his very hardest to remember his ‘real’ life back home. I was rooting for Cello all the way through the book and his is a story that demonstrates just how brave these men had to be at times.

These men were cast into the midst of war and told to kill the ‘enemy’ without much explanation. It was men killing men. So I think Robert J Fanshawe does a wonderful job in highlighting that there were soldiers who didn’t know/understand what they were fighting for, as well as others who were caught in between what is expected of them and what is right. So it is extremely interesting to read a book about a soldier who was prepared to abandon his weapons to save an injured man at any cost.

Some of the language and terminology was unknown to me so it took a while for me to understand what different phrases meant, but I soon acclimatised to the language and was able to settle into the story properly.

I read this book at a time when we as a country were celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day, so it was extremely relevant and still is to this day. For anyone looking for an alternative soldier narrative, I would highly recommend The Cellist Solider.

The book is available to pre-order now on Amazon, and you can find a little bit more about the author here:

As a writer you never accept things as they are. You always ask, why is this and what is my part in it? I chose this ‘strapline’ for my Facebook profile as it encapsulates my philosophy as a writer; to be curious and questioning over everything.”

Certain passions guide and direct my writing. For those I chose another principle; Live (and write) by what is in your heart. So my writing, all of it, comes from the heart, as all art must. Otherwise how can it be truth?”

“One of my passions is war and conflict, its sufferings and injustices, its contradictions and the nature of mankind that accepts it. I spent thirty-two years in the British Royal Marines. Early on, I was fortunate to read Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the Western Front, one of the greatest war novels. Having an uncle killed in 1917 and the poetry of the war, contrived to set my goal of writing about WW1. But it wasn’t until the centenary of the war that I found my voice, despite writing much in the intervening years.”

“My initial work was a play; All About the Boys, the last days of Wilfred Owen. This was performed in 2014/16 and published in 2018. After that, I embarked on another play; The Cellist. Afterwards, I realised that story of the Cellist’s friend would make a novel. I had always wanted to write novels so I wrote The Cellist’s Friend. It was published in 2018. Then I went back to the play about the cellist and wrote it as a novel and prequel calling it; A Cellist Soldier and this is my latest work.”

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