The Great Big War by Bob Nick Shields

ShieldsTheGreatBigWarWhere I Got It: Review copy

Narrator: David Winograd

Publisher: Short on Time Books (2014)

Length: 2 hours 9 minutes

Author’s Page

This is Bobby Booclear’s story. He remembers the day long war clearly and is finally telling his side. In a time when kids could play outside during daylight and girls weren’t allowed in war games, Bobby reenacts some of the great big screen death scenes of his time.

This is a tale of childhood days gone by. Bobby is a kid playing with his buddies from the apartment building. Based on the movie references in this book, perhaps it is the 1960s. There’s a field near the apartment building and the kids organize a war with two sides and objectives. Everyone has some sort of toy weapon. These kids take their play very seriously! That made me smile because it made me recall childhood games and how seriously we all would take them sometimes.

There’s only 2 women in this book. One is a kid just heading into puberty. A game of spin-the-bottle leaves Bobby feeling  left out, poor dude. Then there is Bobby’s mom who makes all the kids tasty Kool-Aid ice cubes. While the men far out number the women in this book, they still contributed to the story.

I was charmed by Bobby because he takes his acting so seriously, especially his death scenes. In fact, there is a point later in the story where the death scenes are critiqued by the other boys. It was quite amusing!

I think due to my age (I’m in my 30s), some of the cultural references went over my head. Also, I have never lived in a big city or an apartment building. So some parts of this tale didn’t resonate as much with me as they might with other readers. Still, there was enough here in the story itself that I enjoyed hanging out with Bobby for a few hours.

I received this audiobook at no cost from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: David Winograd did a good job. He made a good Bobby Booclear, especially since the story is told from older Bobby’s voice as a long flashback to his childhood. I also enjoyed his serious warrior boy voices for when the kids were pretending to be generals or what not.

What I Liked: A tale of childhood; such dramatic acting from the kids!; the only 2 female characters contribute to the story; movie references.

What I Disliked: I didn’t get all of the cultural references; there are only 2 ladies.

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