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Paper Gods and Iron Men (with Flanagan's Mule)

4.71  ·  Rating details ·  14 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Set in the North Africa Campaign of World War II, the novella, Paper Gods and Iron Men, is a story of endurance and survival, of ordinary people in extraordinary situations.

Two British Army officers have come together at a temporary aerodrome to be flown out. When their plane is shot down the two are the only survivors and begin the long trek north across the desert...

Kindle Edition, 128 pages
Published July 29th 2012 (first published July 28th 2012)
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Robert Southworth
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Moves at a lovely pace and keeps the reader wanting to know more. Excellent and believeable characters add to a charming and accomplished plot.
Paul Brazill
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
North Africa, World War 2. An airplane is shot down. The two survivors – a prisoner and a war hero -set off across the desert with limited supplies. Paper Gods and Iron Men by Kevin Cowdall is gripping and atmospheric, with rich, vivid writing and strong characterization.

The accompanying story, Flanagan’s Mule, is set in South America during the 1950s. It too tells the story of a dangerous trek and is also involving and really well-written. Marvelous stuff.
Mark Ellis
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The main story in this volume of two stories is an engaging and oddly moving novella about two soldiers who survive an air crash in the North African desert in WW2. The author is a poet as well as a writer of fiction and this comes through in his wonderfully colourful and evocative prose. The descriptions of the desert landscape and its extremes are superb. There is an accompanying enjoyable short story, Flanagan's Mule. Highly recommended. ...more
Paul Pickering
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
These are two wonderful stories of survival. Cowdall has an expertly controlled style and is a tremendous new voice. War is a wickedly hard subject to write about. Yet the characters of McBride and Poole work extremely well in Paper Gods and Iron Men. At times I was reminded of the early, and best, Norman Mailer.
Jennifer Shepard
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I read from this author and let me tell you that I loved it! Such a good book with great characters that keeps you obsessed with every page since the first one. The ending of this book.. come on! I just didn´t expect it! Can´t wait to read other books from this great writer! Amazing job! a must-read! A fantastic book that has it all! I happily endorse this story to any and all who are looking for an awesome enjoyable read and a completely different experience than anyone c ...more
Simon Howard
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The vagaries of war played out in the burning sands of North Africa, set during WW2 the story sees enlisted man Captain Poole and career soldier Captain McBride thrown together in a desperate fight for survival.
You really get a feel for not only the blistering heat, but the mind numbing soul destroying aspect of trying to survive with little in the way of supplies, both McBride and Poole feel like real people, with frailties as well as strengths...
the author obviously did a lot of research into
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing

We find our strengths in challenging situations .None can be more challenging to the human psyche than war. And so it was with Captain McBride and Captain Poole in Kevin Cowdall's powerful story. Both men have to dig deep to understand and support each other through a gruelling desert journey. Flanagan's mule also addresses the topic of human beings exploring the limits of their strength when circumstances demand. I thoroughly enjoyed both stories and highly recommend them.
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Kevin Cowdall was born in Liverpool, England; where he still lives and works.

Kevin developed an interest in writing at an early age and his first published poem appeared, appropriately, in the influential publication, 'First Time'. Three small press collections followed; 'The Reflective Image' , 'Monochrome Leaves', and 'A Walk in the Park'.
In all, over 200 poems have been published in magazine /

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