Loved it! I am not a fan of either weapons specs or WWII military history, but I got this book because I am a huge fan of its author's work at SomethingAwful.com. I am very happy to say I was not disappointed! The great humor is there, the unobtrusively clever writing style is there, and the material I thought I would find most boring - the weapons history - was presented in a way that I found interesting and engaging. In all honesty, I did skim over or skip the tech specs charts for most of the equipment, but I did get into the history of the inventions. The illustrations were great and rival anything found in a "real" military history book. My favorite parts of the book were the fictional accounts of recurring characters encountering the war inventions. True to his word, Parsons did make all the characters extremely likeable and interesting. I wouldn't mind reading extended accounts of some of them. I knew the characters would be funny, but I was surprised at the depth to which the characters were developed, how well the scenes and dialogue were written, and just how realistic everything came across. I say this because while I am not a military history fan, I do read alot of war-period memoirs and alternate history fiction, and these fictional accounts rang true in all areas - although perhaps Lincoln's accounts were stretching it a bit. This book is a perfect blend of genres for those who like historical fiction and hard military history. I give this book 4 stars, rather than 5, because I'm greedy and I finished the book wanting much more.
This book is supposed to be a collection of actual (or at least actually attempted) inventions of WWII. It came highly recommended by a friend.
I think I'll be highly suspicious of his suggestions in the future.
There was some interesting information on oddball inventions. Within a given chapter there was a small bit of information. A lot of numbers. Then a longer section on hypothetical deployment then several pages that used various characters (repeated throughout the book) to write the invention into a novel-type scene. The numbers I personally skimmed. The next two sections added nothing to the book, especially the story-scenes. I would REALLY have rather the effort gone into better descriptions and history of the inventions than his little made up world. I picked up the book for non-fiction.
My SO read some of it, and he just skipped the made up parts of the chapter and was enjoying it more than I was. He's more of a specs person than I am, so he at least enjoyed both the non-fiction parts of the chapter. He was also not impressed with the humor or purpose of the random parts.