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Theatres of War
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Theatres of War

Subtitle A novel set in wartime Italy
By R J J Hall
ISBN 9781783060849
Winter 2013


A love story about sacrifice and duty, and a war story about self-discovery and love. Seen through the eyes of combatants and civilians, it evokes the convulsions of the ‘forgotten’ Italian campaign of WWII.

Author's Biography

Richard Hall was born in 1945 and lives in London. After studying at Oxford, he became a Chartered Accountant and worked in the City for 30 years. For two years he worked in Milan and learnt Italian. He left the City to become Finance Director of the Royal Opera House.


Price: £9.99

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Reader Comments

Great book and learnt a lot about the war in Italy.
This is a marvellously original tale, based on the true events of the 1944 British/American invasion of Italy, followed by the chaos of Naples with fascinating accounts of serving soldiers' reactions, their interactions, their loves and the vital influence of a Neapolitan opera. We were quite breathless in anticipation. And it is written in most evocative english. A lovely experience.
great read well written
Couldn't put it down
A great read. For the WW2 buff, who also likes romance and opera. this book has it all. Very vivid and the reader feels like they are transported to the settings. Highly recommended.
Theatres of War doesn't feel like a debut novel. It is written with passion and is assured and sensitive, with memorable descriptions and characters.
Good story, fascinating background, Italy, opera and the war - plus high drama and, of course, the love interest. A good read for anyone to enjoy. Well researched.
I enjoyed this book. Although I thought I had a reasonable knowledge of the Second World War, this novel provided a fascinating and atnmospheric insight into the misery of the Allied invasion of Italy, and also of the deprivation and squalor endured by the citizens of large Italian cities like Naples. The resurrection of the opera was an uplifting story, and provided a balance to the harrowing description of Edmund and his men in action. My only criticism is that the use of the present tense throughout the book became rather wearing after a while ! All in all, though, an admirable achievement ! Good luck with the next book.l
A fascinating story.
Very interesting
Appears to make interesting reading
the lure of the opera despite the tragedy of war, a great read
Excellent book
I would highly recommend it
Fabulous book, full of vivid imagery and what I imagine to be realistic language and dialogue between the characters. Gorgeous tale of the real side of war from both a man's and a woman's point of view.
A very enjoyable read!
would make a great film script
A fascinating forgotten episode in the history of opera. Lovely writing and characterisation.
A page turner; gripping from start to finish; and very moving and informative about Italy and its role in WW2
An intriguing, poignant episode in the history of one Opera House and so much more.
A absorbing human insight to a period of our recent history of which I was completely ignorant.
A very carefully researched WW2 novel, showing the devastation wreaked on Naples, its surrounds and its people, as well as on the young soldiers billeted there. All the characters are strong and vividly drawn and the sensitive love story is both heart-breaking and life-affirming. There are wonderful descriptions of the countryside and of the theatre that rises from the rubble and becomes a haven to many. There are plenty of issues to reflect upon in this very enjoyable book.
An absorbing read from start to finsh. The historical backdrop and a great story makes it a book that cannot be put down until the last page.
An exciting, fast moving novel, good story line (based on facts), with sub-plots brought together smoothly to an accomplished ending. Lovely to read how Mr Hall has used his operatic knowledge and experience of working in that environment
Really good book - well researched, informative and a fast pace but with good descriptions
loved it, and highly recommend this book.
Imaginative and entertaining
A good read
This novel brilliantly evokes a little known campaign in southern Italy during the Second World War. The parallel story of the restoration of the opera house in Naples is skilfully interwoven with the military theme, both very well researched and written so that they leap off the page to grab the reader's attention.
A beautifully written book with an excellent narrative. Indeed, it will be a thoroughly deserving winner of the People's Book Prize.
An excellent read. I look forward to more books by this author.
Beautifully written for a first time author, Mr Hall's book conveys a deep knowledge of Italian art and culture, of love and of conducting relationships in most difficult circumstances. I look forward to his future publications.
A fascinating story about a little known wartime venture, written with skilful weaving of military and domestic life in Italy during WW2.
A good read adeptly blending fact and fiction.
A terrific achievement. It would surely make a compelling film or TV drama; it has all the essential elements.
Excellent read
Brilliant author
Compelling atmosphere and a cracking page-turner
A very impressive and exciting debut novel
Couldn't put it down
An original wartime tale from the almost-neglected Italian campaign of WWII.
A very readable account giving new insights into the Italian campaign
A really well researched and gripping story
A very good book. Excellent story and depiction of a rather forgotten Second World War campaign
a most enjoyable book with a good narrative drive.
A vivid and realistic account of wartime Italy, which brings to life the stress of war not just in combat but also as it affects the relationships between people who see the challenges very differently. Much to enjoy and learn from!
A tremendous read
What a great read. I couldn't put it down!
We read this book for our book group and every one liked it . It is a page turner and very educational about the war period in Italy . It is very well written , he seem to have painter's eye when he describe the land scape. A tender love story , with all the human flaw .
Very interesting love storey set in wartime Italy with an opera house thrown in. It's quite a page turner.
Really loved this book - great characterisation and a wonderful story. Really glad to see it in the Book Prize.
A wonderful read, full of great characterisation and drama.
Excellent book. Very readable and portrayed a great atmosphere of the period and of Naples and the surrounding area in time of war. Enjoyed the characters involved in the book.
This is a very well written book about two British officers fighting in Italy during World War 2.One of them fights at Anzio. The other restores the Naples opera house to entertain the troops. Their war experiences are very different, as are their relationships to the women in their lives. The setting is fascinating and the narrative compelling.
Gripping story of private and public misery and triumphs, set against the background of war in Italy in 1944. A jolly good read.
a very good read.
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