No Ordinary Man, by Nicky Webber; Reviewed by Kingsley Field.

Author Nicky Webber has woven an intricate and detailed picture of this extraordinary, multi-faceted man – bullied child, brave and resourceful soldier, skilled cabinet-maker, illicit lover, estranged father, secret cross-dresser. It is a novel which evokes considerable pathos and it is a story that is gently yet undeniably touching. And astoundingly, it is based on a true story, of a real, World War II New Zealand soldier who was involved in all the events Nicky Webber has meticulously accumulated from “Nina”, the niece who befriended Mick in his later years and to whom he eventually poured out his life-long secret. It’s a quite remarkable story.

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No Ordinary Man, by Nicky Webber; published by Media Publishers (2001) Ltd, New Zealand. Reviewed by Kingsley Field, senior journalist for Seasons Magazine. Excerpt from full book review on page 41 of July’s edition.

TWO GREAT Book Reviews

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful feedback I’ve been getting for my two new books – both published this year. Yesterday I received two GREAT book reviews from delighted readers.

“This book is a superb piece of work: an incredibly sensitive and perceptive insight into both the female and male emotional psyche. I read, In the Deep End, straight through – between laughter and tears. You are truly exceptional. Can’t wait for masterpiece Number Three.” Sean Lowe

“Long after you have put the book down, haunting images remain – such is the power and pull of Nicky’s words in ‘No Ordinary Man’. She has a sound grasp of her characters and the storyline of a war that impacted the entire world. What surprised me was the level of compassion and the resolution of this compelling story.”  Karen Bowller

Buy direct from the Author ($25 incl postage within NZ ) or Amazon ($39 incl postage) link below:

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No Ordinary Book Give Away

Article from Cambridge News: Local author Nicky Webber was amongst the many Cambridge residents paying their respects during the Anzac remembrance service at the Cambridge Town Hall last week.

The Tamahere resident is now a published author, with her latest book No Ordinary Man out in January. Cambridge News has two signed copies of the book to give away.

It details the life of no ordinary man in the Anzac core, one which lived a secret double life both during World War 2 and afterwards.

“It’s an intriguing, fascinating, interesting story,” said Nicky, who spent two years writing the book. “The story is really about acceptance of people that are different.

“I want the reader when they start reading it to see that he’s a great guy, he’s a hero, and then very slowly, you see hints as the story develops, that he’s living this secret life.

“Some people think its just another Anzac story, but then when they read it they can’t put it down.”

Having grown up with parents who survived World War 2 as children in Europe, as well as having veterans in the family, Nicky grew up hearing quite a few war stories.

But in this war story, she had to change the main character’s name, and a few crucial details to keep his identity a secret. His own daughter doesn’t know his true “self”, Nicky learned the story from his niece, as well as his own scribbled notes, to piece together what she calls a well-researched “creative non-fiction” piece.

“It’s a fascinating story,” said Nicky, adding that she felt the pressure to get it right.

“I think now is the best time to share his story, no publisher would have touched it decades ago,” she said. “It probably would have been banned!”

To win a signed copy of No Ordinary Man, send your full name and contact number to: no later than 9am, Tuesday May 7.

Reader’s Five-Star Reviews

I throughly enjoyed reading this amazing story. It is incredibly well researched and beautifully written.  The characterization is brilliant. No Ordinary Man describes the life and innermost thoughts and emotions of a war hero during his years of military service. I highly recommend this book. Sonja

I started this book with doubts, as it dealt with war. Then I totally got absorbed with the main character Mick and waited eagerly every day for time to read. Now that I’ve finished the book I feel so lonely, I miss them. I hope the author writes more, what a reading a pleasure. Dr A Risenberger

A powerful book.Some do it hard. This book is my first Kiwi perspective on the war, a refreshingly different view, very powerfully portrayed. Excellent. Stephen

A truly remarkable story. As I read the book I was unable to put it down. Such an intriguing  story with many twists and turns. Well done. Sharron

I really enjoyed betting to know Mick. The detail in the book has been so well researched and Mick a s a person came to life for me. Bernie

It only took a few chapters for me to connect with this book. I had to keep on reading – from the brutalities of war, to the tenderness of enduring friendships and unusual alliances, this book gripped me on a number of levels.  Carmen

No Ordinary Man had me riveted from cover to cover. An amazing insight into this fascination man’s life, loves and tragedies. I was  disappointed when it finished. Marilyn

For these and other reviews see, and

See readers comments and feedback on Facebook author page: nickywebbernz

Book Makes Case for Tolerance

Yesterday’s review of No Ordinary Man in the Tamahere Forum:

Tamahere author Nicky Webber has made a strong plea for tolerance in her first book No Ordinary Man. Webber, a former journalist, tells the story of Mick Thompson, a young, World War II soldier who is forced by the times and intolerance to hide his true nature. A brave soldier who fought in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Italy and gained the rank of Sargent, Thompson was also a cross dresser.

A chance conversation led Webber to the story and a meeting with Thompson’s niece. In a few weeks she had old documents, photos, news clippings and his tattered diary.

“It took two years of historical research and many discussions with his niece to pull the story together,” says Webber.

“Apart from getting the facts straight there was the dramatisation of Mick’s life as seen through his eyes, building the character and his relationships. It was tough going living in the head of a 20 year old ANZAC soldier in the Western Desert war!”

Read More in the popular Tamahere Forum online:

Egyptian Desert where No Ordinary Man is set for part of the story

ANZAC With A Difference

Celebrating our our hard won democratic freedoms

Somehow, with recent acts of violence, our thoughts go to the soldiers who lost their lives during world wars fought for our freedom and democratic rights.

There are only two weeks until our Annual national ANZAC DAY commemoration on April 25th. It is an event that unifies us all. Will it be different this year, our hearts and minds seared by new fear and anguish at the new way wars are fought? With the country on high alert, all public gatherings, some now consolidated, require heightened police presence.

Somehow, with recent acts of violence, our thoughts go to the soldiers who lost their lives during world wars fought for our freedom and democratic rights. Our recent terrorist experience has raised awareness about violence and how prepared are we for a modern ‘war on terrorism?’

Initially, it was heartening to read the outpouring of compassion and respect for everyone from all New Zealander’s in a catchall phrase, “we are one.” But over recent weeks trawling through social media, I have been astounded at the deep-seated racism very close to the surface of our social fabric. I hope these so-called ‘concerned citizens’ will pause to consider the massive sacrifice New Zealand has undertaken to secure our freedoms and rights to live and practice our beliefs, opinions and religious associations.

WWII was the most prolonged and most critical land campaign ever fought by New Zealand forces. During 1941 to 1943 about 14,000 kiwis were killed, wounded or became prisoners of war. The war continued for a further two years until liberation staggered across a broken Europe towards the end of 1945.

Back in 1939, New Zealand’s population was a mere 1.7 million people. As we tend to do, Kiwi’s punch above their reputation for courage, bolstered by the heroic efforts of the Maori Battalion and all the ANZAC soldiers who put in a massive effort to win what was to become a World War. About 140,000 Kiwi’s served overseas in WWII. Those who gave their lives in the long five-year battle throughout Europe, the Pacific and North Africa amounted to 12,000 deaths. On a per capita basis, this was the highest loss of life by any single country in the commonwealth.

Apart from the heavy personal losses to friends and families back home in New Zealand, there was also the financial burden. New Zealand spent £574 million on the war, money our small country could ill afford. Taxes contributed 43% while 41% came from loans and 16% from America.

As a unified country, our sacrifice for a war in the northern hemisphere was significant. A sacrifice for democratic rights and freedom of RESPONSIBLE speech give us pause to consider what this means. This is especially so when thinking about the ANZAC price our country paid to encourage positive, unified appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy today. New Zealand is a relative paradise where expression of opinion is everyone’s right. But remembering the other ‘Right’ about treating fellow Kiwi’s of all persuasions in a Right way, with respect and consideration is another way to reduce hate speech and dissent. Considerable verbiage is communicated in cyberspace that could easily explode in our backyard, fermenting extremist responses. Be compassionate, thinking Kiwis. Love one another and work towards unity, not racist segregation. Having lived in South Africa for 20 years, I know that never works! My hope on this national unifying ANZAC Day is that we all consider the way we express ourselves in the big wide, world. Make it positive.

Nicky Webber is the author of No Ordinary Man, a unique true story about an ANZAC soldier’s secret double-life.

Extraordinary Secret Double-Life

Published in New Zealand Today:

New Zealand Today Blogs & Articles from around Aotearoa

If you think everything’s already been written about WWII, think again. Nicky Webber’s new book, No Ordinary Man, has a whole new take on this Kiwi soldier’s life. This former journalist has developed a unique narrative about this ANZAC soldier fighting in the trenches during the Western Desert War. This true- story skillfully combines her creative talents with historical facts and sheds an intriguing light on this unusual character.

To the outside world, Mick Thompson seems like any other young soldier heading off to WWII in 1941. As the war is nearing its zenith, Europe and America throw all their resources at the expanding Nazi terror. But Mick hides a profound secret which he tries to repress as the war expands across Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and into Italy.

Most would say he’s just an ordinary trooper surviving in cramped trenches, where Nazi enemy forces relentlessly pound him day and night. In these circumstances, most of us would revert to jibbering, depressives. Instead, Mick creates an alter-ego that goes well beyond his wildest imaginings. This fabrication is so addictive, Mick continues to maintain the identity swap after his return to New Zealand in 1945. He soon develops a love for his neighbour’s wife, forming the emotional crucible of his real-life story.

Can this war hero maintain the fiction of his restricted reality? Will his affair blow his cover and confidence? Mick’s secret obsession is just one of his many aspects explored in this complex character. This clever narrative examines the emotional and psychological roller coaster of war, love, and sex with humor and insight across the backdrop of the world at war.

“I’m no historian, so the book is written as seen through the eyes of Mick’s real-life personality, with hours of collaboration with his niece, diary notes, a few photographs and lots of historical research to match his movements to facts,” explains Nicky. “This is why it took more than two years to write this intriguing story.”

Find out more and see 5-Star reviews on

The Kindle/eBook and paperback versions of, No Ordinary Man, are available on Amazon-worldwide.

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