“At First Light” WWII book receives a very positive first review at its World Premiere

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“At First Light” WWII book receives a very positive first review at its World Premiere

Barb and I are in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for the World Premiere of my WWII book about my dad’s heroism and exploits as the youngest front-line officer in the war. And, the first review of the book, At First LIght, was just published by the inRegister Magazine.

Obviously, as an author, you work overtime to produce the most compelling book that you can. But, authors are always very anxious about how their writing will be received. I was very, very pleased with this initial review. Hopefully, other reviewers will feel the same!

Off the page: ‘At First Light

CHRISTINA LEO for the inRegister Magazine

Memphis-born Philip Larimore had hardly mentioned the Lippizaners. He hardly mentioned No Man’s Land on the Anzio beachhead. He hardly mentioned the 10th Field Hospital in Alsbach-Hähnlein where he awoke—fresh off the memory of sniper fire, and at only 20 years old—to the promotion of captain and the loss of his right leg five inches below the knee.

Only during his 50th wedding anniversary dinner outside Baton Rouge, where he had spent more than 40 years as an LSU professor of geography, did the stories begin to pour forth again. Not that his physician son, Walt Larimore, always fully believed them. Leaping onto tanks? Secret rescue missions? And that horse, Chug, the one Phil said saved his life? Yeah, right.

Dad and Chug

But after Phil’s passing in 2003, the memory boxes came down from the attic. So did the letters, the photos, the Distinguished Service Cross. The saddle, too. And Walt, already a published author, began to see that the truth might really be stranger than fiction—a notion that eventually became a decade-long journey toward his father’s biography, At First Light: A True World War II Story of a Hero, His Bravery, and an Amazing Horse, available on April 19.

“The deeper I dug, the more horrified I was, and the more astonished,” says Walt, whose 1.5 million words of research from national archives, interviews with Phil’s acquaintances, and notes from European museums transformed into a narrative with the help of co-author Mike Yorkey. “How many other stories like his have we lost?”

In this pursuit of posterity—not just for his father, but for the many overlooked escapades of the war’s southern front—Walt’s account is just as much a historical document as it is a coming-of-age story, with hundreds of footnotes accompanying its rich details. By the time readers arrive at a certain horse auction at Fort Meyer Riding Hall, they may even feel like they’ve been there before.

“Finding the narrative in Dad’s history was like looking at the back of a piece of embroidery, with the threads and colors all tangled up,” says Walt, who will be signing copies during the grand re-opening of the LSU Military Museum at Memorial Tower on April 7. “But as soon as you turn it over, you finally see the art. You finally see the story.”

Order At First Light here

You can read the original article here: https://www.inregister.com/features/off-the-page-at-first-light. And, you can still preorder your copy here: https://amzn.to/3Lp0MCw. Then, you’ll be able to write your own review on Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com!

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2022. This blog provides healthcare tips and advice that you can trust about a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.


  1. Diane O'Connor says:

    When and where can I see you and Barb?! Dan as well. We live in the O’Connor house at 6575 Pikes Lane. You are welcome to come by. We have empty rooms upstairs.

    • Diane,

      We just arrived back in Colorado after spending 5 days in Baton Rouge for the “World Premiere” of my WWII book about Dad’s exploits, At First Light: A True World War II Story of a Hero, His Bravery, and an Amazing Horse. It would have been nice to have seen you. I’m so sorry that we only just saw this note. 🙁

      There are some signed copies of the book available still at the LSU Barnes and Noble Bookstore. I do hope you drop by and get one. If you do, let me know what you think.

      And, if travels ever bring you out to Colorado Springs, let us know. It would be nice to see you.


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