5 Works 355 Jäsentä 13 arvostelua

About the Author

Patrick Hennessey was born in 1982 and joined the British army in January 2004. His five years of service as platoon commander and company operations officer encompassed tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he was promoted in the field to become the youngest frontline captain in the army and earned näytä lisää a commendation for gallantry. He lives in London. näytä vähemmän

Includes the name: Patrick Hennessey

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Albertos | 11 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 12, 2022 |
A British soldier recounts his time in military academy through a stint in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hm. I have mixed feelings about this one. At first I really didn't like Hennessey - he seemed arrogant and filled with admiration for his own cleverness - but then I was briefly sucked into his account of soldiering (the details of how the British train their troops was interesting), but then again I became annoyed that the book doesn't do what it says on the tin; he occasionally and very briefly mentions a book he was reading at the time some event happened, but there's no talk of an actual book club at all or even what he thought of the books he read. I was in it for the dynamics of a bunch of soldiers holding a regular book club in a war zone and how that would play out, and I didn't get that at all. In the end it just felt like a dude bragging about how well read he was and also what a cool soldier he turned out to be and isn't that a paradox? I'm such a cool paradox! Blech. But points for the possibly inadvertently interesting bits. *shrug*… (lisätietoja)
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electrascaife | 11 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 25, 2022 |
This is one book that could have used a different editor. The text is too raw, even the edited parts feel a lot like an e-mail or journal entry, so incomplete and, a lot of the times, not really related one to the next. The über-long phrases used by the author, like two per paragraph, don't help either. And to boot the book didn't feel all that British either ... yes, a "biro" used here and there and some Worcester sauce to top it of but still not what I was looking for.

All that said the passages about his last couple of months in Sangin are probably the best war writing I've ever read, timeless.… (lisätietoja)
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emed0s | 11 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 18, 2013 |
I hadn't particularly wanted to read this book - a colleague had bought it and kept offering it to me along with his glowing recommendation. Eventually, just to be polite, I accepted it but had no intention of reading it, and planned simply to keep it for a few days and then hand it back saying that i simply wouldn't have the time to get around to it. However, as luck would have it, a couple of days later I left for work in a great hurry, forgetting that i had almost finished the book I was reading, and that there would certainly not be enough of it left to tide me over both commuting journeys that day. Monsoon-like rain was falling when I came to leave the office, dissuading me from my normal casual saunter to the local bookshop so I had to resort to this book, hitherto unregarded in a corner of my desk.

Well, how fortunate was I? This is an enthralling book, and I am very glad that I came to read it, however fortuitous that outcome might have been.

It is, basically, a series of reminiscences from Hennessey who served in the Grenadier Guards and completed various tours of service in Afghanistan, and recounted some of his experiences in his previous book, "The Junior Officers' Reading Club". This book focuses particularly on his role as a mentor to the Afghan National Army which is increasingly taking over the responsibility for maintaining the peace as the British and American forces withdraw.

There are the predictable contrasts when the ex-Sandhurst Hennessey finds himself grappling with liaison with a ragged, ill-equipped and frequently ill-disciplined bands of Afghan "warriors" (rather than mere soldiers). However, Hennessey soon came to cherish his role and his respect, and indeed affection, for his Afghan charges soon shines through.

Hennessey writes lucidly and has a great facility for stirring the reader's empathy. His accounts of the various Afghan troops with whom he worked , and with whom he shared a number of hair-raising are insightful and never patronising, and his descriptions of the Afghan terrain or the terrors to be faced down during night patrols have a forceful immediacy.
… (lisätietoja)
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Eyejaybee | Jul 31, 2013 |


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