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A Breed of Heroes [Kindle Edition]

Alan Judd
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £5.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £2.50 (31%)
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

After university and Sandhurst, Charles Thoroughgood has now joined the Assault Commados and is on a four-month tour of duty in Armagh and Belfast. The thankless task facing him and his men -- to patrol the tension-filled streets through weeks of boredom punctuated by bursts of horror -- takes them through times of tragedy, madness, laughter and terror.

Alan Judd tells Thoroughgood's tale with verve, compassion and humour. The result is an exceptionally fine novel which blends bitter human incident with army farce.

'Quite simply one of the best novels of army life I've read' Jack Higgins
'Entertaining and compulsively readable' Melvyn Bragg
'Human, sympathetic and engrossing' Daily Mirror

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Review

‘Entertaining and compulsively readable… achieves a memorable authenticity.’ Melvyn Bragg

From the Back Cover

“Quite simply one of the best novels of army life I’ve read in years.”
JACK HIGGINS

After university and Sandhurst, Charles Thoroughgood has now joined the Assault Commandos and is on a four-month tour of duty in Armagh and Belfast. The thankless task facing him and his men – to patrol the tension filled streets through weeks of boredom punctured only by bursts of horror takes them through times of tragedy, madness, laughter and terror. Alan Judd tells Thoroughgood’s tale with verve, compassion and humour. The result is an exceptionally fine novel which blends bitter human incident with bizarre army farce that will make you laugh out loud.

”Entertaining and compulsively readable… achieves a memorable authenticity.”
MELVYN BRAGG


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking good read 12 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I recall reading 'Breed of Heroes' many years ago and enjoying it enormously, then giving it to my Dad,because I knew he would enjoy it too. So it was a no-brainer to buy the Kindle edition and enjoy it all over again. It may not read as smoothly as some modern novels, but as ex-serviceman myself I can relate to the hours of tedium broken by moments of panic as things suddenly and expectedly kick off in the way that Judd describes. If Judd wasn't there himself, he clearly knows somebody who was, because this book describes all the vagaries and lunacies of service life in exactly the way I experienced it.

Prospero
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong read 22 Aug. 2012
By FionaC
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really admired the writing and grittiness of this book. I know little about the British Army presence in Belfast, but this illuminated the minutiae of routine contrasted with eruptions of disquiet and violence, set against the background of army codes of conduct and one junior officer's experience hard felt experience. Not quite a classic, but well on the way.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a credible soldier 11 Jan. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a strange book with its mundane quotidien of the daily tedium of a soldier's life which contrasts in a moment with extreme danger and violence. It is elegaic in the sense that it is all about leaving.

As a Catholic Irish Republican this was a real insight into the mindset of an english soldier and a reminder that the enemy are not bogeymen.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good indeed 10 Sept. 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The best way to describe my stance towards this book was that I 'slipped' into it.
I normally bumble about at the begining of a novel, and have to convince myself that I actually want to read it, but not so with Alan Judd's book here.
The characters are slightly confusing to follow from time to time, but nevertheless, it is a gripping and facinating read.
I can't help but feel that Alan Judd has written this book with more fact than fiction, and has certainly added his own slant to the Army's involvement in Northern Ireland, and the bitter relationship that they had/have with the Catholic community therein.
I most certainly enjoyed the novel, and am surprised by this as I didn't expect to do so quite as much as I did.
The humour is wry, and the situations extremely powerful so much at times that you can almost forget it's fiction that you are reading. Perhaps this is a sad reflection as to the horrors that we have become accustomed to on our television screens whenever there is a mention of the Province.
Well worth the read. I am rather sad that I have finished the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Breed of Heroes 25 Sept. 2013
By Jay Bee
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this and "Legacy", his other book, after reading 'The Quest for C' by Alan Judd. They are good, but
The 'Quest' is a fantastic read and gives detailed, factual insights into the character and thinking of Sir Mansfield Cumming, (MI6), famous for his choice of green ink, swordstick (used) and disguises. Before reading, I did not appreciate that "doors squeak more in daytime, usually on the upper hinge."
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4.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful read......... 7 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I gradually slipped into reading this story, and I'm glad that I persevered because I found it to be an interesting insight as to what it must have been like to be a British soldier in Belfast during the late 70's and early 80's. I was taken with the central character's somewhat phlegmatic approach of just getting on with it and dealing with whatever lifer threw at him during his time in Belfast, whist actually recognising that he wished to leave the army.

The story around his journalistic freelancing added to the story, but I have to admit that I found the ending a bit odd, as I found myself wanting closure to whether he actually left the army or decided to stay in.

I know that I enjoyed the book though, because I found myself seeking it out during quiet moments in my day, in order to find out how the story was progressing.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This novel tells the story of a young British officer caught up in the Northern Ireland troubles. It gives a real feel for what life was like for such a person, veering unpredictably from the comic to the tragic, from the bored and inactive to the manically busy. The author is an acute and witty observer, and shows us a range of military characters 'warts and all'. There's a gentle undercurrent of plot - but mostly service is seen as a series of disconnected, random events, which is, I imagine, how it was. The author served in Ireland and the book feels sharp, truthful and authentic.

There were some points where the book made me laugh out loud. But let's hope these terrible times never come back.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catch 22 for the troubles 16 Mar. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This remains one of the best novels I have ever read. A hugely entertaining and unexpectedly moving account of The Army's early entanglement in the madness of Ulster conflict. Nobody is completely sane, competent or even real. Brilliant and humane.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good read. Good service.
Published 1 month ago by Peter Loughlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very realistic and well-observed. Hits humdrum as well as dramatic note,catching the essence of peacekeeping in the Province.
Published 3 months ago by David Drake
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
OK but not exceptional
Published 3 months ago by Peardrop
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid like the plague
Old fashioned stuffy hardly credible. Stock characters leaden plot.
Published 5 months ago by Prof Michael J. Rennie
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and tragic. Had me completely hooked. Not ...
Amusing and tragic.Had me completely hooked. Not sure how true it is though.
Published 6 months ago by Rob Howard
4.0 out of 5 stars A realistic account
I am no soldier but i imagine this book is a good representation of life in the army during the troubles in Northern Ireland. A good story with excellent characters.
Published 11 months ago by Richard Chapman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good holiday read.
Published 11 months ago by J. M. Flinn
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm pleased and relieved that someone
This book has the unmistakeable crystal-ring of authenticity. The detail is too alive to be purely imaginary. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mr. B. V. Sims
4.0 out of 5 stars Belfast during 'The Troubles'
Very interesting reminder of how far the situation appears to have improved in Belfast since this book was set during the 1970s.
Published 19 months ago by Mrs Fiona Sian Neale
2.0 out of 5 stars Just ordinary
I finished the book but I could have put it down at any point simply because it failed to maintain my interest. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Jake
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