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Among You: The Extraordinary True Story of a Soldier Broken by War [Kindle Edition]

Jake Wood
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Among You is the gripping real-life story of a soldier serving on the front line in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an unforgettable, unflinching account of the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jake Wood lives parallel lives: encased in the glass tower of an international investment bank by day, he is also a dedicated TA soldier who serves on the front line during the invasion of Iraq, later returning to the war zone to conduct surveillance on insurgents. Disillusioned with the dullness and amorality of the banking world, he escapes back to the army for a third tour of duty. But in Afghanistan he discovers the savage, dehumanising effects that war has on both the body and the mind. Diagnosed with chronic PTSD on his return, he must now fight the last enemy - himself - in order to exorcise the ghosts of his past.

Brutally honest and beautifully written, Among You brings home the harsh reality of front-line combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the courage of the troops who risk their lives for their country, as well as revealing the devastating after-effects of service.


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Review

"Jake Wood writes unflinchingly about his life, whether on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, the trading desks of Canary Wharf or the frenzied, hallucinatory landscape of sexual passion . . . A more pertinent story of our time it is hard to imagine" (John Irvin, director of Hamburger Hill)

"The most haunting and moving account of how battle scars your mind" (Daily Mail)

"Jake Wood tells his story with an expert eye for detail . . . intensely gripping and emotional" (The Scotsman)

"As a military historian, I have read thousands of first-hand accounts of war, in all its gore and glory, brutality and suffering. But there were tears in my eyes as I followed Wood's story of his descent into the bleakness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder" (Tony Rennell Daily Mail)

"Jake Wood is . . . a burning man who shapes sentences with a poet's heart and a fighter's rage . . . This one soldier's story is indeed extraordinary and a reminder that if you can write like Jake Wood, your life - whether lived in your head or in the world at large - will be far from ordinary" (The National)

Book Description

An extraordinary and very real account of the impact of modern combat

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Book 24 July 2013
By 3914
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Jake, that is by far the best book on the subject of war that I think I have ever read and I have read literally hundreds. A searing account, painful to read, powerful and above all brutally honest. I think it is your total and unflinching honesty which really makes the book stand out and I admire your courage in writing it. The Junior Officers Reading Club comes close,but I think yours is better. I also served on Herrick 6, with the Territorial Army, in an Infantry role. My tour was rough in parts, but not on the same scale as yours. Your observations and descriptions of the impossibility of ever really fitting properly back into civilian life again were incredibly well written and helped me on a personal level. TA (and all reserve forces) face a unique challenge regarding re-integration into society, and I don't mean a harder or easier challenge than the regs, just a different one, which I think you capture perfectly. I do not have PTSD, and I didn't loose any limbs, both of which I will be eternally grateful for. But, like everyone I served with, I am not the same as I was before Afghan and the blackness, as you so astutely describe it, is always there, and always has to be consciously repressed. On a personal level your book helped me hugely, at a time when perhaps the blackness was becoming difficult to manage. It made me feel less isolated, and I am certain that your book will help many veterans. Anger, rage, numbness,sitting at a desk and struggling to integrate the soldier and the civilian which form every TA or reservist are things which I, and I am certain many others can relate to. Finally, with regard to your quest to arm Infantry drivers with pistols - top notch. Read more ›
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading 21 Jan. 2013
By JC_1894
Format:Hardcover
Once I started reading this I could not put it down and to say that it is thought provoking just doesn`t cover it. I'm not able to put into words, a review that can do this book justice and I somehow feel that even thinking of it as a book is disrespectful to the real life behind it. Jake Wood, I not only salute you for the service you have given, but for the courage you have shown in writing and publishing this book. This is a book that everyone should read as we all need to know, recognise and acknowledge the sacrifices that are being made by our armed forces personnel.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Where to begin? One of the finest books I have ever read of any kind. Nothing I write here can begin to convey the emotional rollercoaster Jake takes you on so I can only urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to read this. Whilst you're at it ask your friends to read it too as if doing so will in any way help this man and raise awareness of the countless others like him past and present then it will have been worthwhile.
I shan't delve into the contents as to do so would be to taint what Jake expresses far more eloquently than i could ever hope to. Suffice to say that he has a tremendous talent for writing and I for one applaud his honesty and willingness to delve terrifyingly deep in order to bare his soul to the world. He very clearly never asks for, nor expects, sympathy for where his self-imposed journey has led him though there are many times during this book that you want to reach into the pages to help him. However to be given such an insight into the true face of PTSD is to know just how powerless you might be in trying to do so. Perhaps just to remember what the men and women in our armed forces have done and respect their endeavours is the best the rest of us can do, all the while being incredibly thankful that there are those out there willing to do what so many of us are not. Also, crucially, show them your support after they return - no matter what your political beliefs or your opinion on whether or not they should be there in the first place. Save those questions for your government.
Jake I wish you well on your the rest of your journey.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible, heartbreaking but gave hope. 23 Nov. 2013
By elegni
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a former Army wife and my ex husband suffered from PTSD. I never fully understood the demons or pain that lingered deep in his mind. The anger, frustration and often tears that became a regular part of our lives. The mere sound of a car back firing would have him diving to the floor. The sleepless nights, horrific nightmares. But worse still I could not know what lay deep inside. What was causing my husband to be that changed man, and what would eventually destroy our marriage. The hell that was Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq all rolled into one, set the seal on a mind that took years to begin to find semblance of normality. I have had many friends go and are in Afghanistan now. Ignorance can be bliss, but the odd programmes like the series by Ross Kemp opened a world I never knew. I know what it's like to lose a friend there, and it was at the same time as Jake was there. I have had many many nights going through what his last moments were like and the thoughts are soul destroying, haunting. I imagine his broken body laying in the ditch and the feeling of helplessness his fellow soldiers must have felt. I go through the timeline of death and burial. Of me when i sit by his grave and wander if it is real.,life takes on a new meaning. I can't imagine what our soldiers go through, and I watch when we see them returning home, the signs that hide behind their eyes. I am a nurse and I can remember many patients whose deaths linger my mind. The sights and smells you never can quite forget. They never truely go away but the mind is an incredible tool. Just like our physical wounds heal, yes they may leave a scar and sometimes you still experience pain, but it lessons over time and makes way for brighter things. Read more ›
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