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The Joker: Twenty Years in the SAS Hardcover – 4 Oct 1999


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Andre Deutsch Ltd (4 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0233996419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0233996417
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 523,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

"Taylor's self-deprecating, sardonic writing style turns what could have been tiresome descriptions of his training regime and his first few races into laugh-aloud prose. [His] book is both amusing and eye-opening and will appeal to a wide range of readers - even those whose running experience is limited to sprinting for the morning bus.' - Booklist" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

After completing national service, Peter Scholey turned around and signed up for the regular Army. He served two years with the Royal Army Service Corps, two years with the Royal Regiment of Artillery, then three years in the Parachute Regiment before volunteering for SAS in 1963. There he served twenty-three years in campaigns that took him all over the world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
The Radfan mountains and the jungles of Borneo are a world away from where I grew up, and if you'd told me back then that I was going to be a career soldier for nearly thirty years, and that most of those years were going to be spent slogging around some of the wildest parts of the world, with a bergen on my back and a rifle in my hand, I'd have said you were mad. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By donnie919@aol.com on 10 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is about the Author's life in the British 22nd Special Air Service. It is writen in a very informal, humorus way, quite amusing to read about some of his escapades in desert and jungle warfare. It gives an amusing insight into the history of the Special Air Service. The author was involved in some of the most dangerous and sensitive operations that the SAS has been involved with, it is very interesting. A must read for anybody interested in the army and the SAS.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Todd on 8 May 2010
Format: Paperback
I was reminded of Pete last week (Apr/10) when he appeared on the TV in Channel 4s "SAS The Real Story". I met him in Ecuador about 7 years ago when he was guest speaker for the Caledonian Society. The Chieftain was a much younger ex SAS chap from Dalkeith who had invited him and I think there were 5 other SAS guys there either on security work in Ecuador or passing through to other South American countries. Obviously there's a lot of security work, either personal security for executives or security on oilfield instalations. The meeting place was Albert Crutcher's Bar in Quito.

First, and probably only time, I've had a chance to meet an ex SAS member (knowingly anyway). I was there as a musician but Im also a bit of a military buff (grandfather in the Argyll's in WW1 etc) and I have to say these guys were the most down to earth, unpretentious individuals you could ever meet (unlike the one tobacco chewing ex US Navy Seal also present). Pete was a fund of interesting stories, if prompted, but he was as happy to listen as to talk. Considering what these guys go through to achieve that coveted badge I was well impressed with all of them. So yes read the book, you'll enjoy it, and hope that one day you'll meet the man.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Oct. 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pete Scholey is a very funny man. Every SAS autobiography that I've read has been pompous, macho and testosterone-packed: Scholey completely subverts this by blowing the whistle on what actually happened.
A typical example took place in the jungles of Borneo: Scholey got stuck up a tree when a helicopter winch broke and he was then attacked by an irate orang-utan. Unable to escape, he was forced to shoot the ape, but the rest of the patrol, on the ground two hundred feet below him had no idea what had happened and assumed that the man-shaped object falling out of the tree was him. One of Scholey's mates then tried to break 'Pete's' fall, only to have a quarter ton dead orang-utan land on him.
The whole book is filled with stories like that: tremendous!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Shields on 9 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
Without a shadow of a doubt Peter Scholey is a rare man. Any one who can achieve SAS status, let alone remain in the unit for 20 years is to be admired. However, I felt that the book overview is a bit missleading. Scholey doesn't demonstrate how he helped set up any sort of CRW team which lead to the iconic rescue at the Iranian Embassy. He harks on about how he's a Joker, a laugh, a real lad, and yet demonstrates little humour and reminds me of the kid at school who was an irritant not funny.
This may seem harsh but then you buy a book on the premise of what is within. To buy this expecting to see a real character would be a mistake. To buy it to read of the metal of these amazing men, and one man's great tale of staying in the unit for two decades is a better reason, and in that guise it will not leave you wanting.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rob on 3 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
While an okay book to read, it doesn't live up to it's title. But then again, humor is subjective. And I didn't read it for laughs.
Written in an easy-to-read schoolboy's "what I did on my summer vacation" style (which may explain the so-called humorous parts) it was informative, but not highly enlightening.
A nice book to kill a few hours with, not memorable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nick Brett TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 May 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author spent over 20 years in the SAS and this book is his story, but also shows how the SAS changed and developed during his service. Expect not much recent stuff, he retired just after the Iranian Embassy siege but do expect a light but interesting view of life in the SAS through (mainly) the 60s and 70's. It is full of characters and anecdotes and the author never puffs himself up mainly having a focus on what was going on around him rather then boasting about himself. Despite being the best soldiers in the world, he and his colleagues obviously had a whale of a time. Despite being a fairly lightweight and easy to read book (part of it's charm) you do become emotionally attached to some of the characters and when you find some are no longer with us you feel a real sense of loss for some very brave men and real characters.
Both interesting and funny and I hope the author continues his retirement in good health.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Hull on 2 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a good read based on this guys impressive career, however I have to agree that it didn't live up to the title as he didn't inject enough of the typical Army banter and humour I had expected. Don't get me wrong I did sit chuckling to myself while reading this while on holiday and I could relate to some of the incidents and situations.

The book wasn't what I expected but never the less it was a good honest book that didn't portray the SAS as supermen while taking nothing away from what they are, an elite group of highly skilled soldiers.

I did enjoy this book and would recommend it, if you are looking for old school SAS soldiering. Enjoy!
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