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Anonfornow (Melbourne)

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Coma 2 Combat A Soldiers Story
Coma 2 Combat A Soldiers Story
Price: £9.46

4.0 out of 5 stars A harrowing tale, showing perseverance and courage in the face of unexpected adversity, 8 Mar. 2013
Young men and women join the army for a variety of reasons and the majority come to value the experiences within. It is, without a doubt, life changing but the changes are not obvious without reflection. This is about a series of changes that occurred in Reid's life that happened whilst he served in the REME and the ramifications thereafter. Not all changes in life are positive but good can be found.

Coming back from leave and being late is something that has happened to many of us, often because we don't fancy the return to army life and the girls and drinks we have been enjoying just feel too good to leave. Pushing our chances, we leave it to the last minute and then hare across countries to return for that important first parade. Usually the worst that can happen is a rollicking from the NCO's and a bit of extra guard duty. For Reid, it was far worse.

He was driving a mate back to barracks, the weather was awful and he had a cataclysmic car crash. The driver of the other car involved died and Reid suffered serious injuries, so serious that he was in an induced coma for three weeks. During this time, he was aware of his surrounds and heard much of the discussions about him.

The physical recovery happened relatively swiftly as is often the case, so effective was his repair that he was deployed to the Gulf for Desert Storm a year after the accident. However his mind was nowhere near ready for normalcy of military life, let alone operations.

Solace was found in anger and drugs, the former keeping people wary of him, the latter keeping him wary of regulations. Fitness was his conscious release and he worked to develop this, resulting in passing P Company and being eligible for deployment to Rwanda.

The story is about his anguish and confusion about the crash, the scars within that seemed never to heal. He left the army and continued to experience a mix of drugs, fitness and sporadic work, swinging from one to another but achieving some impressive goals in IronMan competitions.

He has found a path where he is able to help others through life's challenges by developing life coaching skills. What is clear is that he draws on his own pain, healed and carried, to assist others and acknowledges the benefits. Clearly he wouldn't be able to help these people without his experiences. As the Buddhists say, "The path to enlightenment is paved with hardship", or something similar....

This is his first book and he was nervous of opinions voiced. However, by offering it to Arrse, the Army Rumour Service, the book was reviewed by and shown to his peers.

Anyone who has gone through the pain of self reflection and faced the demons that haunt so many is worthy of respect and Reid has done just that. Making his very personal story public is a further stage in that courageous journey and for that, he should be admired.


Journey to Peace
Journey to Peace
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Courage and raw emotion, 6 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Journey to Peace (Kindle Edition)
Service life can be brutal and Lawton has found an equally confronting way to deal with his pain. Treading the battlefields of the South Atlantic to heal his scars. Emotional, courageous, passionate - this is an excellent book and left me absolutely drained after reading. I was more than conscious of the pain that 255 families must have gone through, and that was just on the British side. Clear description of a great deal of the effect of conflict. Admirable piece of work and well including in anyone's library.


Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It
Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling and endangering in equal measure, 31 Oct. 2011
We live in a largely protected world, insulated from the reality of war and the struggles of many nations. What we see is through the filter of a news channel or the opinion of a blogger - rarely do we get a truly accomplished veteran sharing their knowledge of the situation and what we can expect.

Clarke writes well and gets to the point. We are at dire threat from a cyber attack at any given time of day or night. This attack might appear to draw on unimaginable sophistry but, since all code is created by humans, the blame will lie at inelegant effort and greedy corporations.

Why would Microsoft allow the Chinese to have the Windows code? So they could sell it there, of course. Ergo, the Chinese government has the infrastructure of more computers in the world than any other platform. But we have AV software, I hear you say. Is it impossible that the attackers could have coded their 'bombs' to be undiscovered? Because it's happened more than once.

The printer in the office, the electricity switch at the wall, the airplane taking you on holiday - all incredibly vulnerable to the most constricting and lifestyle preventing attack that you could conceive.

Afghanistan and Iraq have kept the gung-ho generals in eye watering budgets for years. Naturally they fight the last war in terms of strategies and tactics - these take blood to revise. They are resistant to cyber units who might protect us against severely debilitating attacks.

Why sacrifice your own men and women when you can press a button and activate devastation with little recourse to your nation? Such could be the dilemma the Chinese are struggling with...


Salts and Suits
Salts and Suits
Price: £7.50

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 31 Oct. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Salts and Suits (Kindle Edition)
I had looked for this book as a Kindle edition as soon as I saw it in the stores in Melbourne. Fascinated by the ethos and success of the 'anti-establishment', I looked forward to reading it.

To say it's disappointing is kind. The structure of the chapters is turgid, the prose leads you to daydream and there is little to capture the balls out attitude of the success of some of the key brands. I wanted to finish it as a commitment to the price I'd paid, not to the quality of the writing.

A shame because this could have been jazzed up a bit to make it a fun ride through the heyday of surfing, instead it became a bit of a complicated tale that hopped around and didn't leave me with a real comprehension of the struggle. Almost as dry as an academic text, to boot.


Invasion
Invasion
by DC Alden
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Punchy, polished and disarmingly plausible, 12 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Invasion (Paperback)
This book moves you through it at pace. Tight language, easily digestible scenarios which evolve into a tense plotline that can be believed.

I barrelled through this book in about two days, purely because it is so well written. Enjoyable to a fault, it takes you to where the plot plays out and you can visualise the development of each phase. Alden has done his research and brings a comprehensive methodology to build his case. This is the work of someone who understands global trends, campaign management and, above all, the intricacies that can unravel even the most carefully put together plan. Were this situation to unfold, and heaven knows no sane person would want it, the architect could do worse than read Invasion for a cogent strategy.

The plot is set a few decades in the future. The state of Arabia now stretches from Morocco as far east as Afghanistan. The unity that they have craved has been achieved and they all serve the Great Cleric, the Saladdin or Nasser of the 21st century. Strict rule is enforced within the region but cordial relations are maintained with the other countries, all still reliant on oil. Suddenly this all descends into chaos as Europe is invaded with a highly coordinated attack. Swift, targeted and effective, Britain soon falls with scant hope. But within this there are stories of the Prime Minister as he evades capture, characters who are caught up and manage to escape the yoke of servitude and tales of those less fortunate.

Alden writes well and tells it without xenophobic rancour or ideological bent. Reaching back into what is, for us, the present day, he builds the history before the invasion. The Arab spring is mentioned as the start of the unification, the credit crunch referenced as the cause of our long lasting economic woes. There are indicators that could provide the opportunity, as long as the Chinese aren't too powerful too soon, the Russians find their gas supplies are finite and the Americans revert to their isolationist policies.

The downside for me on this book was that Alden's other book, Horse at the Gates, is based on a war with Islamic fundamentalists. I look forward to his next book so I can enjoy his style, telling a different scenario.

Overall, though, this is a great read and one to enjoy. Of course I wouldn't want to end on a negative point but you better carry another book with you as you will finish this very quickly, as it's written very well and you don't want to put it down.


Invasion
Invasion
by DC Alden
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Punchy, polished and disarmingly plausible, 11 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Invasion (Paperback)
This book moves you through it at pace. Tight language, easily digestible scenarios which evolve into a tense plotline that can be believed.

I barrelled through this book in about two days, purely because it is so well written. Enjoyable to a fault, it takes you to where the plot plays out and you can visualise the development of each phase. Alden has done his research and brings a comprehensive methodology to build his case. This is the work of someone who understands global trends, campaign management and, above all, the intricacies that can unravel even the most carefully put together plan. Were this situation to unfold, and heaven knows no sane person would want it, the architect could do worse than read Invasion for a cogent strategy.

The plot is set a few decades in the future. The state of Arabia now stretches from Morocco as far east as Afghanistan. The unity that they have craved has been achieved and they all serve the Great Cleric, the Saladdin or Nasser of the 21st century. Strict rule is enforced within the region but cordial relations are maintained with the other countries, all still reliant on oil. Suddenly this all descends into chaos as Europe is invaded with a highly coordinated attack. Swift, targeted and effective, Britain soon falls with scant hope. But within this there are stories of the Prime Minister as he evades capture, characters who are caught up and manage to escape the yoke of servitude and tales of those less fortunate.

Alden writes well and tells it without xenophobic rancour or ideological bent. Reaching back into what is, for us, the present day, he builds the history before the invasion. The Arab spring is mentioned as the start of the unification, the credit crunch referenced as the cause of our long lasting economic woes. There are indicators that could provide the opportunity, as long as the Chinese aren't too powerful too soon, the Russians find their gas supplies are finite and the Americans revert to their isolationist policies.

The downside for me on this book was that Alden's other book, Horse at the Gates, is based on a war with Islamic fundamentalists. I look forward to his next book so I can enjoy his style, telling a different scenario.

Overall, though, this is a great read and one to enjoy. Of course I wouldn't want to end on a negative point but you better carry another book with you as you will finish this very quickly, as it's written very well and you don't want to put it down.


INVASION: A Military Thriller
INVASION: A Military Thriller
Price: £0.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Punchy, polished and disarmingly plausible, 10 Aug. 2011
This book moves you through it at pace. Tight language, easily digestible scenarios which evolve into a tense plotline that can be believed.

I barrelled through this book in about two days, purely because it is so well written. Enjoyable to a fault, it takes you to where the plot plays out and you can visualise the development of each phase. Alden has done his research and brings a comprehensive methodology to build his case. This is the work of someone who understands global trends, campaign management and, above all, the intricacies that can unravel even the most carefully put together plan. Were this situation to unfold, and heaven knows no sane person would want it, the architect could do worse than read Invasion for a cogent strategy.

The plot is set a few decades in the future. The state of Arabia now stretches from Morocco as far east as Afghanistan. The unity that they have craved has been achieved and they all serve the Great Cleric, the Saladdin or Nasser of the 21st century. Strict rule is enforced within the region but cordial relations are maintained with the other countries, all still reliant on oil. Suddenly this all descends into chaos as Europe is invaded with a highly coordinated attack. Swift, targeted and effective, Britain soon falls with scant hope. But within this there are stories of the Prime Minister as he evades capture, characters who are caught up and manage to escape the yoke of servitude and tales of those less fortunate.

Alden writes well and tells it without xenophobic rancour or ideological bent. Reaching back into what is, for us, the present day, he builds the history before the invasion. The Arab spring is mentioned as the start of the unification, the credit crunch referenced as the cause of our long lasting economic woes. There are indicators that could provide the opportunity, as long as the Chinese aren't too powerful too soon, the Russians find their gas supplies are finite and the Americans revert to their isolationist policies.

The downside for me on this book was that Alden's other book, Horse at the Gates, is based on a war with Islamic fundamentalists. I look forward to his next book so I can enjoy his style, telling a different scenario.

Overall, though, this is a great read and one to enjoy. Of course I wouldn't want to end on a negative point but you better carry another book with you as you will finish this very quickly, as it's written very well and you don't want to put it down.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 30, 2012 10:56 AM GMT


THE HORSE AT THE GATES: An Assassination Thriller
THE HORSE AT THE GATES: An Assassination Thriller
Price: £1.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could it possibly happen....?, 23 Mar. 2011
Predicting the future is never a science and can result in wildly inaccurate assumptions. Addressing a highly polemical issue can also result in a lonely life. DC Alden has done both in his second novel. The Horse at the Gates is a moving account of something that we would all dread happening and at a time not too far off in the future either.

Afghanistan has been handed to the UN and the negotiating tables, Britain is a paid up member of the EU and uses the Euro as currency, Pakistan teeters on civil war - that's before the book even starts and the reader needs to pick up the clues throughout. It all goes rapidly wrong with a major blast in Islamabad and following ones taking out both Downing Street and the largest mosque in Luton. Islam rears up seeking revenge.

Could the scenario that develops actually happen? After seeing Children of Men with Clive Owen, it would seem that Alden is not the only one thinking about calamitous times in the first half of this century.

However, there is a dry wit behind the writing. It is not a comedy in any way but it captures the spirit of the main players, from the deposed Prime Minister to the Royal Marine who clearly learnt about life whilst working in the Ghan. Some of the predictions are natural developments of what we use on a day-to-day basis, some are scary, not only in their plausibility but also their finality.

The book has a number of layers - for instance the storyline is bold, contentious and bound to attract naysayers. The characters are called to perform in testing times and their fallibility is conceivable. The British approach is highlighted and there are some delightfully wry and subtle observations about how we progress things. Clearly Alden has spent time researching his plot, characters and supporting data. As an ex soldier, he appreciates some of the demands that the challenges of instability require, as an ex actor (from Band of Brothers, no less) he builds a plot that can be translated through a number of media.

Although I tend to stick to non-fiction works, I was drawn to this by the sheer audacity of the plotline. The language within is well constructed and the pages turn easily as a result. Following the weave of the story is fun and also makes you think. All in all, I enjoyed the depth of the work, the bravery behind the idea, the prose to lead you along and the potential for further work by this more than capable author.


The Horse at the Gates
The Horse at the Gates
by DC Alden
Edition: Paperback

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could it be possible.....?, 9 Mar. 2011
This review is from: The Horse at the Gates (Paperback)
Predicting the future is never a science and can result in wildly inaccurate assumptions. Addressing a highly polemical issue can also result in a lonely life. DC Alden has done both in his second novel. The Horse at the Gates is a moving account of something that we would all dread happening and at a time not too far off in the future either.

Afghanistan has been handed to the UN and the negotiating tables, Britain is a paid up member of the EU and uses the Euro as currency, Pakistan teeters on civil war - that's before the book even starts and the reader needs to pick up the clues throughout. It all goes rapidly wrong with a major blast in Islamabad and following ones taking out both Downing Street and the largest mosque in Luton. Islam rears up seeking revenge.

Could the scenario that develops actually happen? After seeing Children of Men with Clive Owen, it would seem that Alden is not the only one thinking about calamitous times in the first half of this century.

However, there is a dry wit behind the writing. It is not a comedy in any way but it captures the spirit of the main players, from the deposed Prime Minister to the Royal Marine who clearly learnt about life whilst working in the Ghan. Some of the predictions are natural developments of what we use on a day-to-day basis, some are scary, not only in their plausibility but also their finality.

The book has a number of layers - for instance the storyline is bold, contentious and bound to attract naysayers. The characters are called to perform in testing times and their fallibility is conceivable. The British approach is highlighted and there are some delightfully wry and subtle observations about how we progress things. Clearly Alden has spent time researching his plot, characters and supporting data. As an ex soldier, he appreciates some of the demands that the challenges of instability require, as an ex actor (from Band of Brothers, no less) he builds a plot that can be translated through a number of media.

Although I tend to stick to non-fiction works, I was drawn to this by the sheer audacity of the plotline. The language within is well constructed and the pages turn easily as a result. Following the weave of the story is fun and also makes you think. All in all, I enjoyed the depth of the work, the bravery behind the idea, the prose to lead you along and the potential for further work by this more than capable author.


Gordon is a Moron: The Definitive and Objective Analysis of Gordon Brown's Decade as Chancellor of the Exchequer
Gordon is a Moron: The Definitive and Objective Analysis of Gordon Brown's Decade as Chancellor of the Exchequer
by Vernon Coleman
Edition: Paperback

17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A shame it's so one-sided, 5 Dec. 2008
This is an excellent book for some factual research. Trouble is, he tends towards the Michael Moore approach and only presents one side of the argument which weakens his case.

If you do read this and are able to view it in the relevant context, I think you will agree that he has painted a rather realistically bleak picture of what a bad chancellor Brown was.

Oh well, what could Brown do now, eh...?!?


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