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4.7 out of 5 stars24
4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 21 June 2013
There's something about the medium of poetry that brings the full horrors of war into sharp relief so well. The brilliant First World War poems of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, for example, are some of the most poignant and tragic verses I have ever read.

And now Welsh novelist and poet Owen Sheers has chronicled modern warfare in Afghanistan in the same gut wrenchingly electric way in his new book of poems Pink Mist. But rather than separate poems, it is a book telling a tale in verse - the story of three young Bristol lads - friends who sign up by a mixture of accident and design. It is a very short book - around 80 pages - of the most honest and heartbreaking words you will ever read.

There are different reasons for Arthur, Hads and Taff enlisting - a poorly paid apprentice plumber's job; a hunger for some excitement; or just because the other two had. And the terrible outcomes for each of them are very different too.

This is a stunningly well written and memorable book. It does not carry a blatant anti war message, but it does lead to much pause for thought about what we ask these young men and women to do in our name, and what becomes of the ones who return. Highly recommended - even if you don't do poetry, I assure you, you will do this one.
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on 9 July 2013
Amazing to be able to express so graphically through poetry. I am not a fan of this genre of writing but in this case it was very powerful. Horrific in many ways but I really enjoyed it in a macabre sort of way.
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on 16 February 2014
I think it may be that D, Israel might have brought a particular set of his own prejudices to his reading of this book, and that's a pity because I think he's missed a deeply moving and heartfelt story. I'd never heard of Owen Sheers when I picked up the book in the library wanting something short to read. When I started it I, like D. Israel, thought it was pale stuff compared to Sassoon or Owen, but I kept going and gradually it all clicked and I became absorbed in the lives of these three kids who'd gone off to war. It's brilliant and it's real. By the end it became one of those books you just want to tell everyone about - it's a must read.
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on 18 January 2015
A moving read, plot driven and yet with depth and with you'd expect of a good story/poem. Reads as both.
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on 25 July 2013
Pink Mist illustrates the intricate and entwined ebbs and flows of the medieval Welsh poem Y Gododdin through history, and the resulting harsh and sharp reality of war as it is today. The depth and intensity of the poem remains with the reader, as if in almost shell-shock of experiencing the journeys the three young lads took and the ultimate price they paid. It is a poignant, thought provoking read, with punch after punch, and totally absorbing as it is so very, very true.
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A set of poems about three young men who leave Bristol for army training at Catterick and then on to Afghanistan - covering their experiences out there and also on return to their loved ones back home.

It is better not to summarise the events, so that they can take their toll as the poem is read. I found it very moving. A pink mist, I learned, is what you experience when someone is blown up in Afghanistan.
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on 9 June 2013
Owen Shears 'Pink Mist' hits hard. Quite simply, a written masterpiece. A certain 'MUST' for the national curriculum such is it's place deserved. The story of Had, Arthur and Taffs could be any young boy from any war, from any era and any country. Congratulation to Owen for another stirring, very real and extremely thought provoking soldiers tale in follow up of 'The Two Worlds of Charlie F'.
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on 26 January 2015
lovely arrived fast am delighted with it myself and have given it as gifts.
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on 19 January 2014
Given as gift but person looking forward to reading it! Heartfelt and straight - written in a realistic style which is believable and down to earth but with tense resonances
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on 4 June 2013
A beautiful, tense, epic, sad, human telling of the fate of three boys who join the army and go to Afghanistan, and of their 'returns'. Highly recommended.
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