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3.8 out of 5 stars10
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 26 July 2014
Put simply. if this was not fact the reader would dismiss the extraordinary life of Neall Ellis as ridiculous fiction. True stories are always more fascinating than fiction. If you are a fan of Bond or Bourne jump in and read about the real thing. A genuine action hero.
The writing style of the author is dispassionate. Cold even. Al Venter is a respected journalist and author in the military/military history genre and writes the precision and honesty that is typical of the genre. Who needs flowery prose or melodramatic flourishes of color when the subject provides more than enough?
An excellent account of an amazing individual in contemporary Africa and beyond.
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on 12 April 2012
This is a great read for those that are interested in military aviation. Superb insight into the modern world of Private Security Companies. I think a lot of the outside world doesnt realise how much 'mercenaries' have saved lives where organisations such as the UN have failed. If it wasn't for Neall Ellis a lot more people would have lost their lives... Read it, it's a page turner!
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on 30 May 2013
The book tells the fashinating story about the life of Neall Ellis from his work in the "Operational Area" to pilot for hire in all kinds of hot-spots. The book could need some work on the language side ( editorial work ). It's more written like an manual then for pleasure-reading.
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on 10 April 2012
African wars and mercenaries will always be with us. However, here is a true story of a well trained mercenary helicopter pilot who applies his skills to try and bring some sort of sanity and reason to the ongoing wars in Africa. Nellis (his nickname) was born and raised in Africa and therefor has an understanding for the fights and squabbles which so stains the image of this continent.
Trained in the 'old' South Africa by the South African Air Force, he eventually finds himself applying his know how to combat the forces plying their trade in the blood diamond industry - amongst others.
I found the book informative and to the point, telling it like it is. It will appeal to those readers who want a look behind the scenes, away from the fancy talk of the softly-softly brigade, getting some insight into the dark corners of modern day Africa.
Some editing errors, spelling and grammar, possibly only on the Kindle version - but still a good read.
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on 11 June 2015
Contary to the introduction, focuses mainly on the same little part of action in Sierra Leone which is then mentioned umpteen times in various occasions.
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on 6 August 2012
A disappointing read, especially since I knew Nellis and lived very close to him in Sierra Leone; I even flew with him once - this could have been a far better book if only it had been written and edited more professionally. The author makes lots of grammatical mistakes (possibly because it has been translated from Afrikaans?) and annoyingly, repeats himself far too often - how many times do I need to be told the technical reasons why flying "hot and high" is dangerous? (6 apparently!). As I was getting into some of the terrific stories that Nellis had to tell about his career, the author skips on to the next one without getting into enough detail. The ending is rather tragic, since the story just stops - a means to continue with 'part 2' or a rush to get it to the publisher?
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on 24 January 2015
Read it In a day could not put it down
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on 21 November 2015
Not a bad read X
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on 31 August 2014
Interesting read
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on 19 November 2014
Well written factual account of Ellis' military life. Detailed accounts of action with no bulls***. Certainly recommended for anyone interested in the topic.
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