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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Book
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...
Published 17 months ago by 3914

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A good read and enlightening
If you hate your job and wished you had joined up when you were younger
or
if you know someone with PTSD
or
you want an insight into how hard life out in Afghan can be
or
you just need to put life in perspective...Read this.

A good book well very well written.
Ignore the poor ratings, particularly the one that says his book is...
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Book, 24 July 2013
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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. That has been a personal bugbear of mine since Afghan,having spent part of my tour as an Infantry driver, with my rifle wedged uselessly over the WMIK gearstick/dashboard,I am in absolute agreement that not issuing pistols routinely is criminal. The sheer helplessness of being an effectively unarmed driver in a heavy contact, in amongst compounds,is pretty awful.I wish you all the best in your battle with PTSD. You won your other fights and you can win this one too. For anyone considering buying this book - do it. It is an excellent piece of literature and will give you an insight into certain aspects of war which you simply won't get anywhere else. Jake was clearly a highly competent soldier, he is also a highly competent author.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, 21 Jan 2013
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Visceral, heart-wrenching, shocking & emotionally charged. A MUST read, 10 May 2013
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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
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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. I know not every story ends positively and the suicide and crime rate has gone up amongst soldiers returning home. More needs to be done. Thank you though Jake, you made me gasp and you made me cry, but you gave hope. I understand far now and as a friend I know that if my friends ever need me, I can at least understand a little better.Take care and yes you will find the one who will hold your heart and treasure it..
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 26 April 2013
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This book is astounding. I don't think I've ever read a book which has brought the reader so completely into the author's memory and mind. This wasn't just because of the subject, which is utterly and at times painfully compelling, but equally because it is so well written. It flows, it is both concise and vividly descriptive, and he also has a wonderful turn of phrase - that sort of Oscar Wilde or Churchill habit of saying things with clarity, wit and clever linguistics that leads to them being serially quoted by others.
The book ends on a more hopeful note - I hope that's continued for the author and that things are getting easier. I also hope that others who've found themselves in the same situation will find the book not only compelling but also a massive relief.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality, not fantasy. A response to Xland., 27 Jan 2013
Xland,

I couldn't disagree with your review more. A couple of points:

1. By your own admission you have not read the book in full, just excepts. If you had you would know that the subject matter of the book and understand the context.
2. Warts and all, it's all true. I'm not sure how you describe him as a fantasist as you barely knew him and didn't work with him at all on Herrick 6.
3. Jake was not involved in the Mortar incident. That was another soldier deployed in Now Zad where he didn't go all tour.

Among You does not take anything away from the FSTs of 19 Reg and the fantastic job they all did during an extremely tough tour. Jake describes his experiences candidly and truthfully and their effect on him in theatre and at him on his return.

It's a fantastic book and it would be more appropriate if you read the whole thing before commenting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A good read and enlightening, 27 Feb 2014
This review is from: Among You: The Extraordinary True Story of a Soldier Broken by War (Paperback)
If you hate your job and wished you had joined up when you were younger
or
if you know someone with PTSD
or
you want an insight into how hard life out in Afghan can be
or
you just need to put life in perspective...Read this.

A good book well very well written.
Ignore the poor ratings, particularly the one that says his book is 'A rather self indulgent, self pitying account'. The person that wrote that review quite clearly missed the point that if you have PTSD you are not likely to be full of sweetness and light. In fact the very manner in which Jake describes his surroundings and his experiences gives an insight into the psychology of a person with acute PTSD.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PS, 23 Mar 2013
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This book is a must read for any parent / sibling , wife, husband or friend of any soldier who has served his/her Queen and country.
Whether we agree or disagree with the reasons for going to war we still have help those that were fortunate to return from war zones
and never forget those that gave their lives fulfilling their orders
Even those that returned from their tours in what would seem to be "one piece " are likely to mentally carrying memories of awful things they have seen or had to do.
Our son served in Iraq on two tours and thankfully returned home with no physical injuries , but experienced flash-backs , never spoke openly about any of the bad times ,
Jake's book is a true reflection of the time in-between and after tours where these soldiers are left to their own devices.

To all those serving at present and those who have served, may your own God "BLESS YOU "
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars honest heartfelt read., 23 Jan 2013
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An honest heartfelt and no holds barred book of the effect of recent conflicts on a soldier. The first book i have read written by a member of the ta and highights the plight of the reservists who serve along side the regulars and face the unique challenges of trying to fit back into the 9 to 5 grind of civilian life when they return. Well worth a read and will open your eyes to exactly what we expect our troops serving overseas to go through on a daily basis, the hard ships they endure so we can all sleep safe in our beds and worry about nothing more than the latest reality TV scandle.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ending seemed rushed, 20 April 2013
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I saw the author give a talk at the National Army museum and being a member of the RAMC I decided to buy his book....Very well written. A natural talent and in parts utterly brilliant. I had purchased the book primarily so I could read about his experiences with PTSD and the quite shoddy way the army treats it soldiers once they've finished with them. This was what I thought the book was about and indeed I got the impression that it was.... Sadly though only a few chapters at the end of the book were on this. It seemed rushed at the end while at the beginning there was quite a lot of really quite boring pages about his personal life which could have been many peoples stories. While its obviously difficult to write about PTSD someone with the authors mastery of English could have really brought us some more insight into this condition that effect so many soldiers now. The author was middle class and well educated thus fortunate in being equipped to take on the MOD for better compensation...A 22 year old from a housing estate perhaps would not have managed to negotiate such a compensation payout.......That said i'm glad he got what he did and its disgusting that he had to fight for it..........I volunteer every Christmas in a homeless shelter ...Every year I see more ex squaddies on the street.....Jake wont be one of them he thus in some respects is lucky.
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