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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful piece of work, so cleverly done., 3 Jan. 2012
This review is from: The Myth of the Airbourne Warrior: Stuart Griffiths (Hardcover)
This book defines the aspirations and the sorrows of so many working class men that have followed likewise, into the unknowns of P Company and then onto battalion life in the illustrious Parachute Regiment. In true gritty Northern tones, Stuart Griffiths(through Gordon MacDonald)with a sense of melancholic irony, speaks about the deep wanting to belong to the elitist group of men that he aspires to be one day. These are the Gods of the battalion (senior N.C.O's), broken through drink and failed relationships that frequent the ivory tower of the Sergeants Mess. Whilst drawing on his somewhat dark experiences of the time, he titillates the reader by capturing the readers attention in a lighter mood with the use of the rhetoric of military censorship that makes you try and lift the black out bars off the words. Beautifully illustrated and as an ex soldier myself, on receiving this wonderful book as a Christmas present and having served in the insane past of Northern Ireland, it placed a cricket ball size lump in my throat. A fantastic piece of contemporary literature.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great presentation but the images alone are not that strong., 4 Feb. 2013
By 
Paul Fox "PFox" (Cardiff) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Myth of the Airbourne Warrior: Stuart Griffiths (Hardcover)
The Myth of the Airborne Warrior, published by Photoworks, is a set of personal images from the portfolio of Stuart Griffiths. As a subscriber to the Photoworks magazine I came across this work through one of their articles and was immediately struck by it. The book contains photos taken by Griffiths during his time as a paratrooper serving in Northern Ireland. They are casual snaps of his colleges on and off duty and the streets that they patrolled in the late 80's and early 90's. To break up the images several pages include 'censored' extracts from his personal diary. The book is sold as a limited run of 500 numbered editions. Included in this version is a signed numbered 4x6 print and four facsimile documents that include a rules of engagement card and two nationalist posters.

Griffith collaborated with fellow photography student Gordon MacDonald to compile the book. The original intention was not necessarily to create a historical record of the troubles but more to help Griffith organize his images into a coherent narrative. The resulting work is an emotional record of the gradual disillusionment of Griffith. Over- trained and bound by strict rules of engagement Griffith and his colleagues found themselves in a world that was 99% boredom with 1% terror. The pictures alone do not convey this story; in fact, I feel that the images themselves are quite weak. In our current climate soldiers with their mobile phones and compact cameras are taking hundreds of photos that are similar, or better, to ones shown in this book. Griffiths' has the advantage of serving before the proliferation of war blog photos. Taken in the 80's his images already have the 'retro' style that is currently popular. Several of his images have light leaks, are too vibrant or are poorly exposed but these are strengths rather than deficiencies. The excerpts from his diary really add to the book and provide the much needed narrative. It is from these that the decline in Griffiths' morale and increasing frustrations can be felt. Much of the text has been scored through with a thick marker pen as if censored but there is enough visible behind the marker to read, albeit with a bit of effort, what is 'missing'. I like this technique as I made me feel I was breaking the rules and seeing something secret. The book finishes with a short essay by MacDonald that charts the creative process behind the book and explains a little of the professional relationship between the two authors.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 April 2015
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This review is from: The Myth of the Airbourne Warrior: Stuart Griffiths (Hardcover)
Would recommend.
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The Myth of the Airbourne Warrior: Stuart Griffiths
The Myth of the Airbourne Warrior: Stuart Griffiths by Gordon MacDonald (Hardcover - 18 July 2011)
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