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on 17 August 2016
Great read
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VINE VOICEon 31 October 2008
A young squaddie on National Service gets picked to become a member of a special assassination squad. He trains on his days off - and his chums never realise that they have this gifted lad in their midst.
What of this mysterious killing sash he learns to use? If they were all that brilliant, wouldn't the entire army have them?
And they when his time in Cyprus is over, the Sixteen just let him go. Would they do such a thing with such a well trained, up to the eyes top srcret, recruit?
It was a good read, but there were holes in it I could have driven a Land Rover defender through and a John Deere. OK so the writer is an old man, but I simply could not decide if it was real.
How about asking messrs Ryan and MacNab if they have ever heard of the elite killing squad?
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on 4 January 2005
I read other reviews before buying this book. Some slated it and others thought it was great and highlighted weaknesses in current SFs. I had to buy it to decide for myself. What is shocking in this book is the way in which John Urwin was apparently selected for the role. There was no E&E training, jungle or urban training as all his training appeared to take place in a hut in Cyprus and somehow, in a matter for a few days of intensive training, he was a "machine". Hogwash. He was called up for national service, how would an assassation team know he could kill anyone anywhere? He would not describe himself as naturally aggressive judging by his book.
I believe the British government had and has similar miltary capabilities but it was not mentioned that his book was sent to the MOD. How can anyone verify what he wrote? His book will sell because you will want to know what the fuss is about, but there are far too many unanswered questions as he did not disclose enough information to convince me he was telling the truth. Borrow it from the library, don't buy it.
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on 5 February 2014
I’m researching the period 1955-59 in Cyprus and had hoped to find useful information in this book. Unfortunately, as regards to the part which refers to Cyprus and in particular to the operations against E.O.K.A., the information seems to be fictitious.
For example, at some point the author describes a situation where E.O.K.A. men had the British forces pinned down for hours!!!! This was NOT possible under the circumstances, the methods E.O.K.A. was using or even the weaponry and ammunition E.O.K.A. had available. At some other point the author describes how they - him and his 3 friends - killed four E.O.K.A. men in a cave on the mountains. During the whole period of 1955-59, there were only two incidents were four E.O.K.A. men were killed at the same event. One was on the 20th of June 1958 at Kourdali, after an accidental explosion, while the E.O.K.A. men where involved in making explosive devices, and another on the 2nd of September 1958 at Liopetri (not in cave) where regular army forces were involved (Royal Ulster Rifles).
I am not planning to read any more of the book. No more time to waste!!!!
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on 18 January 2016
He's Gen.
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on 18 November 2007
Mr John 'Walter' Unwin may have been the only sldr in his unit that didn't drink, but he's either made up for it since or only writes when zonked off his face on Columbian marching powder.

Reference the content of the book, think less von Clausewitz and more von Münchhausen. It deserves a place on the same shelf as Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and Pratchett's "Discworld" series.

The reader is asked to believe that an eighteen year old lad is 'talent spotted' during basics and turned into a junior ninja with a Fifth Dan in Ecky Thump and an Instr grade in the British Amy's FTP cse, (Fantasies and Telling Porkies.) This youngster, with a group of others he's conveniently unable to identify, then travels the world dealing death with the flick of an eyebrow to enemies of Her Britannic Majesty's govt.

Yes I'm sure Mr Unwin has served his National Service, and yes I'm sure he was in the Royal Pioneer Corps.
All statements after this should be taken with the annual output of a 1950s Siberian salt mine and a bottle of single malt.
The time he was away from his mates at the Pioneer unit during which he claims to have been with 'The Sixteen' could equally well be explained by a period of detention in a Military Correctional Establishment. Rubbish of course - this elite unit was so secret that the only records are in the author's head, (a very scary place,) so the Monkeys could never have tracked any of them down.

At least the author has some good mates, no-one else in their right mind would write the effusive reviews previously posted.

Better be away now, I need to continue writing my book 'The Eight.' It's the true story of a double-hard extra-covert unit of international super sldrs, we were trained to be able to sense things in the dark using a long-forgotten technique called 'The Window,' an even more secret development of the ultra secret 'Sash.' 'The Sixteen' didn't know the meaning of the word secret, it was too secret, we were the secretest, twice as secret as them, never mind each other's real names, we didn't even know what the others looked like as all our training, planning and operations were carried out with our eyes black-nastied up. We were so secret I don't even know what we did... yet.

The book is best summed up in the immortal words of Mr Walter 'Shhh' Unwin:
"Nurse ! Nurse ! Where's my Diazepam ?"
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on 25 November 2007
This book is total fiction and not even good fiction at that, If anyone believes anything in this book then may I recommend the series of famous five for your next purchase.
Whoever wrote this has never been anywhere near special forces unless hes been at an Andy McNab/Chris Ryan book signing.
To anyone with any doubt, Would a highly skilled assasin (which is illegal under British law) write a book or would he be doing something more profitible?
Also check out a well known unofficial British ARmy Rumour SErvice site and see how well it goes down there.
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on 9 October 2003
I bet all the armchair commandos were drooling into their potnoodles when this little gem hit the bookstands! What a load of waffle. The only character missing was Norman Wisdom! If it IS true (which I heartily believe it isn't), then it seems like everything this band of 'supertroopers' did was unplanned, ill equipped and amateurish. Apart from..wait it..'the sash' a super dooper belt of awesome power that kills at the touch of a button. Purlease! Look at the authors first mission, this young 18 year old lad, forsaking what all normal lads get up to in the forces,women,beer,women,beer,cards,more beer after a woman, impresses somebody so much that he is selected and trained in the deadly art of an assassin (apart from the fact that he is working in the base kitchens most of the time)and on his first mission not only does he kill the baddies but saves two puppies as well..yes, I am serious.At one point he says that on a mission there are no leaders as such in the team, they all have an equal responsibility, yeah right, that's well planned then eh? At one point the team are on a mission to assassinate a man in a market place which of course is left to the 18 year old because 'he has to learn sometime' Making their way to the objective they don't have any proper escape plan regarding transport or clothing for the cold desert nights. The response is ..'we'll just have to improvise'!!! The actual assassination is carried out with a sharpened coat hanger or something that of course the 18 year old has devised (again I'm being serious, stop laughing)You'd think that the boffins who came up with the 'sash' could have thought of a more efficient way to dispose of someone than that.Once the abseiling at the beginning
of the first mission goes belly up we are on a long slide down into total rubbish.(this 'elite' force got the length of rappelling rope wrong and ended up dangling in space )At another point when travelling in a helo, our hero stumbles around the cabin of the aircraft during takeoff and falls into the controls, cue Norman Wisdom! MR GRIMSDALE! AND, even more impressive, one of the supertroopers climbs out of the aircraft to retrieve something or other that is making a noise against the aircraft, while they are still in flight! And guess what, all the team can say is 'oooh,I wonder where he's gone' Aren't they soooo cool!! I don't even think it is a good work of fiction. And tell him to stop writing in accents!! The cheeky cockneys were all talking like 'nah do us a fiver mite, oi'm bleedin' skint ain't oi?' sort of thing. As a serviceman I have met SF personnel and believe me, you may be able to convince the ill-informed who know nothing of the military that there's no one to touch 'the 16' but Hereford and Poole(you know who I mean) are doing a great job as it is.The book is a waste of money.
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on 30 September 2010
Great book Made an effort to go and meet John Urwin and he is definately the real deal ! I am Looking forward to the re-print of this book published by george green, (The Sixteen, One Step Beyond) which has the missing chapters included, being released next week i believe...
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on 31 May 2006
Oh my god..If you're expecting something believable in the remotest sense then don't part with your money. I would even go so far as to say that the man is bonkers. It could even have been written by a child..he has some sort of light saber. ....and with a flick of the wrist..... all the enemy are dead..
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