on 14 April 2014
This book was so much more than I expected. An ordinary lad bereft after the death of his beloved father eventually find himself in the army and before he knows it he is on the way to the Falklands at 17. The book is told in flashback, written in an uncomplicated way, but in such a way it tore at my heartstrings for the suffering endured by one so young. I enjoyed reading every page of this book.
on 9 December 2013
This is a really well written book. You feel like you are there with the author in each scene he depicts. I have no direct experience but I imagine this will strike a chord with others in a military career, lots of insight into how their work can have lasting effects on their health. Due to time constraints,I had to read this story on and off but I was easily able to carry on from where I was previously. Loved the references throughout to the eighties, brought back lots of memories for me. Looking forward to future books by this author.
on 22 April 2014
This was one of those books that I wasn't quite sure about when I downloaded it. However, I found it to be a compelling read. It gives an honest account of the challenges overcome during the progress from boyhood to manhood and suppressed expression of emotions. The story exposes the reality of the Falklands battle, the brutality of what our young men faced and how incompetent the military was/is in dealing with the emotional fallout. A story well told.
on 31 May 2014
This is quite simply, an amazing book. It is at times very poignant and at times had me laughing out loud. Having served in the Falklands Conflict it really struck a chord with me.the writing is so good that it sucks you in and you imagine that you are there alongside Chris, the lead character. Are far as I am concerned, this is a must read book. Download this, you won't be disappointed!
on 2 January 2014
Just had to review this book. When you buy a 99p ebook you don't expect much, but this one was beautifully crafted, and kept me engrossed from the first page to the last. Lots of little 'teasers' kept me wanting to read on, and the lead character engaged my sympathies and held them throughout. I have never heard of the author, or this book, before but he has certainly found his vocation as a writer. Just brilliant, and highly recommend!
on 22 July 2016
A very compelling book. The author writes about Chris' childhood, his army experiences, and his post-army life including severe PTSD. From the author's bio, I assume that the whole story is closely based on his own life experiences. It is short book and a fairly easy read, suitable for teenagers or adults.
Overall it is very well written: it is emotionally hard at times, but gave me a real insight into the PTSD experienced by Chris, as well as the true experiences of fighting in the Falklands conflict. All credit to Stephen John for having the courage to write this and I would recommend the book to anyone.
on 28 September 2013
I am the enemy you killed, my friend is a line from the famous poet Wilfred Owen when he reflects on The Great War. Although this story is centred around the 1982 South Atlantic conflict, the line still rings true in this story.
We are first introduced to Chris whilst is in a cemetery. Chris begins to recount his life from the events leading up to that fateful fight and the events after it. We go back to Chris's childhood in the 1970's and him having to deal with the devastating death of his Father and the aftermath of this, such as the difficult relationship with his Mother who has to struggle to make ends meet, and the school bully Lee Cracknall who seems to cause a lot of distress in Chris's young life. With the linking between the past and the present, it was always in the back of my mind as to what had happened to lead Chris to the cemetery in the future. It also leaves you wondering whose grave Chris is at and this partly propelled me on in the story.
I completely fell into sync with Chris's narrative and Stephen John portrays Chris emotions and difficulties with amazing literary skill. It's unusual for me to be that empathetic with a male character; not that I can't empathise with male characters, just that I tend to find that their thoughts and ways of dealing with things to be that much different to a woman's. Despite these difficulties though, Chris has the wonderful Howard and Jules. These two were my favourite characters as they brought light into Chris dark world.
This was quite a hard story to read at times, especially the effect that the war had on Chris. You can see how he is inadvertently destroying the world around him, and I felt so desperate for him and for people to realise what was happening to him. What was more shocking for me, were the statistics at the end. The 1982 war is seldom talked about and very few people know about it, so to read that so many went through the emotional struggles that Chris went through was heartbreaking.
Even though I felt emotionally drained while reading this, the ending gives the novel a lightness and lots of revelations come to light that I was not expecting.
A poignant novel about the devastation of war, but the endurance of love