The Junior Officers' Reading Club: Killing Time and Fighting Wars

by Patrick Hennessey | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 0141039264 Global Overview for this book
Registered by BookGroupMan of Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on 2/6/2011
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Sunday, February 06, 2011
A memoir from a serving British soldier in recent middle east wars, "...the story of how a modern soldier is made." I'm looking forward to this to redress the negativity of recent medja entertainments from the region (fiction and non-fiction)

(04/04/11) Oh dear, this was very disappointing :( I was expecting more and different, especially with the title and the glowing blurb and testimonials - William Boyd how could you! I made it to page 145 before I twigged, this isn't an insightful and fresh look at soldiering in the new political order; this is a vanity project, gung ho, vacuous, jargon-filled tosh, a posh career soldier looking for the thrills of war and comradeship beyond the public school dorm. I think the editors must have had some bad reviews, because an apologetic paperback afterword tries to justify the title with a short description of books that PH may or may not have read on tour...so not really a 'reading club' at all.

Journal Entry 2 by BookGroupMan at CoffeeLink, Neptune Marina in Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Saturday, April 09, 2011

Released 8 yrs ago (4/9/2011 UTC) at CoffeeLink, Neptune Marina in Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Despite my luke-warm review, this *is* an auspicious book - my 800th wild release! (cue fanfares, dancing girls, camera flashes popping)

Anyway, if you find this, hopefully it will be more your cup-of-tea :)

Journal Entry 3 by 666Izzy at Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Saturday, April 09, 2011
So, your 800th release - no wonder you were keen for me to take this at today's meeting, even if you didn't finish it!

Journal Entry 4 by 666Izzy at Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Friday, July 01, 2011
I have to agree with BookGroupMan that, after reading the gushing praise on the back cover, this was a very disappointing book. As some of the reviewers on Amazon point out, the style of writing and use of language make this a difficult book to read.

If it has any redeeming features then it has to be as justification for not supporting a system that is used to bully boys into a state of submission to enable the over-riding of their natural instincts not to kill another human being, and then sending these young men - who have no life experience other than eduction - to care for "kids who had done four months training and just turned eighteen [who] were on patrol with loaded weapons". [p58] When you go on to read that, while at home in England on a break from the war, the author, "looked out over the giant party and could think only of the valley [where he'd been fighting in Afghanistan] and wanted the fireworks to be air-strikes and the huge euphoric-trance drops to be the lift and surge of a scrap" [p253] there can be no doubt that sending men to war inflicts deep mental scars that explain why so many end up as alcoholics, homeless, with major mental health problems and, in too many cases, committing suicide. If nothing else, this book demonstrates why war must never, ever be anything other than the last resort, and why it was so very wrong for the British Government to declare war on Iraq, send troops to Afghanistan and bomb Libya.

However, anybody with any sense of decency already knows this and can, therefore, not bother reading this book!

Released 8 yrs ago (7/9/2011 UTC) at Caffe Nero IP1 book-crossing zone in Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Off to the meeting we go...

Journal Entry 6 by Semioticghost at Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Thursday, October 20, 2011
No great, butr still interesting, and I actually liked the soldier-man stuff, interesting how a mindset develops that would actively crave experiences like this man craved.

Journal Entry 7 by Semioticghost at University of Essex in Colchester, Essex United Kingdom on Thursday, October 20, 2011

Released 8 yrs ago (10/19/2011 UTC) at University of Essex in Colchester, Essex United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Left on square 3, in the orangerie cafe, by the computers.

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