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  Reply # 1204464 27-Dec-2014 12:25
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Just finishing the Black Company books by Glen Cook. Very good.





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  Reply # 1204489 27-Dec-2014 14:17
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I went through most of the Bravo Two Zero books recently.  I'd just read the Chris Ryan version, so reread Andy McNab's account, and found them so different, I decided to read Michael Asher's 'The Real Bravo Two Zero'  The experience left a bit of a bad taste with Chris Ryan especially coming out of it with questionable ethics.  Asher put forward an all too believable theory of why Ryan might have cast Vince Philips in such a bad light.  I have not managed to track down Mike Coburn's 'Soldier Five' yet, but will read it when I can.

Some of these special forces reality books read quite well.  Without looking up the actual titles, there have been readble books about Seal Team Six, How I killed Bin Laden, and American Sniper.

That reminds me, I should have included the Bob Lee Swagger books by Stephen Hunter to may last post.  There's a decent movie featuring Bob Lee Swagger from 2007 called Shooter.  It's one of those movies you can watch more than once.




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  Reply # 1205980 30-Dec-2014 12:29
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Just finished Covenant of the Flame by David Morrell.  If it had been written by a lesser author I'd have given up on it — it was so dire it was embarrassing!  Totally OTT dialog that treated the reader like an idiot.  Sort of "Keep still or I'll shoot you with this gun that I conveniently had hidden in my inside pocket".  I had a few more early DM audiobooks lined up, but I'll be passing on them now.




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  Reply # 1206090 30-Dec-2014 15:13
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TLD: I went through most of the Bravo Two Zero books recently.  I'd just read the Chris Ryan version, so reread Andy McNab's account, and found them so different, I decided to read Michael Asher's 'The Real Bravo Two Zero'  The experience left a bit of a bad taste with Chris Ryan especially coming out of it with questionable ethics.  Asher put forward an all too believable theory of why Ryan might have cast Vince Philips in such a bad light.  I have not managed to track down Mike Coburn's 'Soldier Five' yet, but will read it when I can.

Some of these special forces reality books read quite well.  Without looking up the actual titles, there have been readble books about Seal Team Six, How I killed Bin Laden, and American Sniper.

That reminds me, I should have included the Bob Lee Swagger books by Stephen Hunter to may last post.  There's a decent movie featuring Bob Lee Swagger from 2007 called Shooter.  It's one of those movies you can watch more than once.


I have seen that film a number of times, mainly to drool over the CheyTac Intervention, a rifle I would dearly like to own.





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  Reply # 1206294 31-Dec-2014 02:19
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Geektastic: 

I have seen that film a number of times, mainly to drool over the CheyTac Intervention, a rifle I would dearly like to own.


They place the CheyTac at #1 in this 'Top Ten Sniper Rifles' video, (it starts at 29.30) but it seems to be very much a sniping system that needs the accompanying ballistic computer, a spotter, and other bits and bobs to do its job to full effect.  ISTR  Bob Lee Swagger standing up in a small boat using his one one in 'Shooter' but I guess he was only a tiny fraction of the CheyTac's effective range.

This is taking into account that the movie was absolutely and totally based on a true story of course. wink



Pretty damn impressive




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  Reply # 1206424 31-Dec-2014 13:10
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Yes it's an awesome long range intervention tool.

A friend's son was in the US Special Forces and he had a video that was certainly not intended for circulation outside 'the industry' showing such intervention in the case of a string of 10 Taliban wallahs making their way across a large snow field in the mountains. Needless to say none of them made it....





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  Reply # 1206431 31-Dec-2014 13:39
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TLD: I went through most of the Bravo Two Zero books recently.  I'd just read the Chris Ryan version, so reread Andy McNab's account, and found them so different, I decided to read Michael Asher's 'The Real Bravo Two Zero'  The experience left a bit of a bad taste with Chris Ryan especially coming out of it with questionable ethics.  Asher put forward an all too believable theory of why Ryan might have cast Vince Philips in such a bad light.  I have not managed to track down Mike Coburn's 'Soldier Five' yet, but will read it when I can.



I haven't read Chris Ryan's book but I've read the others, including Soldier Five. Asher's revisitation of the events around the mission and what went wrong has to be one of the best of these types of book that I've read...perhaps because he's less constrained by any official censorship, or the need to claim some form of fame that perhaps drives many of the others... If you like these type of book, I do recommend Andy McNab's book "Seven Troop" - detailing his time with the SAS, from selection through training and his time in Northern Ireland with more besides. I found it a really good read, and it includes some interesting insights into the psychological makeup of the special forces soldier, along with the effect that service with such a unit can have on a person.




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  Reply # 1206516 31-Dec-2014 14:30
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markl:
TLD: I went through most of the Bravo Two Zero books recently.  I'd just read the Chris Ryan version, so reread Andy McNab's account, and found them so different, I decided to read Michael Asher's 'The Real Bravo Two Zero'  The experience left a bit of a bad taste with Chris Ryan especially coming out of it with questionable ethics.  Asher put forward an all too believable theory of why Ryan might have cast Vince Philips in such a bad light.  I have not managed to track down Mike Coburn's 'Soldier Five' yet, but will read it when I can.



I haven't read Chris Ryan's book but I've read the others, including Soldier Five. Asher's revisitation of the events around the mission and what went wrong has to be one of the best of these types of book that I've read...perhaps because he's less constrained by any official censorship, or the need to claim some form of fame that perhaps drives many of the others... If you like these type of book, I do recommend Andy McNab's book "Seven Troop" - detailing his time with the SAS, from selection through training and his time in Northern Ireland with more besides. I found it a really good read, and it includes some interesting insights into the psychological makeup of the special forces soldier, along with the effect that service with such a unit can have on a person.





I've met a couple of ex UK SAS troopers. A very good friend of mine worked in a secure unit for boys (effectively one step down from a prison) and one of the staff members had been in the SAS for several years. It was a bit like sharing space with a domesticated wolf...! Angus was a very nice guy but there was always something a bit off. Pete told me that one day one of the boys went postal with a broken bottle and Angus happened upon the scene. He apparently had the boy disarmed and writhing on the floor in pain before anyone realised he'd come into the room, almost!

I suspect training like they have becomes so ingrained that it never entirely leaves them.





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  Reply # 1206542 31-Dec-2014 15:39
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I read that Chris Ryan actually called out Asher for a fight behind the bike sheds sort of nonsense.  Both Ryan and McNab claim Asher was led by the nose by Iraq stooges, but there was too much evidence supporting the people Asher spoke to for that to be the case.  In a way, I am OK with the stories being embellished, but Ryan makes Vince Philips to be a coward causing huge upset to his family.  Then we hear from Asher that Ryan was passed over to be second in command of the patrol by Vince.

It was interesting to read about what appeared to be jealous behaviour between SAS troops generally.  The banter also seemed to veer towards being OTT, but it was not far off that bad in the lab where I spent most of my working life.  We liked to think of it as character building :-)

The bottom line is that while Asher questioned the accuracy of the two book's contents, both he and the Iraqi witnesses were full of praise for the patrol's bravery and endurance. 




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  Reply # 1206547 31-Dec-2014 15:47
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TLD: I read that Chris Ryan actually called out Asher for a fight behind the bike sheds sort of nonsense.  Both Ryan and McNab claim Asher was led by the nose by Iraq stooges, but there was too much evidence supporting the people Asher spoke to for that to be the case.  In a way, I am OK with the stories being embellished, but Ryan makes Vince Philips to be a coward causing huge upset to his family.  Then we hear from Asher that Ryan was passed over to be second in command of the patrol by Vince.

It was interesting to read about what appeared to be jealous behaviour between SAS troops generally.  The banter also seemed to veer towards being OTT, but it was not far off that bad in the lab where I spent most of my working life.  We liked to think of it as character building :-)

The bottom line is that while Asher questioned the accuracy of the two book's contents, both he and the Iraqi witnesses were full of praise for the patrol's bravery and endurance. 


Yes, I felt that Asher's account came across as very even handed, and well balanced. I don't think he went in with any pre-conceived ideas of what happened and how, he just went to try and find out for himself what really happened. And of course McNab and Ryan were both primarily serving their own interests by writing their own accounts so they were going to be perhaps somewhat biased as a result, and they simply got a bit annoyed at being shown to be less than factual with their accounts. 

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  Reply # 1222315 26-Jan-2015 11:49
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Any Lee Child / Jack Reacher fans here?  In case you are not aware, Diane Capri has written one foll length, and five short stories that live in Reacher's world.  They try to use the same style as Lee Child, and lots of the characters are from various Jack Reacher stories.  The full length book revolves around the town of Margrave and lady police chief Roscoe from Lee Child's book Killing Floor.  They are real page turners, and I have so far read the full length 'Don't Know Jack, and am part way into the 4th of the five short stories.  With Lee Child only putting out one Reacher book a year, Diane Capri's books provide an excellent additional fix for Reacher fans.

Incidentally, one of the Sunday papers had a nice two page article about Lee Child in the colour supplement.  Not sure which paper as it was one we picked up in the hotel (we went to Wellington for the weekend).   Found it. laughing




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  Reply # 1222347 26-Jan-2015 12:31
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I am. I've read all 19 of the Reacher books. There was only 2 out of 19 that I didn't enjoy so much.




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  Reply # 1222396 26-Jan-2015 13:32
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Heir to the Empire - Timothy Zahn

I read this book way back in the 90s, and had forgotten all about until I was telling my wife about some Star Wars EU novels I had read.  I couldn't find them at the library, but Book Depository came to my aid, and I picked up all three of the Thrawn Trilogy for about $30NZD delivered.

It's not a bad read, and I remember thinking at the time how exciting it was to read an "official" story that built upon the Star Wars trilogy (pre-dating the prequel trilogy by several years).  The only gripe I have is that it feels like it forced in too many references to the original trilogy, as if to try and validate it's authenticity.  
For those who don't know, it's set five years post-Return of the Jedi and details how the New Republic is truggling to form a new government, in the face of the desperate remains of the Empire, now lead by Grand Admiral Thrawn.  All the major characters return (Luke, Leia, Han, Lando), and new characters are introduced (Mara Jade, Talon Karde) - at least I assume they are introduced; the EU is so large, it's possible that these characters first appeared in other books.

While I consider myself a huge Star Wars fan, I've only really read these books from the EU, so I'm not an EU geek.  However, I enjoyed Heir to the Empire and went straight onto Dark Force Rising (book 2 of the Thrawn trilogy).

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  Reply # 1222676 26-Jan-2015 19:30
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"The Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire" by Susan Ronald.

Pretty darn interesting and a good read.

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  Reply # 1225881 31-Jan-2015 13:52
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TLD: Just finished Covenant of the Flame by David Morrell.  If it had been written by a lesser author I'd have given up on it — it was so dire it was embarrassing!  Totally OTT dialog that treated the reader like an idiot.  Sort of "Keep still or I'll shoot you with this gun that I conveniently had hidden in my inside pocket".  I had a few more early DM audiobooks lined up, but I'll be passing on them now.


That book rates highly on goodreads.com but I didn't like it either, and it's not the only one of Morrell's like that. I prefer his stories where he's spent more time sharpening the storyline and it doesn't depend upon massive improbabilities.

I would recommend that you try out his early stories particularly as hist style is well-suited to audio books. He writes in a direct manner with lots of action so the story is easy to follow and there is a lot to keep you interested. It's also worth reading "First Blood" #edited to correct title for "Rambo"#, "Testament", etc. , if you haven't already, because they were new takes on the hunted man.

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