I do not like being negative in reviews and generally find the good parts in any book. This book has some positive points that I will get to, but first I’m afraid I have to mention the negatives.
First off I think the writer has been let down a bit by the proofreader and editors. There are more mistakes than I would expect from an Osprey book. At one point the word “sight” was used instead of “site”. I also found that some of the paragraphs seemed to go on far too long for my liking. Yes, I know these are niggling little issues, but they didn’t help the author out.
The content itself was a disappointment. In particular the first quarter seemed to meander along without actually saying anything. It picks up a little as it goes along. I also felt like I was being spoken to by a school teacher at times. I don’t need to be told what Ibuprofen is used for, even my children know that. I got increasingly frustrated as I read this book. It is quite clear that the author has had a really interesting career and has a great story to tell. I just felt that he was holding himself back all the time. There is a really interesting part of the book near the end about PTSD (read the book if you don’t know what it is because it is one of the best explanations of it I have seen). I was totally engrossed and the author was finally starting to bare his soul and show us who he really is. Then he talks about being asked if he had a suicide plan by medical professionals. You can’t say yes to that without explaining it to the readers. I could be alone in my morbid need to know this but I doubt it. This book could be so much better with a few more anecdotes and more personal stuff.
Don’t cross this book off your wish list just yet. It isn’t all bad, in fact there is some really good material in it. If you are thinking of joining the armed forces (of any nationality) as a medic then the final ten percent of this book is specifically for you. Tips and advice from a 20yr veteran is something that money can’t buy and could save lives. Interspersed throughout this book are US Army songs. These were a really clever addition as I was instantly feeling a marching tempo in my head whilst reading them. This feeling continued as I read more of the book. Although rather dry there is a lot of really interesting and informative stuff in this book about what it is actually like to be a medic. If it wasn’t for people like the author all the seriously injured soldiers we hear about would probably be dead. It is inspiring and humbling to read about some of the lives saved and losses eased that these people deal with on a much too frequent basis.
Overall I would say that if you are somebody that is fascinated by modern military biographies then this will be one of the less engaging, but at the same time more informative books you can pick. If however you are interested in military medicine and what it is like at the coal face then buy this book now. You will gain some truly invaluable insight.