“Immediate Action” by Andy McNab: A Book Review

Immediate ActionImmediate Action by Andy McNab
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a memoir that shows that even the author can find it difficult to find any redeeming features about themselves! This work by Andy McNab reveals, with brutal honesty, what an unpleasant, dishonest young person he was – the kind of youth we cross roads to avoid. More, he exhibits an egocentricity ruling his life for many years that many will find extremely unattractive. Indeed, apart from very rare hints of a better nature, it’s not until the last moments of the book that he suggests that he has changed.

All that may seem a strange way to start a review of a book many would buy because it features the SAS, but the book is autobiographical and therefore must be judged in that respect first! From a careless, thoroughly despicable thief, through a brush with the law that scared the life out of him, McNab enters the army convinced it will save him from almost inevitable imprisonment. Yet he continues to exhibit the self-centeredness that had made him totally disregard the feelings of others. He’s really only interested in McNab – and how following this course or that course can make life better for McNab. He appears to show some consideration when, eventually, he becomes a trainer of new recruits – but his motive remains his own welfare, caring only about how well the recruits turn out reflects upon him.

He shows determination, at times, to push himself to the ultimate degree, when doing so offers what he perceives to be a more relaxed existence. That’s what drives him to undergo the fearsomely tough selection process to join the SAS. He knows enough to not attempt to be a “stand out” type – just an average type able to fit in without ever rocking the boat. That said, he minimises the effort he expends, in all things – always trying to arrange matters so that somebody else has to do the work, like cooking meals or brewing tea. There are also times when he demonstrates far too much faith in himself, without justification.

Yes, there are some interesting insights into the SAS, but, to be honest, I was left with a lower opinion of McNab than I possessed before reading this book. If I could, I would lift out the SAS procedural parts and dump the rest, which is just an unpleasant read.

~ Steve

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This entry was posted in AdultLit, Author, Autobiography, Memoirs, Non-fiction, Review and tagged , , , , , , , by Steve. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steve

An author since the age of 13 years, writing again dominates my activities. My "Imagineer-ing" blog is my primary site. Also: Beginner knitter since November 2010. Favourite knitting techniques: cable and lace. Beginner cross stitcher. Beginner jewellery maker. With the promotion of self publication and all the other work that has been going on here, Dad decided around 2am this morning (22/11/2013) that it was time to begin his next adventure. He was seen off earlier the previous evening by myself, my brother, my sister in law, and my sister, as well as his wife (our mum), and an enigmatic being known only as A Lorraine. After this time of story telling, laughing, crying, joking and mickey taking, we saw how tired both mum and dad were, and we decided to leave them under the (sometimes) gentle care of The Lorraine. When Dad found the timetable for his travels, he let Mum know gently, which woke her from her drowsing, then, with the same gentleness he showed in this universe, he boarded his favourite mode of transport, the Interdimensional Steam Train, and set off with a smile and a wave. For those of us closest, that smile was a reminder that his pain has ended, and the wave, an indicator that he will pop in to all those that knew him, from time to time. Usually at the most inconvenient and in opportune moments he can. While we are sad that he is no longer here, we are happy he now has no pain, and is experiencing more extraordinary things that his writers mind will be frantically weaving into a new story. Posted by Son Damien

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