“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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WIPs and Memories

WIPping up a Storm!

Yeah, I know!  Terrible!  But this little paragraph is about, shockingly, WIPs.  Though circumstances forced a stall, I am working on a new book.  It will be the fifth  in the G1: The Guardians series.  It has a slightly different atmosphere to the other stories.  I decided that there was a serious risk of things becoming just ‘more of the same’, so the new tale has some very different elements, including multiple threads and some nods to European folklore and even some Christian myths.  As to more immediate WIPs, the soon-to-be-released novel is progressing well in the preparations for printing, and Shade of Evil is already heading to the final proof stage with the printers.  There’s good reason to hope that the novel will be available in both paperback and hardback print editions on the launch date!

A Memory of a Wonderful Series

Back in the 1970s, The Hamlyn Publishing Group produced a lovely set of books – the Hamlyn all-colour paperbacks.  Now, before anybody who remembers them jumps all over me, I know that the binding quality was absolutely awful, and you were liable to end up with a set of loose-leaf books!  No, for me, what made these books so special was the range of subjects and the first class colour illustrations.  I had numerous books in the series, ranging from animals to geology, from Budgerigars to guns!  As one of hose kids more inclined to learn by self-education at home, or out and about, the books were an invaluable resource.  And, most important of all, they were affordable.  The books were all written by experts but in an interesting way, without being overtly educational or, vitally, condescending.

~ Steve