3 Apr 2014



SOURCE: Received for review from publishers Alma Books (Click HERE for more information/to order book published April 2014 ).

May 2011, Afghanistan: Camp Bastion is under attack, The Sun's Defence Editor is about to catch the wrong helicopter, and a famous TV war reporter is missing half his kit and wants his trainers back. Amid the chaos, Christian Hill is preparing to lead his Combat Camera Team on the British Army's first big operation of the Helmand summer, inching through the IED-riddled fields of the notorious Green Zone, very probably getting shot at. A captain in the Media Operations Group, his job is to promote the war to the British media - and make it look like things are under control and getting better...
.... Outer back cover

FIRST SENTENCE {Part One: The Fighting Season}: At just after 7 a.m. on 19th May 2011, the Indirect Fire alarm started to sound at Camp Bastion.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 56}: In a matter of hours I'd be going outside the wire for the first time, out on the ground out in the shit. Surrounded by snipers, IEDs and lumps of rotting flesh.....

MY THOUGHTS: Funny? Emm, yes. Sometimes very tongue in cheek but for the main part a rather dark almost 'gallows' like humour that might not appeal to everyone. Shocking? Most certainly. 

Though by no means my usual type of read, given that its publicity describes it as 'funny, offbeat, shocking and affectionate' I was intrigued enough to want to read Combat Camera.

From officer training at Sandhurst through a career in journalism to serving as a Team Leader for Combat Camera Christian Hill's memoir offers a unique insight into the military's media operations in Afghanistan at a time when the pull-out date for combat troops was drawing ever closer.

Insightful, thought provoking and extremely poignant, Mr Hill tells a very human, all too descriptive, story. And whilst not exactly what one would call an easy read (but then with its many descriptions of IED injuries it never was going to be) I was however pleasantly surprised at just how readable it actually was, of just how engrossed I actually became in events.

My only gripe ..... the 'footnotes'. Placed at the bottom of the page, they were incredibly small and given that many explained the use of the initials used to denote words I personally felt they would have been better at the back of the book where they were easily found should you have forgotten what they meant.

Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.
Disclaimer:  Read and reviewed on behalf of publishers, Alma Books, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.


Sherry Ellis said...

Was this a YA book or an adult book? It sounds interesting.

Tracy Terry said...

Definitely one for the adults. A bit bloody in places, there were some graphic descriptions of soldiers having had their legs amputated as the result of bomb blasts. Mind you it probably isn't any worse than some of the war games available for the play station etc.

Karen said...

I really like that sort of humor so this sounds good to me. A different take on a difficult situation.

Charlie (The Worm Hole) said...

That's good the only issue is the footnotes (maybe a glossary would've helped with the words?) I love the cover and the mix of humour and the reality of the war must make it quite appealing as a source of information.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Sounds like a good book. Don't think the footnotes would bother me that much. Thanks for the review!

Literary Feline said...

This sounds like an interesting book. My dad was in the service and fought in a war, so I'm always interested in books that deal with soldiers (doesn't matter the country).

Brian Joseph said...

This sounds different. It seems that this kind of"Gallows Humor" was more popular in stories of older conflicts and has not been too common as of late.

Stephanie Faris said...

Footnotes are not my friend! I find I usually don't read them...and, yes, they're usually far too tiny to see!

Camila Rafaela Felippi said...

Military stories are exciting! I read "From Baghdad, with love," which tells the story of a soldier who finds a puppy in a war.
And I don't like footnotes!

Have a good week!

Kelly said...

My first thought was that I wouldn't like this, but your review might have changed my mind.

I do enjoy dark humor (so often we have to laugh rather than cry) and this might be an interesting way to approach the subject matter.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

Although I quite like 'dark humour', footnotes are a bit annoying but I can live with them, and the descriptions of injuries and battle missions would interest me ... I simply don't read memoirs ... so this wouldn't be one for me, even though I have great respect and admiration for the war correspondents, wherever in the world they may be reporting from.

Thanks for the interesting feature and have a good weekend,


So many books, so little time said...

The footnotes would really bother me but otherwise it sounds like an interesting read.

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Naida said...

Definitely sounds interesting and shocking too.