The Junior Officers' Reading Club
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The Junior Officers' Reading Club : Killing Time and Fighting Wars

3.58 (901 ratings by Goodreads)
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Patrick Hennessey's The Junior Officers' Reading Club is a lucid, witty account of all the horror, boredom and exhilaration of war. Patrick Hennessey is pretty much like any other member of Generation X: he spent the first half of the noughties reading books at university, going out, listening to early-90s house on his iPod and watching war films. He also, as an officer in the Grenadier guards, fought in some of the most violent combat the British army has seen in decades. Telling the story of how a modern soldier is made, from the testosterone-heavy breeding ground of Sandhurst to the nightmare of Iraq and Afghanistan, The Junior Officers' Reading Club is already being hailed as a modern classic. 'Soldiers who can write are as rare as writers who can strip down a machinegun in 40 seconds' Christopher Hart, Sunday Times 'An extraordinary memoir ... Hennessey has a reporter's eye for detail and a soldier's nose for bullshit' John Shirley, Guardian 'High tempo, full-on, honest and revealing' Patrick Bishop, Evening Standard 'The most accomplished work of military witness to emerge from British war-fighting since 1945' Boyd Tonkin, Independent 'Remarkable ... conveys vividly what it's like to experience combat' Jeremy Paxman, Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year Patrick Hennessey (b. 1982) joined the Army in January 2004, undertaking officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where he was awarded the Queen's Medal and commissioned into The Grenadier Guards. He served as a Platoon Commander and later Company Operations Officer from the end of 2004 to early 2009 in the Balkans, Africa, South East Asia and the Falkland Islands and on operational tours to Iraq in 2006 and Afghanistan in 2007, where he became the youngest Captain in the Army and was commended for gallantry.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 21mm | 269g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Illustrations, maps
  • 0141039264
  • 9780141039268
  • 51,824

Review quote

Soldiers who can write are as rare as writers who can strip down a machinegun in 40 seconds, but Patrick Hennessey is one of the few * Sunday Times * High-tempo, full-on . . . honest and revealing . . . a memoir brimming with vinegar and testosterone * Evening Standard * The military memoir of the moment * Times * A very fine book, a powerful dispatch from the front line ... what impresses is the sheer candour and immediacy * Spectator * An extraordinary memoir . . . Hennessey has a reporter's eye for detail and a soldier's nose for bullshit * Guardian * Outstanding . . . A classic of its kind * William Boyd, Sunday Herald, Books of the Year * Harrowing and frequently funny . . . sparkles with wit, wisdom and boyish glee . . . His generation owns the war * Times * Must rank as the most accomplished work of military witness to emerge from British war-fighting since 1945 * Independent * Remarkable . . . conveys vividly what it's like to experience combat * Jeremy Paxman, Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year * An engaging mix of war reporting, stream of consciousness and reflections on the nature of conflict in the twenty-first century * Caroline Moorehead, Spectator, Books of the Year * All politicians need to read honest accounts of war - at no time more than now - and Patrick Hennessey's The Junior Officers' Reading Club is one of the very best * David Cameron, Observer, Books of the Year * A vivid account of a rollercoaster tour of duty . . . testosterone-charged, expletive-splattered * Phil Jacobson, Daily Mail * A compelling read . . . Hennessey's book ought to be read by all officers that have yet to experience combat . . . He has written an important portrait of contemporary warfare and the nature of battle - a portrait that can claim a line of descent from Sassoon's Memoirs of an Infantry Officer * Will Pike, British Army Review * An honest acknowledgment of the darkness within us, of the unwelcome emotions that combat can bring about ... Smart and funny ... The Junior Officers' Reading Club is a humdinger -- Jonathan Yardley * Washington Post *show more

About Patrick Hennessey

Patrick Hennessey was born in 1982 and educated at Berkhamsted School and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read English. He joined the Army in January 2004, undertaking officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where he was awarded the Queen's Medal and commissioned into The Grenadier Guards. He served as a Platoon Commander and later Company Operations Officer from the end of 2004 to early 2009 in the Balkans, Africa, South East Asia and the Falkland Islands and on operational tours to Iraq in 2006 and Afghanistan in 2007, where he became the youngest Captain in the Army and was commended for gallantry. Patrick is currently studying to become a barrister and hopes to specialize in conflict and international humanitarian law.show more

Review Text

Soldiers who can write are as rare as writers who can strip down a machinegun in 40 seconds, but Patrick Hennessey is one of the few Sunday Timesshow more

Rating details

901 ratings
3.58 out of 5 stars
5 20% (177)
4 36% (320)
3 32% (289)
2 9% (79)
1 4% (36)
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