2008
13.11

Andy McNab, the SAS veteran and author of Bravo Two Zero, will next month publish his fourteenth book, Brute Force. His first book, Bravo Two Zero was an account of the now famous eight man special forces patrol McNab commanded during the 1990-1991 Gulf War.

www.battleseen.com

This is like a military website where troops upload their own film that has normally been taken by a helmet cam or mobile phone. There’s not just ‘bang bang’ but also some very funny clips from guys sitting in the middle of the desert and bored.

www.frontlineclub.com

Frontline is a media club that uniquely combines eating, drinking and thinking. The Frontline Club after the Frontline Television News agency closed down. Frontline TV was created during the chaos and confusion of the Romanian revolution. The Club was set up by the surviving (many were killed while filming in on war zones) members of the original team of maverick cameramen. The site does a great job of ensuring that stories that fade from headlines are kept in sharp focus.

www.apolloduck.com

This is my day dreaming site. I can spend hours checking out all the luxury yachts for sale around the world. Today I noticed that there is one of my favourite (this week anyway) yacht’s for sale in the South of France. A Sunseeker 82 and a snip at ¬£1.8 million. I hope that includes a full tank of diesel.

www.helpforheroes.org.uk

I’m a patron of this charity that is helping to care for the wounded in Britain’s current conflicts. What is H4H all about? It’s about the blokes, our men and women. It’s about a soldier who has lost both his legs, it’s about a young guy whose jaw is wired up so he has been drinking through a straw. It’s about a young guy who was handed a mobile phone as he lay on the stretcher so he could say goodbye to his wife.

www.reverso.net

The reason I spend far too much time looking at boats (that I’ll never buy) is because I have an apartment on the Italian coast and the harbour is full of Russian gin places. I have got to know a couple of the owners these past few years and they try to trip me up with Russian emails. But with reverso.net I can instantly translate them and send my reply’s in Russian and that really annoys them.

Source Telegraph.co.uk

Well… I can only add that there is a very significant link missing there ūüėČ

2008
12.11

Having become a bit jaded after reading McNab’s entire output, I expected little from¬†Brute Force.¬† I reckoned it would be more of the same and less of the good stuff.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.¬†

Brute Force is right up there with Remote Control and Firewall, a return to what I’ve considered McNab’s strong point–using “normal” characters (as opposed to SAS commandos) to bring us into the action from our point of view while also showing Nick Stone’s concern for the people around him.

The novel has everything that makes us love McNab — the humour, the fast pace, and the exotic locations painted so clearly the book could serve as a travel guide.¬†It also provides something that I for one have been missing with his last few — realistic details of tactical and operational methods.¬†If you’ve been wondering how to craft a nice shaped-charge to blow a hole in a boat’s hull, Brute Force is for you.

The only criticism I have is minor.¬†At one point in the book, McNab points out that the truck he’s driving is an automatic, allowing him to ram through a checkpoint if necessary without taking his hands off the wheel.¬†A mere three or four pages later, the same vehicle becomes a standard shift, and he’s working the clutch like a madman.¬†It reminds me of Dark Winter, where Sundance or Trainers (can’t remember which one) wields a revolver with a suppressor attached.¬†You would think Mr. “Attention to detail, check and re-check,” having spent his life around weapons, would realize that attaching a suppressor to a revolver wouldn’t accomplish much (the gasses escape through the cylinder), just as you’d think a motor enthusiast would mind the difference between a standard and an automatic transmission. But that’s where I think the editors come in.

I don’t think he has a “ghost writer” in the traditional sense, but I think these two examples alone show other hands at work.¬†And really, Andy doesn’t need them.

His own voice comes through so clearly in Brute Force and his other greats, it makes me wish he will one day send his editors the way of the Yes Man.

Jon

PS: Brute Force is in the Sunday Times Bestseller list this week at number 6

2008
07.11

Quick as ever, Camban read AND reviewed Brute Force! He send me his review of Seven Troop a while back but I had not posted it yet *blush*, sorry Cam. Here both are!

Andy McNab Seven Troop
Seven Troop Review: Undeniably important, compulsive reading for the McNab fan, but I was left with mixed feelings. An enjoyable book in its own right but if you have read B20 and IA, plus those books by ‘Nish’ Bruce, ‘The Bishop’, Gaz Hunter, Cameron Spence, et al, there is little new here in terms of factual events, although we do learn much more about Andy’s feelings and relationships with his comrades in arms. It has to be said that he is either still holding back on some ops, or, he didn’t do many. The NI stuff is good though, if only a variation on the similar experiences of other writers; Duncan Falconer for example, or the few 14 Int/Det writers who have published their stories. So, not disappointing at all, but also not ‘explosive’ as the daft cover blurb would have us believe. Just hope there is more to come.

Andy McNab book Brute ForceBrute Force Review: Tour de Force! As fresh, interesting, and authentic as ever. One for the faithful too with lots of references to the earlier books and the return of Colonel Lynn. Plenty of gritty wit and funny asides as always but with more in depth geographical and historical content than usual; quite a lot to be learned here about the lost archeology of the middle east and the times of the Roman occupation of that region. Skillful intertwining of old enemies, Libya and the IRA. Satisfaction guaranteed. 

Can’t wait to start reading Brute Force too Cam, thanks a lot!!

2008
06.11

Andy McNab in Zoo Today!An article in Zoo Today! where Andy describes how¬†you – if you cannot run –¬†(might) survive under attack of a knife.

Unfortunately¬†it’s lacking¬†the one¬†brilliant advice to¬†‘carry Andy around in your handbag’ so I’m afraid under attack I just have to give away my purse, or my body and soul if I have to, but then¬†there is a slideshow to guide the guide – so it was a bit hard to focus on the text.

McNab On Surviving A Knife Attack

With knife crime a national epidemic, new statistics show British city-dwellers now stand more chance of being stabbed or robbed at knifepoint than being killed or seriously injured in a road accident.

That’s why ZOO enlisted the help of ex-SAS soldier Andy McNab to find out exactly what you should do if you ever come under attack from a knife-wielding hoodie.

Having walked out of countless precarious situations in Northern Ireland and Iraq, Mr McNab knows a thing or two about hand-to-hand combat, and the first thing he tells us is to forget everything we think TV has taught us about knife attacks.

According to McNab, the way action is portrayed on TV is totally out of touch with reality – and copying the movies is precisely what will get you hurt.

“It’s all bullshit,” Andy says. “In the street, it’s all about avoidance. No matter how well trained you are in martial arts or how hard you might think you are, you run the risk of losing if you get into a knife fight. And with knives, that could mean death.”

So, the best way to survive a knife attack is simply to stay clear.

Read the full article here

Well… think I’m pretty much up-to-date with the posts¬†now, but I’m sure if I look hard enough there’s more to find. So for the moment I’m¬†n√≥t gonna look too hard.

Things are great for us РWe just got our Exclusive Interview with Andy, I just got sent a signed announcement poster of the National Army Museum where Andy was guest speaker, Thank you Florence!!
And Jon is getting his copy of the¬†new Nick Stone¬†“Brute Force”¬†from Transworld this year. Big surprise, excellent!! I’m expecting a review soon Jon!

Hope you all enjoy the reads, seeya soon!

2008
06.11

Female First (also Male First)¬†Helen Earnshaw interviewed Andy who’s ‘on tour’ promoting the release of the ‘Tour of Duty’ DVD.

Andy McNab is a British soldier, serving in the infantry as a Royal Green Jacket, joining the infantry at the age of sixteen and serving in Northern Ireland before being selected for the SAS.

In the SAS he served in the Middle East as well as Southern and Central America. He shot to prominence in 1993 when, after leaving the SAS, he wrote a book on the failed mission Bravo Two Zero, which told of the events that happened during the Gulf War.

Since then he has gone on to write a series of fiction and non fiction novels and has, more recently, been behind the documentary Tour of Duty which looked at the soldiers serving in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. I caught up with him to talk about his new project.

You are promoting your DVD Tour of Duty can you tell me a bit about it?

“For the past three or four years all the stories that are coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan it’s always someone else telling the stories, so the idea is to get the guys that were involved in these things to talk about it themselves. Instead of me sitting there all day gobbing off about it, lets get these lads in as they know the story well, they are articulate and actually what happens is you get all the emotion and you can identify with them.”

Read the full interview here (2 pages!)

2008
01.11

On the 30th of October Andy was the Guest speaker at the National Army Museum in Chelsea London. Gary Curtis was lucky enough to get a ticket and he wrote us a review: 

National Army Museum, London
19.00 hours

I sit in the shop come cafe eating my muffin pondering if a 33 year old man like myself can justify buying the Action Man I can see on the shelf in front of me, even if he does come with full SAS black assault gear.

There was a certain amount of excited browsing going on from the people gathered here waiting to hear a talk from the SAS hero and author, Andy McNab!

I for one was very happy to buy Brute Force, the new Nick Stone thriller a week or so before it’s official release.

We all moved down to a rather grand room in the museum, took our seats and after a short bit of faffing about out comes Andy McNab, ahhh, so that’s what he looks like!

Andy starts by telling us his story in the army. From a young boy facing a life of crime to the Green Jackets and the various tours of Northern Ireland. His main motivation at this point was to buy cars between the tours and write them off! Next onto selection for the SAS. Andy mentioned his work in the regiment and the funny first meeting of his new mates in Seven Troop.

After Bravo Two Zero he said the MOD were keen for him to write about his experiences in Iraq. How this led to a best seller and his work in the media for newspapers and TV. Several trips to see the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq have shown him that the current British soldier is the best equipped of any generation of soldiers the UK has had, particularly the Osprey body armour which has stopped 50 cal rounds. He also mentioned the trauma care in Basra is the best in the world and doctors are keen to do a tour there to gain experience.

Andy mentioned a lot of people back in the UK are concerned about he amount of soldiers getting injured but he said 5 years ago they would have been killed instead.

Questions.

Andy offered to answer any questions the audience may have. Of course there was so many questions and so little time!

Firstly Andy was asked about PTSD and how it effected both friends of his in the Regiment and how army is much better in recognising it in soldiers today. He mentioned that the MOD were supportive of Andy writing Seven Troop and bring PTSD to the publics attention. He also mentioned his work for Help for Heroes. When asked how he was feeling, Andy said he barks at the moon every Thursday!

Secondly he was asked about women not being able to fight on the front line and Andy said that he had witnessed female soldiers fighting and there is no issues with it. He said that the lack of a front line is giving them a chance which isn’t often reported.

Andy was asked about the armed police being used more and more and how and when the SAS would be called in on counter terrorism duties. Andy said that the regiment would be used as the police do not use explosive entry. The SAS would always be called for any jobs that involved this.

There was talk on how his friends reacted to the success of Bravo Two Zero and some were jealous but most were very supportive. Sadly time ran out and there was a huge round of applause from us fans!

Book signing.

I was about fifth in line for the book signing, I was keen. Before hand I decided to take Bravo Two Zero, my original paperback as this was the book that got me hooked on McNab’s writing. My turn came. I walked up and put it down for Andy to sign, he laughed and said ‚Äúthat’s an old one‚ÄĚ. He wrote ‘buy new one! Andy McNab’ in it! Next up was my wife with my Brute Force book and she asked Andy to sign it for me. ‘Two R’s or one’? he asked.

I was always nervous about meeting my heroes but Andy was down to earth and friendly. Once signed I shook hands with Andy, I got a grin and that was that!

No dramas!

Andy McNab signed Gary Curtis' book