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Barney Campbell lived in many places as a child, due to his father being in the British Army. He was educated at Eton College and Oxford University. He in turn joined the Army in 2006, and was commissioned into the Blues and Royals. He served in Afghanistan on a tour of Helmand Province in the winter of 2009-10. He lives in the Scottish Borders. Rain is his first novel.
This is a searing debut novel that reads like a British Matterhorn. Tom Chamberlain was always destined to be a soldier. From the moment when, as a young boy, he discovered a faded picture of his father patrolling the streets of Belfast his path was set. And despite all entreaties, the tragic early loss of his beloved father to illness, and even his own better judgement, the lure of the Army proved irresistible. With the long war in Afghanistan at its savage peak, Tom is despatched from home with his men in the dead of an anonymous September night, a blood tribute leaving the country without fanfare. Full of eagerness, but wracked by self-doubt, he must discover both who he is and what he is capable of in a nightmarish land of heat, hardship and terrifying enemies seen and unseen. But as the bonds with his comrades grow and deepen, home - and the loved ones left behind - seem ever more remote and dislocated from the surreal violence and exhilaration of the war that engulfs them.
Drawing on his own experience, Barney Campbell's Rain is a powerful, vivid and affecting portrait of the Afghan frontline. 'No better on-the-ground description of Britain's war will ever be written. Rain is what Chickenhawk or, more recently, Matterhorn was to Vietnam. It's unputdownable, except for when the reader needs to draw breath or battle a lump in the throat' Evening Standard Tom Chamberlain was destined to be a soldier from the moment he discovered a faded picture of his father patrolling the streets of Belfast. With the war in Afghanistan at its savage peak, Tom is despatched from home in the dead of an anonymous September night, a blood tribute leaving without fanfare. Full of eagerness, but wracked by self-doubt, he must discover who he is and what he is capable of. But as the bonds with his comrades grow, home - and the loved ones left behind - seem ever more remote from the surreal violence and exhilaration of war. ____________ 'Rain is not merely good, it's remarkable. Powerful, at times unbearably harrowing, it captures both the fear and exhilaration of men pushed to breaking point' JEREMY PAXMAN 'A wonderfully achieved, enthralling and moving novel of war. Its authenticity is as telling as it is terrifying' WILLIAM BOYD 'Gripping . . . the ending is genuinely shocking' DAILY MAIL 'One of the most powerful and emotional works ever written about British soldiers in battle. Troubling, funny, upsetting, exhilarating and deeply moving. You will never forget it' COLONEL RICHARD KEMP 'One of the best novels about the Afghanistan war. Brutally honest, it could have been a memoir' DAVID AXE