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So good, I read it twice.
So good, I read it twice.
In recent years, television reality shows and documentaries have provided an insight into what it takes to become a badged member of our Special Air Service, the highly skilled and largely anonymous elite soldiers who stand at the very pinnacle of the UK’s armed services.
Many, many books – non-fiction and fiction – have been written about the exploits of these soldiers. Some have been auto-biographical; most have described life at the sharp end – from the Iranian Embassy to Afghanistan – where the blades, as they are often called, pursue their dangerous profession.
Following a traumatic departure from a corporate career, Monica began working at the SAS Headquarters as a kitchen hand. The blades – geezers as we discover they are now more often called – discovered someone they could talk to, someone who would listen, someone who cared. In the main, Geezers is a series of anecdotes; stories of conversations, of characters, of situations and challenges. At times it is tragic, at times it is very funny. Always, it is fascinating.
Never before, has the public been given the opportunity to read a lay person’s account of what life away from the front line is like for these men – during selection, during training, in their down time and when they are at rest and play. What do you talk to your wife or partner about when so much of what you do is secret? What is it like to work away from home, cut off from friends and family for months at a time? How do men adjust from kicking down doors and fire-fights to playing with their children, mending a leaking tap or dealing with mounting household bills when they eventually return? The fact this is a book written by a civilian is key to the engaging quality of Geezers. Monica Lavers is observant, intelligent and articulate. She is not constrained by military training or doctrine. As a result, this book is really quite unique.
Which explains why I read it twice. Because, at first, I was sceptical. By the time I was half-way through Geezers, I was hooked. And so, I went back and read it again. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
22 Special Air Service Regiment is world-famous, and famously secretive.
For the first time, step inside the closed world of the SAS on camp at Hereford garrison and discover what the most elite soldiers of the British Armed Forces are really like – off duty, off guard and up close.
The SAS is staffed by the toughest and most resourceful soldiers in the world – only the cream of the crop will get through the rigorous training programme to achieve their status as ‘badged’. They represent the finest the British Armed Forces have to offer, rightly deserving their famous motto ‘Who Dares Wins’.
These elite soldiers cannot be identified and their true job is known to very few people. For their own security and the protection of others, they are prohibited from talking about their careers and by necessity live secretive lives. So who are they really? What are they really like?
Monica Lavers spent three years working at Hereford garrison with a ringside view of how these elite soldiers – ‘geezers’ as they often refer to themselves – live, work and play. Getting to know them as people first rather than by their fearsome reputation, she offers a behind-the-scenes look at life on camp that is by turns compassionate, funny and heartbreaking. This book tells the stories of the soldiers’ lives as they were told to her – full frontal and no holds barred.
Come on camp and meet the elite soldiers of 22 Special Air Service Regiment as you’ve never seen them before.
|Publication date:||31st March 2021|
|Collections:||50 Books for Every Dad this Father's Day,|
|Primary Genre||Biographies & Autobiographies|
“Shocking, funny and moving – reveals the other side of the story”
Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller