Title: Dead Ground (Simon Ellice Book 1)
Author: Rod Humphris
Genre: Military/War Fiction, Literature
In the mountains and passes of Nuristan the men of patrol base Azun grind through their days and nights of constant vigilance. They hunt the Taliban and try to win hearts and minds. Trouble is coming, that is certain. How or when, where and in what form, they do not know. They fear it and also long for it.
Only Lieutenant Simon Ellice, with a clarity born of grief and anger, can see the shape of it. Only he, being beyond care, will do what has to be done and pay the price. Not that he will be the only one to pay.
Dead Ground is a story of the impossibility of the task assigned to British forces in Afghanistan and the heroism of some of those who attempted it.
“[Dead Ground]… unfolds with stealth, careful observation and close detail combining to produce an explosive ending. The battle narrative is superb, understated and economical, it’s an immersive, terrifying and moving experience.”
I have a Master’s in Military History and I have been reading military books for well over 40 years. This is one of the best war books I have ever read. It is a must read now that we are stuck in this endless War on Terror.
My only issue was that this book wasn’t 550 pages. It is such an incredible compelling read that I was saddened it ended so quick. The author captures perfectly the insanity of theatres of war that soldiers have been sent to in this war.
This book tells the story of a British Unit fighting the losing battle in Afghanistan. It so perfectly could represent any nation’s unit in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Not only faced with an intractable enemy, you are faced with an unforgiving climate and a command structure that makes winning nearly impossible and survival the only goal.
I would suggest this brilliantly written, evocative war book is a must read. I also suggest every single person who went to a beach or a bbq while soldiers of their country were fighting an endless ground war in Iraq/Afghanistan must read this book.
The War on Terror has been fought by such a tiny portion of society in the west that it really hasn’t been ‘inconvenient’ to the majority. Every draft age male who didn’t serve the U.S./Canada/U.K. should be forced to read this book and thank their lucky stars that their ass wasn’t hung out to dry for 3 or 4 tours of duty in the war on terror.
A fantastic book that totally captures what that mess – that will go on past 2016 – has been, is and will be. I would give it 100 stars, if I could.
My Rating: 5+ stars
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I have no special qualifications to be a writer except that I want to be. I live where I’m from in the West Country in the UK and work in a small room above a pub in Bath, which is possibly the nicest city in the world. I spend my days thinking about, learning about and writing about whatever is interesting to me, which is possibly the best job in the world.
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Reviewed by: Mr. N