The Long Shot (Book) Review

by Warfare Magazine
The Long Shot

Released: 1st October 2014
RRP: £8.99
Publisher: Michael Atherton
Author: Michael Atherton
Type: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0993064500
Pages: 284

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“Jack Adams works as a gamekeeper. The Great War has already started when a chance meeting with a serving officer introduces him to a new kind of warfare, sniping.”

This is an incredibly easy-to-read fictional story of a young lad facing the atrocities of war, becoming a hero and a man, and yet still trying to have a life back home that he misses dearly. By all accounts, it would resonate with most soldiers and families at that time, and what Atherton does is create a world that you can become totally transfixed with. As a reader you find yourself routing for most of the characters and despising others because of their actions. Using real places and battles, the book is a reminder of the horrors of war and doesn't let it slip past you that it is based on true events.

Sometimes, though, the descriptions of war can become tiresome and I found myself flicking through pages to get on with the story. The constant use of the word 'stupid' to describe the war, although accurate, seemed lazy and irritating.

However, the general story was exciting, full of action, friendship, and heart-break. The need to find out what happens to each and every character means you won't put this book down and leave it for a few days, you'll want to steam through every page.

I don't think that there is any age limitations on reading this book. Secondary school students should definitely be told to pick it up as it's an effortless read that says so much so simply, and is akin to Michael Murpurgo's Private Peaceful. Adults alike would be interested whether they have a passion for military history or not thanks to the personalities of the characters and how easy it can be to relate them to real-life. Highly recommended.

The Long Shot is the first instalment of the story, followed later by A Shot in the Shadows.


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