Walks in Waziristan (Book) Review
by Steve Wright
Author: Graham Reed
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The strapline on the cover reads: ‘A Young Officer’s Guide to Dealing with Cock-ups on the Front Line’, and I wasn’t far into the book before realising that I was in the realms of Richard Gordon and James Herriott; for, instead of your eager new doctor or vet, you have ‘your enterprising young officer’.
But, unlike Messrs Gordon and Herriot, who were eager to get into their respective careers, Lt Graham Reed, Royal Signals, is eager to return to civilian life, following service in North-west Europe; however, as with so many similar stories, the Army begs to differ. So, the stage is set for Capt Reed to regale the reader with experiences of his time on the North-west Frontier, courtesy of the Army’s undying faith in this young officer full of ‘bags of field experience and technical competence’. In the style of the former authors, Reed, a renowned psychologist, describes life on the Frontier using self-effacing humour, and a wonderful understanding of the human psyche, whilst displaying a deeply held respect for the traditions, beliefs and unstinting ingenuity of the men under his command.
At just over two hundred pages, this is a book for soaking up a couple of hours; but it is also one to return to, time and again, simply to take in a couple of the charming vignettes and to be reacquainted with Reed’s wonderful characters and prose.
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