4th November 2010, Red Fox
336 pages, Paperback
Children's, 9+, factual
Occasional moderate violence, lots of suspense, tissues needed, not for the faint stomached.
Summary from Random House Children's Books
The heroic, real-life personal account of Chris Ryan's most famous mission, The One That Got Away, is now reworked for a new generation. Some authors just write about it. Chris Ryan has been there, done it - and here is the gripping real-life tale . . .
During the Gulf War in 1991, Chris Ryan became separated from the other members of the SAS patrol, Bravo Two Zero. Alone, he beat off an Iraqi attack and set out for Syria. Over the next seven days he walked almost 200 miles, his life constantly in danger.
Of the eight SAS members involved in this famous mission, only one escaped capture. This is his story . . .
I've included this book as part of my unofficial National Non-Fiction week because it is a factual account on what happened on the operation. I'd heard about this briefly. I was eager to read the children's edition - I haven't read the adult edition, and I'm glad I haven't because I think it would have been too intense for me. I felt so much fear for Chris throughout the book. I knew he survived but what he suffers is horrendous. He loses some comrades, which is really sad but there wasn't really another choice. It is truly amazing how he survived. He wasn't what I would called well equipped for the mission - that wasn't necessarily his fault. Mistakes were made. I think lessons were learned too. I knew people had a rough time out on missions, but this book gives me access to Chris's thoughts. The future looked really bleak. I felt nauseas at several points, because I was close to the characters and what happened to them was out of the blue. However, there was a positive side to the book. A few characters in there, people in Syria looked after Chris. It goes to show that people will help the wounded. Personally I will try not to complain about the cold again. I may feel frozen, but I haven't lost my toenails through frostbite and infection.
I'd always had a lot of respect for the SAS and anyone in the forces who go on operations, now I've got even more.
Chris Ryan has his own site here.
Try Drop Zone by Andy McNab