It was difficult to get through Andy McNab’s Seven Troop. Not because McNab is uninteresting, by any means but due to the sheer length of the book and McNab’s rather bad habit of going off on tangents for prolonged periods of time.
Seven Troop is a non-fiction account of Andy McNab’s time in the Air Troop (or Seven Troop) division of the famed Special Air Service military unit. Inside the 448 page book is a comprehensive account of the different missions that the Seven Troop soldiers were assigned to undertake. The environments are incredibly diverse, ranging from the Malay jungles to the deserts of Iraq.
A platoon wouldn’t be a platoon without its characters. And there are certainly plenty to talk about. From the extroverted, charming presence of Charles “Nish” Bruce, to the chaplain Frank Collins, there is a great mixture of personalities who served alongside McNab. Good humour and lots of laughter seemed to be the main go-to when things were getting a bit too serious.
McNab outlines the rather gritty elements to being an SAS soldier. When a mission is being undertaken, the work does not stop until the mission has been achieved. When the book is going off on a tangent about different characters, it is busy sweeping aside the delusion that there is glamour in being an SAS member. Not so. Trudging through remote desert and jungle for nights on end without sleep isn’t fun. Killing enemy troops and seeing your fellow soldiers being killed isn’t fun either.
It is well documented that SAS soldiers struggle to fit into “the real world.” McNab appears to be one of the few ex-beige berets who did alright outside the unit. His writing style is very detailed so pick this book up if this suits you. Otherwise be on the lookout for one of his interviews.
REVIEWER: Stuart Macadam
TITLE: Seven Troop
AUTHOR(S): Andy McNab
PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House