Armoured Farmer - A Tankies Tale - A review

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by AlienFTM, Jul 11, 2007.

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  1. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Armoured Farmer is one man's story of his time in 3 Royal Tank Regiment, The Armoured Farmers, during the Cold War. The story is typical of the experiences of thousands of soldiers in the 1970s and 1980s. What sets it apart is that Arthur3bums actually bothered to write his down and get it published.

    I was in 15/19H and co-located with the author in Tidworth 77 and Paderborn until 82 and despite us being Recce and 3RTR being on tanks, Arthur3bum's and my careers and career paths were both remarkably similar and contemporaneous.

    Having previously performed final edits on a number of (non-Army-related) books, when Malcy announced that his magnum opus was close to fruition, I offered to review it for him seeing as how I could cast a uniquely dispassionate but experienced and qualified eye over it.

    The pre-publication copy dropped through my doorstep. No surprise then that it was a book and book-shaped. It had pretty pictures, which always appeals to us donkey-wallopers yer knar. What else can I say?

    No but seriously.

    Malcy has posted extracts on ARRSE and they have generally been well received. Let me assure you that the whole book is like that. Tells it like it is, reads easy (no pretentious writing or long words to have you reaching for the dictionary) and, true to life, there is always something to laugh about even when it's no laughing matter. He catches the squaddy sentiment in a way that nobody outside ever can or will. I could smell that distinctive smell of OEP220 on the Ferret park at Nicosia even though my sense of smell was struck off strength years ago. And I found myself reading it with a West Country accent. No idea why.

    I always felt I'd missed out when my local regiment was in the process of converting to Recce even as I joined and I missed out on my life-long dream of playing with big-boys' toys (not that I didn't feel fulfilled in the Recce role, you understand: playing with Chieftain was simply a tick in the box that I didn't get). For those who want to know what it was like in a tank on the front line of the Cold War, this is the book you need to read to get the warts and all. For those of you who were there, it's wonderful trip down Memory Lane, SP9 7QD without being an ego-trip. Malcy isn't afraid to put himself down when he thoroughly bliddy deserves it.

    Rather than a strict chronological history, much of the book is broken down into periods by type, for example troop training, FTX, Ranges, BATUS, etc, which makes for a remarkably easy read. You don't have to do so much flicking back to refer to previous events because they are all lumped together logically.

    All too quickly you'll come to the end of the book and wish for more. I bet the barsteward had that in mind all along. Sucker you lot all in, then issue a Volume 2 to take your money twice.

    It will be available in bookshops very shortly (some of them may even be good bookshops). Or you can order it direct from the author, Arthur3bums, here on ARRSE.

    OOH ARRRRRRRR. Points of zoyder arl round moy lovelies. And a bottle of Dog for me.

    NOTE TO MODS: The author would love this to become a sticky, pretty please.

    Edited once because some deletions from my original draft made a particular choice of words less than apposite.
  2. If it´s anything like the old 3RTR thread,it´ll be worth buying AND making this a `Sticky`!

    All the best with the book,
    midnight, a Welsh Dialect or Geordie/Mackem version in the offing :p
  3. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    The Pitmatic version will be entitled "A Tracked Armoured Car" and will be one man's story of his time in 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars, an Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment during the Cold War. The story is typical of the experiences of thousands of soldiers in the 1970s and 1980s if I can ever be bothered to get beyond the completed Chapter 1 and get it published.

    A3B has whispered some nice words about my Chapter 1, so it may not take as long as I'd envisaged.
  4. Thanks for the review AFTM.
    2nd proof nearly with me, then the book should be printed soon after.....I hope, thanks to all who've offered their support chaps. Ta.
  5. who publishes it and what is the ISBN? I googled it and came up with a blank
  6. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    I'll sticky it when I A3B sends me a free signed copy, and then I will write a jolly good review* so he can show all his mates.

    * I know its a good review, I've already written it.
  7. Mr Happyyou need to PM me you blackmailer!!! ARRSE even gets a thankyou/advert at the back of the book.
    The ISBN No is on a photo of the book cover in the RAC thread - not the review one. The book is not yet released for sale but, rest assured, once it is, you will all be the first to know. Thanks.
  8. When I finish mine I'll have to send it to A3B for review as he obviously has the knack. Trouble is, I started writing mine when I left the army in 94 and am currently stuck on chapter 6 (work commitments tend to get in the way) but will make a great effort in the next couple of years to finish it (another 6 chapters to go!).
  9. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    A3B will probably tell you that he sought the advice of a few other posters on arrse who have also had books published or work in that field I believe. when its finished PM me if I am still around and I'll ID our publishing hero's for you.

    94? GW1 excellent, not much came out after that one.

    Mr H
  10. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    When yours is finished and BEFORE you send it off, let me have a look. I didn't realise A3B had got as far as his before I offered my help and he is under strict instruction to let me have the second edition early to proof.

    I shall of course return the favour.

    The good news is that courtesy of A3B I have had a new lease of life and am churning out pages at a pleasing rate. Trouble is I stop to research dates to confirm my memory (M62 bus bomb, 4 February 1974) and get sidetracked. That's how I discovered this place, which brought my work to a total stop a year or two back.
  11. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    Imagine how my employer feels!
  12. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    That will take all of 2 seconds as he rolls over and shows it to her indoors.
  13. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    she's already read my copy that i keep by the bed whilst she waits for me to finish doing his mum
  14. ATFM
    Gawd what have I spawned!?!?! Seriously though your book is looking good so far. I've now read all you sent and.......very promising indeed. We'll have a telephone chat soon about it.
    Mr Happy is of course right, a couple of folk have been really helpful with advice, okay, I didn't follow it all and it's fair to say that it's been hard. Vanity publishing is definately an option as, though I got favourable feedback from various publishers, they weren't prepared to stick their necks out and take the risk. And a risk it is mates, apart from people who've emailed me with orders, I've still no idea how many will sell!?!?
    This was never about my becoming a new Robert Ludlum and rich to boot. It was more about 'telling it as it is' and, hopefully warming the cockles of those amongst you along with your memories. It wouldn't be possible for you to have my memories but, hopefully it'll be able to get you thinking and drawing comparisons with your own valuable experiences. Same as my artwork, tis not about getting rich, it's about rekindling all your old fires. As we grow older and longer in the tooth, our memories start to fade, they are however what keep us young at heart. I've heard comments about 'Cold War Warriors' some not so charming but, we were and most still are. Just surviving the Military Machine is a triumph in itself and to be able to laugh about it?? Priceless. And thats what this is all about, humour, what's the best I can achieve from this book? You laughing at mine and my chums exploits? Great if you find them funny but, in your own minds you laughing about your exploits, now that's funny!!! If I achieve that I'll be happy and grateful for you.
    Thanks for your support guys, oh yes and 'Armoured Farmer - Return of the Jelly' will follow!!!! What's a jelly? Read the book. Elovachuffinggoodfellaofabloke i thought you were a mate? I have to have someone other than 'Er indoors'??
  15. All
    Very quick update, 2nd proof copy landed this morning I and AFTM will get thru it asap and then we should be ready to go!!!! Thank god!!!!!!!!!!