The Circuit - Bob Shepherd

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Alec_Lomas, Apr 21, 2008.

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  1. Bob is ex- Regiment and his tome is about post military experiences in the CP world. I'm not sure how he got away with the title as I recall some years ago, an ex-police burd, wrote a book using this title.
    It would have been unfair to place my comments under 'Another SAS book' thread. This one patently isn't of that cult. Those seeking the "slotting ragheads", an expression, which by the way, I find particularly offensive as does he, will be disappointed.

    His writing is lucid, erudite and informative on the personalities and companies currently employed in Iraq and the 'Stan zones. I wouldn't expect anything less from a former 'blue job' turned Army.

    It's a must read for those who are considering the contemporary CP circuit as an option on leaving HM Forces.
  2. Thanks Bob. :)
  3. I bought this book in Tescos on a whim for a tenner. I've read three quarters of it and I am very impressed - yes, it has been ghosted but it is well written, well argued and definitely not a "me-too" book, it is too thoughtful for that.

    His discriptions of meeting so many of the main political players made quite an impact on me - my take on the Palestine situation is coloured by work I did for Amnesty International, so I was delighted that he had come to some similar conclusions. I know nothing about Iraq/Saudia Arabia /Afganistan after 1930 other than that I read in the papers, so the book was an eye-opener.

    His description of office politics in the CP business rang very true - as an accountant/IFA I had too many dealings with "security" companies shortchanging their staff and clients to make a profit. I wonder if CP operatives would be better served by a co-operative/partnership business model, where the person potentially being shot at has some control in the equipment they get and an interest in not over-spending. How an "ethical" CP business would survive in the bear pit offered in sandy places would be very interesting.

    Given that I found this book really interesting, any other books anyone would recommend?
  4. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    As a general comment for this forum, any personal recommendations, either "because you know" or because you've read and enjoyed the book are most welcome. No need to stick to mil subjects either - good books are good books.

    No need for a long post, a paragraph with synopsis and opinion like Alec's above are most welcome.
  5. Found it quite informative. Some parts even made me chuckle (Loggie Captain in charge of someone's CP springs to mind). Not too sure how the movers and shakers of the Circuit would feel about his summing up though.
  6. Just finished reading The Circuit, borrowed from a mate and Yes I have given it back as he's a fellow Ex Sapper 8) ...

    Having met and worked with several of the Bob Shepherd 'ilk' post Iraq War 2003 and then worked back there in 2006 this time with multi national Gung Ho, bearded, base ball wearing, sun glassed "warriors" :roll: I think Bob Shepherd's views are spot on when he puts surviving nowadays as a member of the circuit in Baghdad being entirely down to very luckily never being in the wrong place at the wrong time...

    Great book, well worth a read... written by a real professional...
  7. As a book - very good read.
    As some sort of manual, there is a lack of any other sane or verified publication with which to compare it.
  8. It's not that I've spoken to Bob about it, but I don't believe that his intention was to produce a 'manual' per se. Anyway, there's enough lads from your background ORC, who are more than capable of producing such an item.
  9. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    Are you saying that if you give a million monkeys a typewriter each and enough time they will produce the works of shakespeare (or in this case, a manual on how to get and do work in the PMC world?)....

  10. Sorry - my lazy drafting. I was meaning that there will be some who might look to to as a 'how can I get into that' manual .
    Say sory to the guy if in contact
  11. Good book, very good book couple of mistakes with the proof reading however publishers fault.

    The part about Terry LLoyd was quite good and was given in a matter of fact style. I bumped into Bob out there and assumed he was a member of press. The incident about the toilet was true as the female officer was a TA bird and complete pain in the butt.

  12. Did find this little comment about the author,

    Honest down to earth comments, 21 Jul 2008
    By Professor Platt (Gloucester,England) - See all my reviews
    I met Bob in 1974 at RAF Colerne when Bob and my brother-in-law Stefan were on 2 Squadron(Paras) RAF Regiment. A nice quiet sort of bloke. Jack Palmer was the W/O then and another recruit Andy Ramsey who got in 1974 became a long serving W/O of the squadron later on.
    I had heard that he had joined the SAS and had become the W/O in charge of SAS training later on. I enjoyed that bit about Bravo Two Zero, just about summed up Andy McNab(not a real name). Andy's book was nearly all fiction and I am surprised the senior SAS Officers allowed it to be written. Bravo Two Zero was a disaster from start to finish, all to do with arrogance and lack of leadership and experience.
    Honest, down to earth book, with lots of common sense in it.
  13. I respect the fact that some people here enjoyed the book, but I have to say I found it pretty boring. Bob just spends his time ferrying a camera crew around and critisising everyone else. Okay, so he does a decent job. It's hardly worth writing a book about.
  14. Paperback's going for about £3-50 in Asda if you haven't already got a copy.

    Just settling down to read over a glass of white and looking forward to it, given the generally positive comments on this august forum.
  15. Almost a year since I read it, but found it interesting and accurate where experiences overlapped (post-Taliban Afghanistan). More interesting for his observations on the "industry" than just an account of his own exploits (hence his choice of title?).
    Recommended, but not if your interest stops at the surface.