Among You is the gripping real-life story of a soldier serving on the front line in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an unforgettable, unflinching account of the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. Jake Wood lives parallel lives: encased in the glass tower of an international investment bank by day, he is also a dedicated TA soldier who serves on the front line during the invasion of Iraq, later returning to the war zone to conduct surveillance on insurgents.
Disillusioned with the dullness and amorality of the banking world, he escapes back to the army for a third tour of duty. But in Afghanistan he discovers the savage, dehumanising effects that war has on both the body and the mind. Diagnosed with chronic PTSD on his return, he must now fight the last enemy - himself - in order to exorcise the ghosts of his past.
Brutally honest and beautifully written, Among You brings home the harsh reality of front-line combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the courage of the troops who risk their lives for their country, as well as revealing the devastating after-effects of service.
©2013 Jake Wood (P)2014 Audible Ltd
"The most haunting and moving account of how battle scars your mind." (Daily Mail)
"Jake Wood tells his story with an expert eye for detail… intensely gripping and emotional." (The Scotsman)
"As a military historian, I have read thousands of firsthand accounts of war, in all its gore and glory, brutality and suffering. But there were tears in my eyes as I followed Wood's story of his descent into the bleakness of post-traumatic stress disorder." (Daily Mail)
I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
Jake Wood had served in Iraq two times and came back home the same as when he had left. However, when Jake returned home from Afghanistan he was a changed man. He was unable to concentrate on life. The time he served in Afghanistan continued to intrude into his thoughts. Jake would have what was called the "the thousand mile stare." He was thousands of miles away, in Afghanistan, seeing death, carrying the wounded, watching the wounded die and killing people he did not even know.
Jake sought help and after sometime was diagnosed as having PTSD. He was glad that at last there was a name for his continued inability to stay focused. Little did he know that he had another long and arduous battle to fight.
The health insurance from his job would not pay for any of his needed treatment because his disability was caused by the war. PTSD was just beginning to acknowledged as a impediment to men and women returning from war. Therefore, Britain had no manual to follow.
How was Jake Wood to survive in his world if he could not work because the diagnosis of PTSD had taken over his life? He had been given 9,000 lbs. from the British government and was told that he would receive no more.
The true story, Among You, took Jake ten years to write. He knew that he'd probably never write another book. Writing was not going to support him. He got lucky one day and a lawyer, waiting in the line behind him in the court building, heard Jake's plight. She did not have to think very long and offered to help him pro-bono, which in lawyer talk means, free.
The narrator, Joe Coen, was easy to listen to. He did pronounce many English words differently then I'd say them but maybe he was British and that was how they pronounced those words.The story did serve as an eye-opener in how the disability caused by PTSD had to be studied and justified as a disability that deserved benefits. However, I thought much of the story took way too long to get to the main event.
I purchased this book because I wanted to learn about PTSD from its beginning as being recognized as a disability. Now that I've read about Britain, I'll need to search and find a book about PTSD and its beginnings in America.
Well... how can a normal civilian person rate this book. This book is a description of one mans battle with his inner demons. The first part of the book which describes his long lost love is a little tedious. But when he starts describing his deployments and his experiences and reactions, it is bone chilling.
It has the British accent applied appropriately in different circumstances that would not be evident in the book.
Tin O'Brien's "The Things They Carried". Was in the Vietnam era but also an amazing account. Read by Brian Cranston - very well done - with an epilogue by the author.
I do not have a favorite scene - but the end is heartwarming.
"Heartfelt, well written and well read"
This book really brings home not just the horrors of war these people face but also how this effects their personal lives and the lack of support they face from those who are not on the front line.
The author has written this in a captivating way taking you on a personal journey through his life and the part being a soldier and war has taken on it. The narrator helps bring this to reality.
"Couldn't put it down"
Enlightening and sad.
Ease of following Jake's experiences. Beautifully written as one review said and I agree. I've read many similar books but this has to be one of the best in my opinion.
Will no doubt listen to this again, there's not many books I can say that about.
Excellent! thought provoking and inspiring. A dark start with a hopeful finish that lifts your soul...fantastic reading, highly recommend.
"Part time on the front line?"
An incredibly moving account of human sacrifice caught between giving 100% and yet being recognised <1% by the government that sent him forwards, to enforce its defense policy.
Reminded me of my time in uniform
At times I found myself shouting 'come on mate , ruck up and crack on'. His ptsd pained me.
Thanks for your service
"Not the book I was expecting !"
I was expecting another gritty account of soldiers at war, which this gave with all the usual and more detail. However the real power to this book is being let into the mind of a modern soldier at war. Never before have I read or listened to a true account letting you know so much about the persons feelings, troubles, passion, fears and a whole kit bag full of anger. Some directed at enemies, some his superiors and oddly some at his safe run of the mill civilian life. From other books on modern day warfare, I got a feeling for how the machine operates, this time it's the man. It's given me a whole new respect and understanding of the TA and what those people who have or are serving our country do for us.
"Wasn't sure what to expect!"
Really great book which gives you a soldiers life from so many perspectives. A really insight......
"Worth a listen."
Narrator was a bit wooden and didn't suit the story. Apart from that it was enjoyable.
"Not too good..."
I like a book to entertain me. This title wasn't all that entertaining. I found the story didn't ever get any momentum, and seemed a little difficult to tolerate at times. Having been in the same area as the author, I thought this retrospective memoir had probably taken one too many liberties when describing (the lack of) notable events.
The performance was let down by an apparent lack of military knowledge - mispronounced terms most notably. But it is clear and enunciated.
The biggest question I have after listening to this is, who is this book aimed at? If you enjoy military non-fiction, you could do better.
"Amazing and moving story"
Narrator gave lots of expression but kept pronouncing a few words incorrectly, which was quite annoying when it happened.
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