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Publisher's Summary

This is a book about science, bombs and what happens to the human psyche when every day you go to work might be your last.

Kim Hughes is the most highly decorated bomb disposal operator serving in the British Army. He was awarded the George Cross in 2009 following a gruelling six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan, during which he defused 119 improvised explosive devices, survived numerous Taliban ambushes and endured a close encounter with the Secretary of State for Defence.

The backdrop to Painting the Sand is the Afghan War, the conflict where the cold courage of the bomb disposal operator rose to national prominence. No other field of warfare offers the chance of a single individual to come so close to his enemy and fight out a battle of wits where losing means death. This is one of the best memoirs that will come out of a 10-year struggle to defeat a hidden and enduring enemy.

©2017 Kim Hughes (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What members say

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  • Melvyn Pini
  • 02-08-18

A privilege

This book is an experience the like of which I cannot match. I am humbled by the honesty and integrity of Kim Hughes GC.
This country cannot hope to repay what we owe to Mr Hughes and his fellow soldiers wherever would we be without them.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Tony Hanley
  • 02-13-18

Much respect !

Chillingly true life unglamorous account of fighting the terrorist war as a bomb disposal SNCO brings home the reality of being there and all the raw emotion that comes with that.

Im in awe of the sacrifices made by our troops that were made, and it’s also good to know that the authors views on whether it was actually all worth it, were not suppressed.

The audiobook puts you in the middle of it all.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • D. J. Craig
  • 10-31-17

A truly great read!

An in depth recollection of life on the frontlines of IEDs in Afghanistan. An honest encounter of what really happened, what went on and what it was like. No bullshit, dampening of the situation or moderated views to achieve a life like feel of what it was like without actually being there. The story of the army told by someone who has become the army. Well worth a listen.

NB - not recommended if you will be unable to listen to descriptions of fatal scenes

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert Gibbs
  • 12-06-17

A realistic and thoroughly interesting real life story.

Loved this book, it’s honesty and utter realism. Read it if you have the slightest interest.
Being EOD is a seriously punchy role needing nerves of steel and top level skills. Well in Staff!

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  • ryan
  • 11-28-17

Excellent and compelling listen

I can't fault the content or the narrater, it was a fantastic book and it was a shame when it ended. It was easy to listen to and captivating with the real-life tales of war. Great book.

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  • Anne
  • 11-14-17

Excellent listen and narration

Really enjoyed this book,a real insight into the training and deployment of a in layman's terms 'Bomb Disposal 'expert and the trials and desperate decisions they have to make, what a brave man Kim is and all his fellow comrades.

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  • kevin
  • 09-04-18

superb

Excellent insight into one of the most ridiculous jobs in the British Army. well Done Kim Hughes

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-29-18

Excellent

Superbly written, superbly narrated. I was at his side every step of the way! Thanks for your selflessness, courage and service guys. X

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  • Danna
  • 08-26-18

Best book this year.

Incredible story of a working class lad with no future, remodled by the British Arm into a true hero. A really good book from start to end. This book takes you into true horrors of the war in Afghanistan, and the bravoury and dedication by the troops fighting there. Highly recommended.

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  • nathan greaves
  • 08-25-18

Fantastic

Great book, excellent listen. Interesting and gripping throughout.

strongly recommend to anyone, military or not.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-14-18

gripping story.

really makes you think seriously about war and the things people give up to be part of it.

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  • Shadow
  • 02-22-18

You see through his eyes

I heard Kim Hughes interviewed on 3AW and thought I should give it a go. Well let me tell you the book is astonishing, you feel the anguish of his early years and the pride that develops as he discovers his unusual calling. Thank you Kim Hughes for this insight into the brave, the terrified, the injured and the dead that serve us all and deserve greater daily recognition. I will listen again.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-14-18

Brilliant

AMAZING story. a true hero. great listen for everyone
military or not. will not disappoint