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Summary

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

Critic reviews

"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)

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What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • sp
  • 08-08-15

Couldn't put it down

If you could sum up Among You in three words, what would they be?

Enlightening and sad.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

Any additional comments?

Will no doubt listen to this again, there's not many books I can say that about.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • S
  • BURNLEY, United Kingdom
  • 14-01-16

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul
  • Glos - UK
  • 30-11-14

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely Brilliant

Jake you have inspired me to do what is right for myself. After listening to your struggle with PTSD of which I am struggling now myself. I feel the same emotional turmoil so I understand what you went through in those dark days. My time in Afghanistan still looms in my body and mind but with the help I am now receiving I can hopefully put it all behind me. You're a great man Jake and I am glad I stumbled across your book. Take care mate from a Brother in Arms.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Mediocre

I really do empathise with what Jake went through but found the book quite boring. Beginning and end were good but got a bit lost in the middle. Struggled to listen at normal speed had to speed up narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A must

Excellent! thought provoking and inspiring. A dark start with a hopeful finish that lifts your soul...fantastic reading, highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • paul
  • Grimsby, United Kingdom
  • 10-08-18

Brutally honest soldiers story!

As a former Soldier the contents struck a real cord with me...hidden wounds can kill

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One of the best books on conflict and the aftermath

Full credit to a territorial army soldier / ex city worker for a great depiction of the battles in Iraq and Afghanistan and the PTSD aftermath. A courageous story and uniquely eloquent. Well worth a read/listen.

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An honest and important book

This author speaks from the heart and his story can help others; putting similar experiences into a wider context. Thanks Jake.

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  • Pamela Dale Foster
  • 13-05-14

PTSD at its Worst

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.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alexander M.
  • 12-04-14

Experience PTSD from a victims point of view...

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Frank
  • 24-07-15

Good read

The storyline took a little bit to take off but after it did this turned into a good read.

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  • Eugrne McNeel
  • 03-03-15

The total story.

A total story of a soldier at war and war within a soldier. The true effects of PTSD. Great job.

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  • Michael
  • 29-07-14

Extraordinary Insight into PTSD

Would you consider the audio edition of Among You to be better than the print version?

It has the British accent applied appropriately in different circumstances that would not be evident in the book.

What other book might you compare Among You to and why?

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.

Which scene was your favorite?

I do not have a favorite scene - but the end is heartwarming.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.