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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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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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

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  • Percyb
  • Kent. England
  • 10-04-18

Brilliant Read

The best book I have read about the war in Afghanistan.Brilliantly told, keeps one wanting more.

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Another Ruined audiobook

Another story about the life of a kid from the council estates making good in the army ruined by the production. This is the second book of this type I have listened to recently which has been ruined by the narration. I’m fairly sure there are people out there with regional accents who can read. Narrating this story using the voice of what sounds like an earnest teenage public school boy really doesn’t help with context. That aside, it soon becomes clear that Hughes does a remarkable job, is very brave and is highly trained. However, the repetition of him telling us this and an almost complete absence of the black humour and self-deprecation you expect of the British Army, makes it read more like an American Navy Seal memoir. Disappointing.

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A must listen.

A brilliant book that highlights the difficulties that our men and women face on a day to day basis in harsh environments and yet they still muck in and get the job done.
The job faced by Kim Hughes and ALL of his colleagues Is Both unrelenting And Extremely Challenging. As has been said many times before.... They only have to be lucky once....
The ATO's and the REST teams are one in a million with many people who owe ther lives to them. A job well done to them all.

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A great heart stopping read

Any additional comments?

This is a really good book that makes you not want to miss a minute had to keep rewinding one of the best books written by someone who served in Afghanistan.