Simon Mann’s remarkable first-hand account of his life delivers like a thriller, taking listeners into the world of mercenaries and spooks, of murky international politics, big oil and big bucks, danger, love, and betrayal.
On March 7, 2004, former SAS soldier and mercenary Simon Mann prepared to take off from Harare International Airport. His destination was Equatorial Guinea; his intention was to remove one of the most brutal dictators in Africa in a privately organized coup d’état. The plot had the tacit approval of Western intelligence agencies, and Mann had already planned, overseen, and won two wars in Angola and Sierra Leone. So why did it go so wrong?
Here he reveals the full involvement of Mark Thatcher in the coup d’état, the endorsement of a former prime minister, and the financial involvement of two internationally famous members of the House of Lords. He also discusses how the British government approached him in the months preceding the Iraq War, and the pain of telling his wife, Amanda, that he believed he would never be freed.
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Shocking but very interesting
What a blast!
Tale of daring do in the seedy mercenary world. It gives the reader exposure to military planning and different social and national cultures.
Strangely, the bit you probably didn't buy the book for - Mann's years in prison.
The choice of the author as narrator is an obvious but brave one. It adds an element of authenticity but ultimately is a bit of a risk. Mann's lack of experience, his (possibly) slightly effeminate and lisping voice is a tad distracting and generally numbs the story.
Not the shortest of books but it keeps you coming back for more.
I read this book after reading My Friend the Mercenary (which is truly exceptional).This is a very enjoyable read. It tells several stories - mercenary work in Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone and Angola, Mann’s military education and business dealings, and his years in prison.Quite how this is executed is pretty debatable.The standard of English is poor throughout. Sentence structure, storytelling, descriptions are all poor. There’s a mention that Mann had some help in editing the book but a decent ghost writer should have been employed.In terms of content, this is also questionable. Many key parts to the story are left out without explanation as to why (for instance, why Mann left the SAS and the various court battles). Mann also avoids being explosively revealing (as many people would have wanted him to be), calling key characters ‘The Boss’ and ‘The Croc’. Throughout, Mann tries to portray himself as an enlightened freedom fighter or a modern day Robin Hood, fighting for other people’s interests. This, rather than confronting the more blunt but plausible concept that he was in it for the money.That said, I still found this very enjoyable! You will probably find yourself questioning why he wrote some things as he did, or why certain parts of the story are left out / not explained / sound insincere. However, it is still a very interesting story told by a man with a very colourful life. So, I would say that, the road is a rocky one but that it is worth the ride!
- Amazon Customer