‘Night after night, day after day, month after month, I had lain behind my rifle. Through scorching summers, chilling autumns, endless winters and wet, numbing springs, I had kept the enemy in my crosshairs. I had burned my eyes with looking. I had survived other snipers, gun attacks, suicide bombers, tanks, mortars, rocket grenades, booby-traps, trip-wires, stray air strikes, artillery strikes, heavy machine guns and remote controlled mines. On a diet of scavenged cheese, jam, the occasional yoghurt and biscuits, I had wasted away to the weight of a thirteen-year-old boy. Without sleep, I lurked in the abyss between adrenalin and exhaustion. So many of my friends had died that I had acquired a new, unwanted duty: to survive in order to keep their memories alive. Observing, waiting, shooting — I packed all life into that tight existence. If you had seen me back then, carrying my trigger finger through the sharp edges of war as though it were a baby, you would have understood that human beings can survive almost anything if they have purpose.’

“A book to marvel at, learn from, and return to again and again”. John le Carré





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