This is going to be a quick review of From Helmand to Heywood by Des Farry. A humorous British book set in different parts of England and Spain.
I won this book in a giveaway on Goodreads and although it seemed completely different to anything I've read before, I wanted to try something new, which is why I gave it a go.The concept just didn't appeal to me personally and from the very start I could feel myself distant from the plot and it's characters. I was pleasantly surprised however, by how quickly I finished it and how often I was giggling to myself at the puns and jokes within.
The book follows characters including Sid and Fred as they retire from their jobs in the Army and try to return to normal civilian life- getting new jobs and creating a future for themselves. Some of the characters deal with real life issues such as PTSD and overcoming these issues to give themselves a better life. There were a few romance plots thrown in there too to captivate the audience and give them more of an understanding and connection to the characters. Although I did not fully follow the plot, the writing style was at times quite abrupt and jumpy, and nothing really happens till a couple of pages towards the end, I did find myself in shock at the ending. I didn't think I'd connected to any of the characters, but as I read the ending, I felt quite sorry for one of the characters and realised I must have been quite fond of him throughout.
The footnotes at the bottom of the page were a good idea and was nice to leave links to places in case people wanted more information on what was being discussed, however were quite distracting to the story at times.
I think I am completely out of the target audience for this book, and maybe that's why I didn't enjoy it as much as I could've. I believe older men would connect with this book far more and I will definitely be giving my Dad this to read now, as I know he will love it and find it hysterical. A lot of the jokes were political and there were a lot of references to old British sitcoms that I have never seen and therefore didn't understand. I believe the target audience would thoroughly enjoy the book however.
Overall, I gave this book:
P.S. I'd like to mention another blog referred to as MIW on which the author Des has made a post recently. If you think you'd like his work, make sure to check this out. The main authors of this blog are Alrene Hughes and E.M. Powell who are also authors so if you've ever read any of their work, you may find this blog particularly interesting too. I'll leave the link to the blog here!