Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Review of Time Well Wasted

Recently I read DS Haines book about his time in Somalia. A worthwhile read at any time.
Here is my review.

Time Well Wasted. The Story of 1st Platoon, 10th MP Co. in Somalia
Authors D. S. Haines and Tony Ciccone.

This is a gripping story. Intense, intimate and graphic retelling of time spent on a peace keeping mission in Somalia.

Written from actual journal entries and memories of soldiers who served overseas, Time Well Wasted gives the reader insight into the life of a serving MP. The matter of fact truth revealed as the story unfolds is shared with compassion, humour and courage. The grit and realism is delivered with a flowing style that keeps the reader committed.

D.S. Haines and Tony Ciccone tell of incidents that affected them on a personal level, as they survive the harsh conditions of war torn Somalia. The reader becomes immersed in the tedium of endless missions that occur without incident. They also share the adrenaline rush when the bullets are flying. The need to live in close quarters, in harsh conditions and under strict orders so far from home, impact on the lives of each member of the platoon in different ways. Time Well Wasted goes beyond the dust and boredom, the thirst, heat and danger. It reveals the mind set of the soldier. It is delivered with honesty. At times the realism is quite confronting. However, it is a story about a time of conflict and confrontation. It is the story of people from different walks of life working together to make life safer for those who live in Somalia.

Time Well Wasted is riveting, compelling and satisfying. Human emotions are conveyed with clarity, dignity and with a gutsy honesty that goes beyond the average ‘war journal’. Time Well Wasted doesn’t gloss over the mistakes made, the waste and inefficiency encountered. It revels in small successes and individual and broader achievements. Throughout the book the reader feels that D. S. Haines and Tony Ciccone have made the most of their experiences. They show that despite difficult living conditions, a hostile environment and the threat of constant harassment that they are unable to prevent or avoid, each member of the 10th MP Co. are in fact heroes in their own right.

It is the compassion, intelligence and overall humour of this story that lifts if from the ranks. Well crafted and concise reading this book is Time Well Wasted.

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