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3 People Reviewed This Product
  • By John Arthur
    Apr 16, 2013
    If you were called up for national service and served in the SADF during the controversial Angola bush war, this book is a must. I was also at 1 Parachute Battalion and 8 SAI Upington in Bravo company and this eye witness account brought back many memories from July 80 to July 82. This is a very accurate portrayal and takes the reader through the transition from naïve school leaver to fully fledged combat hardened soldier. It is a comedy and a tragedy. I laughed and I was saddened. I was also stunned to find out that we knew each other personally. For anyone in the new South Africa the book deserves its place, as a document to the total control over all peoples under Apartheid. I recommend you read this. It is a testimony to the waste of life that is synonymous with war. I hope it will help heal the wounds, both mental and physical. That people will realise, we are all human beings and that national service was compulsory. Conscientious objectors were severely punished and... More > sentenced to three years at DB (detention barracks). We were all jubilant when our period of service ended and could return home.< Less
  • By Peter Chapman
    Feb 25, 2011
    BOOK REVIEW ALTERED STATES By Frank Nunes To give a brief background, Frank was a conscript, called up in July 1980 to 5 SAI in Ladysmith. After advice from a Parabat friend, he applied for and was selected for Parabat training, and got most of the way through this before being injured in a training accident, which prevented him completing the Parabat PT course. As a consequence, he was transferred summarily to 8 SAI in Upington rather than being RTU’d, and he completed basics and other phase training at Upington, eventually becoming an infantry medic. For the rest of his two-year national service he completed three separate border duties at Opuwa, Ondangwa and Ombalantu, and also took part briefly in Operation Protea. The book is split into six Parts, and begins with some background information about the author, as well as his current outlook in life. This may a sound somewhat strange start to the book, but it becomes abundantly clear why he has done so when the reader continues... More > through his story. Starting with a brief account of his family background and upbringing, he has deliberately approached the book with a view to the positive rather than negative aspects of life in the SADF as an infantryman. The latter are mostly mentioned in passing, even the death of comrades in action on one occasion, but there are a lot of humorous and quirky tales to keep the reader smiling, most of which could be recognised by anyone who went through similar experiences in the SADF. To give two of the more laugh-out-loud examples, at one point his compatriot Carl convinced him that the two of them should avoid church parades by claiming to be atheists, and he goes on to describe in hilarious detail how the chaplain and Carl spent the next few weeks trying to win the battle for their collective souls. On another occasion, whilst assisting in the medical wards at Upington hospital, he and a nurse take a recently deceased corpse to the mortuary, only to have the daylights frightened out of them by the body’s natural release of gases, which made the dead man move. There is a serious side to the book too, and Frank candidly admits that he felt very out-of-touch and detached whenever home on leave, particularly after Border duty where he and his friends had seen some action, and he couldn’t wait to get back to his comrades. Again, this is something that anyone who did service in SWA during the Border War can relate to, I am sure. He describes his fears and disappointments too, not just his hopes and happy times. In his two years, he goes from a tea drinking quite boy from Melville, to an at times heavy drinking and chain smoking lad, and freely admits that it was good to be like that at the time, although he no longer does either. Perhaps the most refreshing thing about Frank Nunes’ autobiography of his two-year national service in the SADF, is how he has looked at and concentrated on the positive effects that this time had on his development as a person, something this reviewer can relate to equally. He also admits that it wasn’t always great fun, there were times of great stress and sadness, but they have helped shape him to be the man he is today, a man that he is happy, comfortable and content with. I had a lot of fun reading this book, chuckling out aloud on many occasions, and would recommend it to anyone who was there themselves, or their spouses, who would have a far better understanding of just why they are still strange today after reading this entertaining book. If you were there, you will recognise yourself or someone you served with right away. Peter Chapman< Less
  • By Marcus Phillips
    Oct 15, 2009
    "Altered States" I Really enjoyed this book, making me laugh out loud on numerous occasions. I was never in the military and have often wondered what it would have been like, particularly if one was forced to join, as in the case of National Service, this re-inforces what I had always suspected, it certainly isn't for me!! The author manages to explain his experiences in a way that makes you feel as though you are completing the runs or tedious pointless exercises with him, he always seemed to see the humour in every situation which is a real quality and enabled him to complete his two years service without going insane! However there are several instances in the book, which remind you that being in the services isn't a joke, regardless of the posotive spin Frank puts on the situation and there is a thin line between life and death. I would recommend this book to anyone, of all ages, Military people or not.
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Product Details

ISBN
9781920169428
Edition
2nd
Publisher
Just Done Productions
Published
March 8, 2010
Language
English
Pages
283
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
1.07 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
5.83 wide x 8.26 tall
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