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Q&A with Patrick Bishop

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PATRICK BISHOP PHOTO IAN JONESAt Curious Book Fans we’re always impressed at how far writers will go to research a book but going to war to gather material shows an extreme devotion to both duty and the creative process. Patrick Bishop’s long career as a journalist embedded with the army gives him a unique insight into conflict and has led to his book “Follow Me Home” being hailed as the first great novel of the Afghanistan war. Curious Book Fans, not surprising, wanted to know more.

CBF: Journalism can be a dangerous profession and I can imagine a soldier has lots of useful skills for dealing with the cut and thrust of reporting. What special skills does a journalist bring to life in a war zone?

Patrick Bishop: Nowadays you have to be pretty fit to survive an embed in Afghanistan.

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Follow Me Home

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Follow Me Home, Patrick Bishop, book review“What’s your idea of heaven?” asked Zac, turning to Miles as they prepared for the mission that they both knew could make or break their military careers. Zac joked that their Muslim targets thought heaven was “seventy two virgins and all the kebabs they can eat” but what is heaven to a British soldier?. It’s a question that comes back to us as the tale progresses. Will we ever find out or are we destined to spend the next 286 pages of Patrick Bishop’s second novel getting much more familiar with the soldier’s idea of hell?

The place is Afghanistan – Helmand province to be precise. The time is…..well I guess sometime right round about now. Certainly it’s a time after the initial gloss of combat has worn off; when the days when the men feared conflict in Afghanistan might be dull and lacking in proper fighting lay far in the past.


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