“Absolutely fantastic. Vivid. Tragic. True. This is the book to read on service in Afghanistan.”
So says Dr Mike Martin of SPIN ZHIRA: Old Man in Helmand. A true story of love, service and incompetence.
His own book, An Intimate War, described as ‘the first serious effort to make sense of the war in Helmand’ by Tom Coghlan of The Times caused a media furore when the Ministry of Defence tried to block its publication because it criticised the British military. It has subsequently received widespread national and international recognition as ‘the book on Helmand’.
Mike has travelled and lived all over the world in order to try and understand conflict. He is a War Studies Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London. His other books include Crossing the Congo: Over Land and Water in a Hard Place and Why We Fight.
Mike Martin books

SPIN ZHIRA: Old Man in Helmand is the unauthorised, unvarnished and irreverent story of one man’s midlife crisis on the front line of the most dangerous district in Afghanistan where the locals haven’t forgiven the British for the occupation of 1842 or for the Russian Invasion of 1979. Of course, all infidels look the same so you can’t really tell them apart.

‘Brims with authenticity and dark humour.’
Patrick Hennessey, bestselling author of The Junior Officers’ Reading Club

‘First class’
Doug Beattie, bestselling author of An Ordinary Soldier

‘A must read.’
Richard Dorney, bestselling author of The Killing Zone

‘The best book by a soldier concerning the Afghan War that I have read’
Frank Ledwidge, bestselling author of Losing Small Wars

‘Five stars’
SOLDIER The official magazine of the British Army

‘Not just for soldiers’
William Reeve, BBC World Service and Afghanistan Correspondent

Ten reasons to read SPIN ZHIRA.

What others are saying about SPIN ZHIRA.

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