Author(s): A. F. N. Clarke

The Irish Troubles

This newly expanded edition of AFN Clarke's best selling and controversial memoir CONTACT is a raw, visceral, "no-holds-barred" account from one of the men we paid to kill. When first published it caused a furore for its devastating honesty and chilling revelations. Clarke takes us into the private world of soldiers operating under extreme stress and living each day with their senses on high alert. Where the enemy wears no uniform and shoots from the shadows, and the bomber's trip-wire is an ever-present nightmare. We experience their emotions, fear, courage, humour, bravado and the anguish of death.

In this powerful classic, Clarke vividly recounts his experiences of two tours in Northern Ireland (in Belfast and Crossmaglen) as a Platoon Commander with Britain's elite Parachute Regiment during the blood soaked 1970's. The dangers, political agendas and religious roots underlying the conflict are eerily and heartbreakingly similar to Iraq and Afghanistan today, where soldiers are ordered to hold the lines in an ancient quarrel they have little affinity for, but whose consequences are deadly.

This expanded edition includes a section omitted by the publisher from the original book, where Clarke reveals what it was like to be in his twenties, go to hell and come back having nearly died with half his insides missing, suffering from PTSD and being expected to return to a "normal life." It's a story of the scars of war that affect generations on all sides of a conflict. Of heartache, courage and hope for peace. (Available as an ebook and paperback.)


..".the best account we have had of what it is like to serve in Northern Ireland..." Richard West, The Times Literary Supplement.

" ... a major contribution to our understanding of war and how people act ... Contact is the work of a brave writer." Kevin Toolis, Irish News.

"Clarke's tale of his actions in Northern Ireland are eye-opening to this American... like the stories I have heard first-hand from the men who served in Vietnam." Robert, USA.

..".Contact is one of the best military stories that I have ever read and I recommend it to you in the highest terms; it's a book from a past conflict that has timely and resonant lessons for a present one." Steven McLaughlin, Author of Squaddie: A Soldier's Story. UK.

"A very truthful account... As an ex Infantry man myself of the era, this book speaks for us all about our time in Ulster." Peter Poland, UK.


CONTACT was reviewed by soldiers who served with Captain Clarke as verification of his recollections. It was first published in the UK in 1983 by Martin Secker & Warburg, was serialized for 5 days in The Mirror, and became an instant best seller. In 1984 it was published in paperback by PAN Books, by Schocken Books New York and made into an award-winning BBC TV film, directed by the renown Alan Clarke. The expanded eBook edition was published in 2012, the paperback in 2014.

AFN Clarke is a full-time author with 8 published works. Though his latest books "The Orange Moon Affair" and "The Jonas Trust Deception" are thrillers and works of fiction, they do continue a thread established in CONTACT, revealing the inner turmoil of a former soldier who wants nothing more than to forget his past and live a "normal" life but whose circumstances make it difficult to do so.


Biography and Memoirs of Military People Memoirs of a Soldier Military Best Sellers Biography and True Accounts Classic Best Seller Books Made Into Film Controversial Books Leaders and Notable People Parachute Regiment History of Northern Ireland Politics and Philosophy"


Available Stock:

Add to Cart

Click & Collect

Add to Wishlist

Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780436099984
  • : Penguin Random House
  • : Harvill Secker
  • : January 1983
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : A. F. N. Clarke
  • : Hardback
  • : 941.60824
  • : xiv, 159