Mick Dawson's gripping Never Leave A Man Behind, effectively two adventure stories for the price of one, can be justifiably described as "unputdownable". Dawson is a man you would want on your side, whether in battle or tackling waves as high as houses should you ever consider rowing the Pacific.
Mick Dawson's second book is a tour de force bringing together the macro that is the history of the Falklands war with the micro that is three men's personal stories with their highs and lows shared frankly and intimately. He powerfully captures what it means to be a Royal Marine in both war and peace, and how the Royal Marines mindset - first to understand, first to respond, first to adapt, first to overcome - has helped Mick and the two Steves win their battles in and out of the water. Mick helps us really jump into the vessels and sit where they sat, sensing a little of the tension, despair, challenge to fight or flight, and exhilaration that these challenges have brought. In doing this he challenges us while we sit comfortably in our armchairs to reflect on our own lives, which "hang daily on the tightrope between disaster and success if we analyse them closely enough", urging us to get up and face our own battles. The indomitable brotherhood that is the Royal Marines is powerfully portrayed, a bond which holds men together over decades as a result of shared training and operations, underpinned by a total trust in your oppo to get you through - and never leave you behind.
An excellent read and one that will be enjoyed by all. It provides a great perspective on the human condition. The reader shares Mick's journey through every arduous challenge and specifically what Mick and Sparky had to endure crossing the Pacific. I know first-hand how humble and modest Mick is and how Mick and Sparky exemplify the attributes of excellence and of the Royal Marines (spirit, courage, determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness in the face of adversity). I am proud to play my small part in this adventure and grateful to see what a significant impact Mick and Sparky have had on the lives of veterans and in society as a whole, particularly those with visual impairment like my own father.