Born Fearless by Big Phil Campion
I borrowed this book from the library and my husband noticed it. he asked me if I was enjoying the book, then commented that he had come across “big”Phil Campion during his time in the military. It was interesting to hear his comments about the author who portrays himself as all but invincible. He is certainly a military veteran and served as a soldier in the regular Armed Forces as well as the elite British special forces, the SAS (Special Air Service) in many hazardous areas of the world. He has since worked as a military operator, and as a mercenary. He remains involved in the private military circuit in a number of capacities and, when he is not working abroad, lives in Southampton, England.
Born Fearless, is Phil Campion’s brutally honest story, from his difficult start in life and his journey into military operations. Campion was abandoned at birth but his adoptive parents were abusive so the author was taken into care and lived in children’s homes for most of his childhood. Unsurprisingly, Campion left school as early as he could. He was 16, had no qualifications and opted to join the army. There is little doubt that had he not done this, the author could have put his intellect, bravery and organisational skills to alternative uses on the other side of the law.
I had never read a book like Born Fearless before. Some of the accounts of the dangerous situations the author encountered seemed more like scenes from movie fiction than real life. However, I am reliably informed that Campion would have no need to exaggerate, given the war zones and dangerous parts of the world in which he served in the military and later worked in on the private circuit. Born Fearless is a fascinating account of life on that private circuit by one of those right on the circuit’s razor edge. Anyone who follows international affairs to even a basic degree would be aware of the existence of private military operations in places like Afghanistan. But we rarely hear anything about how these operators actually work.
In the book it soon becomes clear that gets easily bored by the regular and the mundane so Campion found his place in the elite forces, culminating in the SAS. This proved a good background to allow him to enter the private military circuit. Born Fearless gives little away about the way the SAS are trained or operate but provides a good account of life on the circuit that Campion joined after leaving the forces. I enjoyed that and found the adventures and exploits exciting. They were all the more fascinating because they were real. At times I did find myself wondering about Campion’s sanity. He was operating in a hugely dangerous environment and he loved it!
Born Fearless is a fascinating account of an aspect of life that very few of us will ever see, with action, humour and humanity. If you enjoy either thriller or adventure genre novels, I recommend this book to you: but this one is real.
Other biographies reviewed on this site include: As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me https://bookreviewstoday.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/as-far-as-my-f…-james-m-bauer/, Wasted https://bookreviewstoday.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/wasted-by-mark-johnson/, Humble Pie Black Like Me https://bookreviewstoday.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/black-like-me-…howard-griffin/, https://bookreviewstoday.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/the-islamist-by-ed-hussain/, Tuesdays With Morrie https://bookreviewstoday.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/tuesdays-with-…by-mitch-albom/.