Picking Up the Brass by Eddy Nugent

Picking Up the Brass

By Eddy Nugent

  • Release Date: 2011-11-17
  • Genre: Humour
Score: 4.5
From 96 Ratings
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It's 1985, The Smiths are in the charts and Maggie Thatcher is in No10. Eddy Nugent's in Manchester, he's 16 and he's slowly going out of his mind with boredom. So what does he do? He joins the British Army.
Overnight, he leaves the relative sanity of civvie street and falls headlong into the lunatic parallel universe of basic training: a life of press ups, boot polish and drill.
Gradually, he finds his feet and settles down to life as a soldier. There's still plenty of press ups, boot polish and drill to occupy him, but he finds time for beer, girls and other bad behaviour.
Andy McNab he isn't.

Picking Up The Brass is a hilarious, riotous and FHM-approved look at what life was like for the vast majority of young men who joined the British Army in the Eighties. 
As a young recruit Eddy travels through the drinking, swearing and sex-obsessed world of our nation's finest. It takes him from basic training in Harrogate and on to Aldershot and the rum soaked shores of Belize. Written by two ex-soldiers, Ian Deacon and Charlie Bell, and closely based on their own experiences, the book captures the unique aspects of the British military sense of humour, through the language of 'Squaddie Speak'. 
A must for anyone who has served, Anyone who is planning to serve or anyone who has ever thought, "Surely everyone in the army isn't trained to kill people with a toothpick?"

"Laugh out loud funny", Soldier Magazine


  • Excellent

    By Bart153
    Great read. Took me back and had me crying with laughter!
  • Laughed out loud almost all through the book !

    By Squidley67
    A must read for any squaddie/ex squaddie Signals or not. Hilarious and very nostalgic ! Brilliant
  • Hilarious from start to finish

    By Dan jones 724
    This is my second time of reading this book and it was just as funny this time around. Strongly recommend to anyone who has served as you will be able to sympathise with the authors!
  • Excellent

    By chris_hammond76
    As a serving soldier, this book is hilarious. Each chapter reminds me of my own experiences of going through basics in 2003, where surprisingly not a lot has changed! Well worth a read.
  • Better than Andy McNab

    By Back Bins
    Anyone who ever fired an SLR will be reading this clutching their testes for fear they will be laughed off. Mine very nearly were. If you've ever area cleaned anything, you'll love this book. I see he has a sequel out, I hope it's as hilarious as this and not some made up account of how he single handedly fought off Saddam Hussein's crack Imperial Al-Queda Stormtrooper Jihadists like every other current book on soldiering. Well done Eddy. One for the real world.
  • Picking up the brass

    By Louloos
    My son has just started at AFC Harrogate so reading this book made me laugh - sometimes out loud on a train, I cried as it made me remember the day he went in. A great book :-)
  • Picking up the brass

    By Bennyiow
    if you have been in the army in the 70s 80s then this will bring back some memory's of your training and your time served and give you a good laugh.
  • Funny

    By GervaiseH
    Very well written with observant comedy but repetitive and coarse. There are only so many pages that can be filled with with the training NCOs abuse of their charges. Some memorable comic perceptions make it a decent read.
  • Great read but where's the ending??

    By 99kris
    Having read the paperback version when it came out, and laughing out loud with almost every turn of the page, I was delighted to see it in the iBook store, disappointingly the iBook finished when young eddy is about to begin his adventure, the final chapter in the paperback is by far the best bit, reconnecting with characters from his past and off to a far away land with, pure unadulterated army wit and loads off booze, overall well worth a read but buy it in paper if you want to know what happens in the end.
  • Bladder draining funniness!

    By Neil4Jules
    Anybody that has felt the undignified wake up call of reveille being tanned at 6am only to realise you have only just gone to bed will get the humour in this book. A great laugh out loud read. My only gripe is that the 2nd instalment 'Eddy Nugent and the Map of Africa' is not available on iBooks as yet. WHY NOT?