Stumpy and the auld Sapper NOW AVAILABLE AS A CD EDITION OR AS A DOWNLOADThe following review comes from the Army Rumour Service (ARSSE) web site: "Stumpy and the Auld Sapper" by Rab Orrby TheIronDukeIf anybody had told me the funniest book I would read this year centred upon a Sapper and his sniffer dog working in grim old Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles I would have suspected they had been smoking pot. That would have been before I met the pair thanks to The Army Rumour Service (ARRSE). Many wives are used to rambling, retired husbands saying “I could write a book” and most simply say “Yes dear” and move on. The Auld Sappers wife lost it in the summer of 2004 and said “Why not post a bit on the ARRSE and see how it goes you tit?” So he did. The result was instant praise and support, somewhat to the surprise of Auld Sapper and his Doris one suspects? But stirring up the ARRSE is bit like stirring up a bees nest. You are getting honey or you are getting stung. Probably both. The intervening years saw cajoling, pleas and threats to rearrange bodily organs in interesting ways along the lines of “Where’s the bloody book” to the point that many of us despaired of ever seeing it. And I had a niggling doubt. Could a few hilarious forum posts translate into a full-on book?I am delighted to say I was wrong on both counts. The book is in production and I have been gifted a review copy. It is everything I could have expected and more. The flood of people who have placed advance orders with the publisher here email@example.com will not be disappointed. Stumpy the epileptic, psychopathic canine dwarf and his miserable, doom laden handler ride again, having more adventures than The Famous Five on steroids.Regular members and readers of the ARRSE will have a couple of questions.Are there pictures - do Stumpy and his handler Auld Sapper look like one imagined they did?The answer is yes. On the cover our hero sits slouched by a wall, perfectly at ease in a conflict zone, every muscle and fibre relaxed. It is only when you clock that dead eyed ‘this could go either way’ stare that you realise you are looking into the face of a nails warrior.He is sat in front of a stoned looking doss squaddie with a Shirley Temple haircut and a porn star tash. Stumpy has obviously sniffed drugs, apprehended the rascal and is awaiting the appearance of Auld Sapper so he can hand the degenerate over to the proper authorities. Sadly there is no picture of Auld Sapper, just the stoned hippy dosser with the girly hair-do that Stumpy is guarding.Does the book live up to the promise of the early extracts posted on ARRSE (and now ensconced in “That’s What I Call ARRSE” forum in the News section)?Oh yes. In addition to more episodes so funny you couldn’t make them up, there are a couple of “Oh shit” moments and one “It’s dusty in here” episode to remind the reader that Northern Ireland at the height of the troubles was about a bit more than epic wind-ups and tea on the lawn. There are some characters that jump off the page. Ruperts who employ a chinless, bumbling act to disguise the fact that they are really timber wolves in silly tweeds. Dingbats and cheerful nutters from the ranks of an astonishing array of units and big noisy chaps who’s job title ends in SM. In one episode during a truly epic bollocking I swear I could feel my hair singing and red hot spittle hitting my cheeks.Stumpy and the Auld Sapper will appeal to serving and ex military personnel, their families and friends. But the appeal of the book goes on to encompass The Rest of the World. Or at least that bit of it possessed of a sense of humour. Auld Sapper has done a cracking job of explaining acronyms and military slang for the uninitiated and I defy the most hardened Peacenik who may feel the British Army is a tax leech best disbanded not to howl out loud when reading of the adventures of our Hero Stumpy and his handler Auld Sapper. It’s getting re-read once a year for the laughs and for the restoration of my faith in human nature.One of the funniest books I have read for a long time and one of the funniest military biographies I have read ever.