After the Blast by Garth Callender | Black Inc.

After the Blast: An Australian Officer in Iraq and Afghanistan

Awards for After the Blast

  • Winner, Military History Prize at the 2016 Waverley Library Awards

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White cover with blue silhouette of Trojan horse within blue and black border Photograph of military helicopter with empty bullet shells littering the ground

About the author

Garth Callender

Garth Callender left the regular Australian Army in 2013 after a distinguished seventeen-year career, during which he served in Iraq and Afghanistan and rose to the rank of major. He left an enduring legacy in weapons technical intelligence, and trained …

More about Garth Callender

Praise for After the Blast

‘I urge you to read this important, engaging book. There are so few firsthand accounts from our frontline soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.’ —Leigh Sales 

‘Garth Callender shows you what soldiers really think  – and, more importantly, feel.’ —James Brown, author of Anzac’s Long Shadow

After the Blast takes its place among the very best.’ —The Age

‘A brilliantly told tale’ —Country Style

‘Drawing on his ground-level experience in Iraq and later Afghanistan, After the Blast provides a rare and valuable insight into the work of a mid-level officer in the field. Callender’s ability to write cogently and easily about these events – a skill no doubt honed by his war service – is one of the real strengths of this account of three extraordinary tours of duty … After the Blast shows us that military service can be a true calling. It serves as a reminder that Australia’s servicemen and women do indeed save lives and help to make the world a safer place.’ —Paul Cleary, the Australian

‘Garth Callender, a wounded veteran, tells his story of multiple combat tours with acid intensity. Stark, brutal and honest, After the Blast exposes the ghastly business of modern warfare. It is an uncompromising account that will shock some readers. Callender pulls no punches; his raw emotions, fears, loves, frustrations and anger are unflinchingly recalled. This book provides a rare insight to the harsh realities of Australia's contemporary conflicts.’ —Major General John Cantwell, AO, DSC, author of Exit Wounds

‘This memoir should be read by every young man or woman considering a career in the defence force. It's informative, candid and uncompromising.’ —Good Reading