In one of the most compelling combat narratives ever written, Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, an Army infantry platoon leader in Iraq, gives a teeth-rattling, first-hand account of 11 straight days of heavy house-to-house fighting during the climactic second battle of Fallujah. His actions in the firefight, which included killing five insurgents in hand-to-hand combat, earned Bellavia the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, and New York State's highest military honor, the Conspicuous Service Cross. He has been nominated for the Medal of Honor and for the Army's second-highest combat medal, the Distinguished Service Cross.
©2007 David Bellavia; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"[W]ill satisfy readers who like their testosterone undiluted...a precise, hour-by-hour account of the fighting, featuring repeated heroic feats and brave sacrifice from Americans." (Publishers Weekly)
David Bellavia's memoir "House to House" describes the intense fighting and the sacifices made by our forces in Iraq in raw detail. If you are looking for a first-hand account of what is really going on in Iraq then this is the book you should download. David, thank you for your service to our country.
Very near the top. Story is just amazing and author brings you along so well.
when author fights by himself in the house near the end of the book. Also when he recounts his interactioins with his son it just tore me apart. Reminded me of my son and having to leave him and his mother when I travel.
Have not listened to one of his other performances but this was truely stellar.
You bet....but I forced myself to break it into little pieces to make it last.
I was thinking this would be similar to many other similar books I read but I was absolutely floored by the emotion, and the feeling that pours forth from this book. Only regret is not purchasing sooner. You will judge other books of this type by this book from now on.
This book gives a brilliant insight of what it was like to be in the US Army, in Iraq, post Saddam. The author is very funny, honest and doesn't spare the listener from any of the horrors of war. This is a book you must get.
I think this is a great book. I've read or listened to many books about the wars in Iraq (including another that focused on Fallujah) and AFG. and think this is one of the best. Although I like almost all of the other books, this one really gives a sense of what the weeks, days and hours for Staff Sgt. Bellavia and his unit were like (unrelentingly brutal). It gives details about things I've never thought about before - what it's like to have lacerations from flying shrapnel all over ones face and body in a filthy, bacteria laden environment (the result is intense infection), or the consequences of not being able to take off combat boots for days on end (painful, rotting feet) - and those are just a couple of the "little" things.
I wish every American would read this. As our troops return from multiple deployments, it's extremely important that the general population be educated about what they've endured. I can't imagine anyone reading this without coming away more understanding of and compassionate towards our combat veterans (and active duty service members).
Finally, I can't say enough good things about the narrator - he is fantastic.
This is one mans view of the US assault on Fallujah, if you want an overview of strategy this is not the book for you. This is about the struggle of Staff sergeant Bellavia and his platoon as they fight house to house in the city of Fallujah. Personally I like the detail and the perspective from the man on the ground, no gloss, no political spin, just the raw details as he sees them. The saying "someone has to do it" in never more appropriate than in this book. War is not clean, surgical or all electronic yet... We still rely on the "Warrior" despite the spin often portrayed in the media. The book does not always read well but this is not meant to be a classic this is one mans perspective and I think he does the job well. You have to admire anyone who is prepared to place themselves in harms way in situations like this, God Bless our troops may we always support them, despite the social/political climate.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
Okay, this hit hard . . . our son is in the army, he's an NCO, just like Staff Sergeant Bellavia . . . he was in Iraq fighting this same nasty war during the height of the surge, watching his "brothers" die everyday . . . but he's not an infantryman, he's a mechanic . . . and he cleaned their body parts and blood from the vehicles and sent the recovered vehicles back out only to see them returned blown up again . . . he came back with survivors guilt . . . then his younger brother deployed to Iraq, his baby brother, the sensitive one in the family, he left his newborn son to go to a war he didn't understand . . . what he DID understand was the brotherhood, and they fought for each other, to keep one another alive, just like SSG Bellavia . . . our youngest son wasn't an infantryman either, he was a small arms repairman, but in the heat of war, soldiers do what needs to be done . . . like going out on the Tigris River to repair a water pump out in the open and being shot at . . .something that we didn't learn about until years later . . . These soldiers keep a trunk full of memories, like slow-motion movies, stuffed down inside them, that seldom surface. The fact that SSG Bellavia has chosen to share this very personal account of his time in Iraq, is a sacrifice. It is appreciated and valued by this army mom and wife of a retired Sergeant Major. There's no political correctness here, just raw truth. You can't go wrong listening to it. You didn't see or hear this on the news. This is the real deal. Thank you, SSG Bellavia.
SSG Bell relates his story of the battle of Fallujah and completely involves the reader. Fascinating and can't put down story everyone ought to read(listen). It makes you want to scramble for your flac vest. Oh, I left mine in the arms room 35 years ago. What these men went through does not compare at all to my 20 plus years in the Army and makes me need to back up to the pay table for my retirement check. Heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time.
Hooah, hell Thank god for the American soldier.
Really good honest account of a soldiers time in a battle zone. Reflects the brutal reality of life in combat as an Infantry man.
The writing is detailed, intense, and present, and HUGE kudos to the excellent narrator for bringing that all through. I spent A LOT of time in my car, after having parked for the day, just to listen to more of this book. Superb.
This book is one of the best in my opinion. The first time I read it on paper. The second time on audio it was even better. Ray Porter does a superb job narrating. He captures the raw emotion and transfers it effortlessly from paper to speech.
For Veterans this book will hit home hard and make you feel like you were there with the author.
"pretty good, just doesn't quite hang together"
I downloaded this because I'd just finished watching Generation Kill on TV and it got me really interested in the lives of military personnel. I did enjoy this book. It feels like an honest portrayal - the storyteller comes over as very brave and strong but also fallible and, on several occasions, a little bit deranged. And in a lot of the sections you feel like you know what it would be like to be out there. The bits I liked least were the (long) battle scenes. He doesn't give any real sense of time so you never know whether the events are spread over days or just minutes. Also he seems to take a lot of very odd decisions which kind of jar with the narrative. I'm sure a lot of us would do some strange things under that kind of stress, but it's never really explained. But overall still a worthwhile and interesting listen and a good insight into the life of a soldier
House to House lays everything out on the table for your to picture with your mind's eye. Superbly highlighting in great detail the violence of war without losing a single step of pace.
David Bellavia's honesty in his writing is deeply appreciated, and brave; I wonder what his family's thoughts of him are now that they can read not only about his actions but his every thought.
Ray Porter is excellent as the narrator, and is able to change his voice convincingly to play the other people in this book. I'm going to have a look for other books that he's narrated.
Not only do I think that this has been great to listen to but I think that it's important also. A great many people would learn much about life, war and the those who fight them.
"Brutal and honest"
A good story, told well by the narrator. Excellent detail on what happened and what they were thinking. Though it can get a bit melodramatic and nauseating at times, especially the emphasis on brotherly love. The author tends to get over emotional and behave illogically, though he is brutally honest about it all.
I would have liked more surrounding the mission to put everything in context. As it stands, it seems the American war machine would have you believe the entire city of Fallujah was populated by "bad guys", all equally guilty of murder. I might have missed it but there's no mention of civilians at all in the book, which is bizarre. Whether this is censorship or just considered irrelevant I'm not sure.
Great book really shows the true difficulties the infantry face in today's battlefields. Humerus, witty, addictive!
"superb book, visceral and compelling"
I wanted to find out more about the battles for Fallujah, and this book told me what it was like. firstly the narration is superb, the author should be proud that his book was read and brought to life by the narrator, I felt like he was in fact S/Sgt Bellavia, he changes the voices for the different characters, I really found it hard to stop listening, this book really had me hooked. I always thought that it was the the US Marines that took part in the campaign, and they have always took the credit, but in fact it was a multitude of US units which had the unenviable task of clearing the City, Including S/Sgt Bellavia's 1st Infantry Div. The story puts you on the ground with the troops, there are no holds barred, this is told in every detail, this is real combat, and it puts you on the street and in the houses with an Infantry platoon, the descriptions are honest and sometimes gut wrenching, this is one of the finest books I have seen on modern combat
"Gripping story with perfect narration!"
Top 5 definitely. War stories are kind of my thing.
The personality of it. It wasn't told in 'textbook' fashion, it had a real human aspect.
Well, straight after finishing this audiobook I tried to find others of a similar genre that Ray had written, but to no avail. The story really came to life due to Rays performance.
If you listen to this book, there will be a part where your heart will be in your mouth (no spoilers). I had to stop what I was doing to just sit back and listen.
"Epic is the word!"
Be under no illusion - this is a warts-and-all story, and not for the faint-hearted. The context could be controversial, and to call this book a "celebration" of men in combat feels very wrong, but it comes close to describing the story. As a lifelong Navy supporter, this has given me a new-found respect for the infantry.
It is not all unrelenting combat, and the humour it contains perfectly illustrates young men needing a release in stressful situations. I have laughed more than a few times.
As a final note, Ray Porter's narration is masterly. The tone-of-voice is just right, and it feels like Ray is sitting in the car, telling me a story. Fantastic.
I was listening to this at every opportunity over the day or so I took to complete it. Exciting, thought provoking and utterly gripping. I'm so glad I purchased this and if it was physical book I think it would be in a prominent position on my shelf. This download will be listened to again without a doubt.
The narrator really brought the characters to life
"Great content, great listen"
The depth of the content is great and the authors takes you too the heart of the battle and keep you there. The way the guys are feeling and acting is all put out there for you to get involved. It's well narrated and the sound quality is also good. A must listen.
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