When the U.S. Marines, or "jarheads", were sent to Saudi Arabia in 1990 for the first Gulf War, Anthony Swofford was there. He lived in sand for six months; he was punished by boredom and fear; he considered suicide, pulled a gun on a fellow marine, and was targeted by both enemy and friendly fire. As engagement with the Iraqis drew near, he was forced to consider what it means to be an American, a soldier, a son of a soldier, and a man.
©2003 Anthony Swofford; (P)2003 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division.
"A searing contribution to the literature of combat." (The New York Times)
"This book offers...the casual reader, an unflinching portrayal of the loneliness and brutality of modern warfare and sophisticated analyses of, and visceral reactions to, its politics." (Publishers Weekly)
I read the print version of this book and enjoyed it. It was refreshing to get a broad view, with good and bad, beyond the soundbites or agenda of other media. I was especially surprised at how open the author was about many personal aspects of marine life and life in the middle of a war. Also, I found it more thoughful and articulate that I initally suspected. I recommended it to a friend who has a son in the Marines to give him some flavor that he may not hear otherwise.
Story is interesting and probably quite accurate, based on my years in the Marine Corps. The focus on sex and profanity is carried to the extreme of detracting from the Marine's experiences told in the book.
This book dragged. If you are looking for excitement keep looking. If you have been in the "Suck" you'll find a few moment where your personal reflections and experiences will make you laugh out loud. Other than that you'll listen to one man's view of his down time leading up to the war. The narrator is good for putting you to sleep that?s the best I can say.
The author displays some serious mental instabilities and comes across like a poster child for deviant behavior. He compares killing to eroticism, something a serial killer might do. He fantasizes about raping and stealing.
Don't get the wrong idea about Marines from this book-the average Marine, me included, respect our Corps, country, and family. That being said: I am very disappointed in the attention this book has received; it is nauseating. Save your time and money.
Written as a Phych ward rehab project. I've been there and done that and this guy was over the edge before he ever walked into Basic.
His Gunny would have had him our on a "General Discharge for the Good of the Corps" before he'd been in 6 months.
It even sounds fake to me.
It was fascinating to hear the truth from a real live modern war veteran who served in what appeared to be the lowest ranks of our marines. Still, the different scenes did not tie together all that well, and his jumping around in time did not help.
This was a good book. Not great, but good. I have not seen the movie, and I am glad I waited to read the book first. From the ads alone, I see major differences. It is an interesting account of a young man facing the event that he had prepared for, but secretly hoped he would never see.
I enjoyed this man's account of his time in the US Marine Corps. If you are a reader who expects all veterans to praise the military and the US government this book is not for you. It is a realistic account of one man's experience and his impressions of the military and Operation Desert Storm.
My only complaint is that I think the publisher should have hired a professional actor or narrator to read the book. Aside from that this is a very good book.
It is a book wanting to provide a "flavor" you may not hear. But like the first reviewer said, I've been there, done that. All I heard was a big sucking sound.
Instead, I recommend getting the book Shooter, from Jack Coughlin, Casey Kuhlman, and Donald A. Davis. Not so much whining and plenty of Leatherneck attitude.
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