A war memoir of unusual literary beauty and power from the acclaimed poet who wrote the poem "The Hurt Locker".
In 2003 Sergeant Brian Turner crossed the line of departure with a convoy of soldiers headed into the Iraqi desert.
Now he lies awake each night beside his sleeping wife, imagining himself as a drone aircraft, hovering over the terrains of Bosnia and Vietnam, Iraq and Northern Ireland, the killing fields of Cambodia and the death camps of Europe.
In this breathtaking memoir, award-winning poet Brian Turner retraces his war experience - predeployment to combat zone, homecoming to aftermath. Free of self-indulgence or self-glorification, his account combines recollection with the imagination's efforts to make reality comprehensible. Across time he seeks parallels in the histories of others who have gone to war, especially his taciturn grandfather (World War II), father (Cold War), and uncle (Vietnam). Turner also offers something that is truly rare in a memoir of violent conflict - he sees through the eyes of the enemy, imagining his way into the experience of the other. Through it all he paints a devastating portrait of what it means to be a soldier and a human being.
©2014 Brian Turner (P)2015 Audible Inc.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
“My Life as A Foreign Country” is a bombastic failure as an audio book. Brian Turner is an ex-soldier and current author/poet. He is poorly served by Kevin Collins’ narration of an insightful contrast of soldiers fighting past and present wars. Turner’s meaning is mangled by the narrative actor. The listener hears a narrator’s acting voice more than the literal confusion, frustration, and terror of an American soldier fighting a war in a foreign country. The author’s words describing post-traumatic stress are inadvertently trivialized because meaning is lost in the narrator’s bluster.
Turner is a multi-generational soldier. He contrasts what he believes is his grandfather’s, father’s and uncle’s experiences, in earlier wars, with his experience in Kosovo and Iraq. The remote killing of drones is revealed as a technological advance that carries the same psychological damage as being a pilot in WWII or Vietnam. “My Life as A Foreign Country” needs to be re-produced as an audio book to fulfill its promise as a memoir of modern war. Kevin Collins’ audio book version of "My Life as A Foreign Country" is disappointing.
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