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Generation Kill | [Evan Wright]

Generation Kill

They were called a generation without heroes. Then they were called upon to be heroes. Within hours of 9/11, America's war on terrorism fell to those like the 23 Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ended combat since Vietnam.
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Publisher's Summary

They were called a generation without heroes. Then they were called upon to be heroes. Within hours of 9/11, America's war on terrorism fell to those like the 23 Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ended combat since Vietnam.

They were a new breed of American warriors unrecognizable to their forebears - soldiers raised on hip-hop, Internet porn, Marilyn Manson, video games, and The Real World, a band of born-again Christians, dopers, Buddhists, and New Agers who gleaned their precepts from kung fu movies and Oprah Winfrey.

Cocky, brave, headstrong, wary, and mostly unprepared for the physical, emotional, and moral horrors ahead, the "First Suicide Battalion" would spearhead the blitzkrieg on Iraq and fight against the hardest resistance Saddam had to offer.

Generation Kill is the funny, frightening, and profane firsthand account of these remarkable men, of the personal toll of victory, and of the randomness, brutality, and camaraderie of a new American war.

©2008 Evan Wright; (P)2008 Tantor

What Members Say

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4.3 (375 )
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  •  
    James Gulf Breeze, FL, United States 12-06-11
    James Gulf Breeze, FL, United States 12-06-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Interesting and well paced, though poorly narrated"

    This is the first account I've read that was written by a reporter and I have to say it's a strikingly different experience than those written by troops. Most of it is devoted to the life and death decisions guys have to make out there and he's very good about laying out the facts and letting you consider it rather than injecting his own opinions into peoples' actions. There are a lot of characters and he does a good job of making sure that they are all fleshed out. The point of this book seemed to be as much about getting you acquainted with the Marines' tasks and hardships in overthrowing Saddam as it was getting you acquainted with exactly who we sent over there to do it. Once you get past the narration it's really a good book.

    My only complaint was the narration which ranged from poor to absurd. The first half of it is SO over-articulated that it can be tortuous at times. For whatever reason he feels the need to make sure you don't miss a transition from one syllable to the next by punctuating the move from one to the next with drastic tone shifts and at times it's like he's just crisply sounding out every word. It's hard to describe but it's very unnatural and it ruins the flow of the book almost as much his complete lack of ability to decipher sarcasm and dry humor. Fortunately as the book progresses it becomes a bit more tolerable as he tones it down a little. The narrator also does a lot of accents but they all come out decidedly Mexican sounding, especially the two Filipinos. I'll be watching out for this narrator in the future.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sherry Rockingham, NC, United States 01-07-13
    sherry Rockingham, NC, United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Here is the truth America"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Generation Kill to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Here is the truth America my name is joey Willhoyt. This is the truth of war. I know this because I was there I served with 1 battalion Marines in Fallujah as well as 2nd battalion in Al qauim. I live with a story very similar to this in my mind every day. America wants to pat us on the back and say good job and then turn there back on all of it and forget. I wish that I could forget I know I volunteered for the Corps but not for what we did to those people. Why do you think the suicide rate is so high in the Corps now. I put a bullet in my chest I don't now why I'm still here I used a 30-06 missed my heart by a mm I wish I had missed some inoccent people over there too! If you didn't like it read ciderella there are no happy endings in war.

    7 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 05-18-15
    Rebecca 05-18-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Well done"

    Very well read and a great book. Absolutely no complaints. the reader makes you feel like you really know the Marines

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Sowers 02-27-15
    Paul Sowers 02-27-15 Member Since 2012
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    4
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    Story
    "Not Just A War Story..."

    This book, while set upon the backdrop of war, is much more than just an account of First Recon's run into Bagdad: It is the story of the soldiers in First Recon. Their thoughts, hopes and dreams for the future. You really feel like you come to know the individual marines.

    Recommended as highly as possible!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drewmonster 12-16-14
    Drewmonster 12-16-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Military Must-Read"
    What did you love best about Generation Kill?

    I feel it was written with a lack of political bias either way. The book was neither for or against the Iraq war but rather account the events as they happened.


    What other book might you compare Generation Kill to and why?

    I don't know that I've ever read a military account as honest as Generation Kill


    What does Patrick Lawlor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The reader did a great job.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was a very honest account of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Marine Corps, and America's military in general.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was assembled and written very well. The story flowed and didn't get lost in "had to be there accounts of military movements" or politics.
    I would strongly urge anyone considering military service to read Generation Kill.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik Sooke, British Columbia, Canada 06-30-14
    Erik Sooke, British Columbia, Canada 06-30-14 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Kill"

    This book follows a platoon through the invasion of Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. As a lead element of the Marines main thrust, this unit was heavily engaged for the duration of this short conflict.

    While similar to many books on warfare in terms of describing the action, the hardships, and the horrors of war, where this story differs is in the mental state of the warriors. It is this revelation that is truly frightening and makes me wonder where the next generation of the USA is headed.

    Soldiers of the 1st world war and earlier signed up for the romanticism associated war, and were quickly disillusioned. Soldiers in the 2nd world war signed up reluctantly but with a sense of duty, and soldiers of the Vietnam era went only when forced to. Todays society has Generation Kill, which is an apt name given the obvious relish with which these troops executed their mission and, more disturbingly, with the joy they took in wrecking havoc amongst the civilian population and infrastructure.

    Don't get me wrong, I've been in the armed forces for almost 30 years, so I fully understand collateral damage, ROE, and the other myriad of issues that are associated with warfare in areas of civilian populations. What I couldn't understand about these troops was the uninhibited joy in causing destruction. In one example, they go into a school in a city that has been taken and destroy all the computers and infrastructure. Why would anyone do that?

    What is also apparent from this story is that the Marines had some serious junior officer leadership challenges. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised, given that this story was written 12 years ago, that the US Armed Forces are now struggling with some fairly serious internal breaches of conduct and behaviour amongst senior officers, as the junior officers and their peers in this book would be the senior officers of today.

    This book is a must read for every American, as it provides great insight into the conduct of warfare in our age. Read it, and reflect upon it. It should give you cause for concern.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian 02-25-13
    Brian 02-25-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellant"
    What made the experience of listening to Generation Kill the most enjoyable?

    Hated for it to end!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The memories that flooded back from my time in the Suck!


    What does Patrick Lawlor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The passion, I felt as if he was the reporter.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 05-09-12
    Matt OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 05-09-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Great Book; Interesting Perspective"

    I really enjoyed this book. A very firsthand and unique perspective. The dialogue is about as raw and profane as you can imagine, but it was not a turn off at all for me like it was for some of the other reviewers. This is how these guys talked and that's what is in the book. I never saw any of the HBO series, but I plan on checking it out now. In my opinion the narration was terrible; at least when compared to many other 4/5 star books I have purchased. Though don't let that deter you.... still an excellent listen.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan Vancouver, BC, Canada 02-11-12
    Nathan Vancouver, BC, Canada 02-11-12
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    "A soldier's eye view of war"

    I bought this book because I loved the HBO miniseries that's based on it, and I was not disappointed. Many of the same people and events are here, but because it's a book, not restrained by the pacing of a TV show, the author can spend time giving backstory and describing things in more detail than the show can, so if you like the miniseries you can get a much more fleshed out version of the same story here.

    The narrator is good. He puts on different voices for all the characters, a couple of the voices might sound a bit silly (there were one of two where I felt like he was trying to make the person sound really dopey). Still, it's very helpful because there are quite a few characters and this style of narration helps to distinguish them.

    Probably the biggest strength of this book is that the author seems to be more interested in getting inside the heads of the soldiers than making any kind of political statement about the war in Iraq or war in general. Depending on your point of view you may see the violence in the book as horrific and pointless, or the grim reality of a necessary and noble cause. The point is you can decide this for yourself, the author won't tell you what to think. He just shows it as it is without shoving any messages in your face. The soldiers aren't glorified or vilified, instead they're portrayed as believable human beings, and are much more relatable because of it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Rancho Santa, CA, USA 05-24-09
    Michael Rancho Santa, CA, USA 05-24-09
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    "Loved it"

    I got the the audiobook as a result of the HBO miniseries and was not disappointed. The book was a good follow up to the series as it helped to explain the command structure and the relationships better.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
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