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
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.
If you like the genre, this is a great book, and tailer made for Patrick Lawler's style. There is a fair amount of sardonic humor in the book that can be expressed, or ruined, by the narrator, and Patrick is a master of vocal expression. He's a real storyteller, not just a reader.
Furthermore, the book portrays a captivating view of the second Iraq War from the standpoint of the Marines who participated in the day to day combat, together with some insight into the root cause of some of the problems we are struggling with today as a result of the way the war was conducted. All in all, a very worthwhile liste.
This is one of the best books about operation Iraqi Freedom I have read so far. As a Vietnam Marine Grunt, C/Co, 1/3, 0331, Marines haven't changed much at all since 1968. You have to have sick humor in combat to get through it, you don't have time to analyze everything. First and foremost on an individual Marine level, you fight for your Brothers to keep them alive, Apple pie and mom waving the American flag doesn't enter your mind. Fighting for freedom for the people of the country you are in doesn't enter the picture either. All your experiences in combat are put on the back burner, keeping yourself and your buddies alive and completing the mission are the first priorities. You don't want to let your your comrades down, you don't want to let the Corp down. The expression, fuck it, it don't mean nuthin gets you through tough times. As my uncle who fought on Saipan as,a Marine told me after I returned home medically evacuated from Vietnam. " You will never forget what you did, you will have to learn to live with it and carry on, live for your fallen friends, that's what they would tell you if they could speak. Welcome home Marines, I highly recommend this book. Semper Fi.
Exciting, Insightful, Intense
The insight into what "really" happens in war. Indiscriminate killings, mistakes, errors of the military, political struggle, etc. Fascinating insight.
Great narration! I almost didn't get this book because of all the negative comments on narration. This guy is AMAZING. Never once does he stutter in 15 hours. His voice goes up and down and he does an amazing job acting out all the different characters. This guy is a pro. One of the best narrated audio books I've ever listened to.
No ... it's too long. That would be impossible.
Do not let the narration haters sway you from this book. The guy does a great job. The story is fantastic and exciting. Really gives you an idea of how jacked up war really is.
Very interesting and very sobering. From a Jarhead's perspective, this book is perfect. You should definitely buy it.
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