Monday, March 28, 2005

Jarhead [novel]

I finished Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles by Anthony Swafford. It's very from-the-gut, dark, and doesn't pull any punches. It tells of the author's unwavering drive to become a Marine and of the reality of the hell of actually BEING one and living through a war that wasn't a war out in the desert.

The book doesn't offer up any excuses, it doesn't really give you any trivial information, and it doesn't really give up any deep insights. It simply tells of what it was like, what the other Marines were like, some things he thought of during the things he went through and tells factually the things he saw and did, letting the reader take everything for what it is. War. Meaningless war. Neither pro nor anti anything. Gives you a lot to think about.

I liked the matter-of-factness of the book - makes it a balanced read for people both pro and anti war. War is what it is and this was one man's experience of it. Kind of makes my stomach lurch whenever I read a "Semper Fi" bumper sticker, though. Urgh.

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