Sunday, September 25, 2005

Book 39

"Jarhead" by Anthony Swofford

Painfully honest and smoothly written, this is both one of the best biographies and one of the best accounts of warfare I have ever read. Anthony Swofford was a US Marine during Desert Storm, and was a member of an elite STA ("Stay") Team. He was a qualified and (apparently) talented sniper who served in the desert for many months and never actually fired a shot in anger.

The tone of the book is one of almost confused pride and a questioning of why he was there (or anyone was there). Swofford seemed proud of being a marine (a desire he'd had since childhood) but there were many other issues and people in his life that weighed on him and affected him.

Not always an easy read from an emotional point of view, "Jarhead" was nevertheless a quick read. It offers an insight into the mind of at least one genuine Marine and also shows a glimpse of a genuine writing talent.

Four bored, drunk, violent, patriotic Marines out of five.


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