From Publishers Weekly
When someone is shooting at you, and you are shooting back at someone," Rico warns the reader up-front, "objective perception goes out the door." With that caveat, Rico—a self-professed "tall, skinny dork" who joined the army as one of several reactionary choices in his life (another was changing his name to Johnny Rico at age 21)—takes a shot at recounting his experiences as a stop-loss veteran of the war in Afghanistan. The result is a biting tale of frustrated ambitions and the curse of self-awareness that appropriately cites The Catcher in the Rye
in the book's epigraph; readers will need to remind themselves that this is memoir and not absurdist satire. Whether detailing the horrors of a roadside bomb, or the masturbation schedules of his comrades-in-arms, he shifts between the indignant adolescence that still rages inside of him and the austere sapience of his fiercely learned adulthood. His precise, evocative prose balances pathos and humor with an almost destructive compulsion for honesty and so much frustrated wit that, even at his most naked and sensitive, he holds nothing sacred. A timeless story of confounded youth and its eternal struggle for meaning, this book may well signal the birth of a titanic new voice. (Apr. 24)
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"'Breathtakingly, brutally and hilariously honest. This is the finest book about youth and war I've ever read.' - Clinton McKinzie, bestselling author of Crossing the Line"