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Starred Review. 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 and Catch-22 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"See all Editorial Reviews
Great choice of words! the author made every statement politically correct in the sense that most middle east terms were referred to using mild words. well written!Published 1 month ago by jerome carlton
The first glance at the cover gives an impression that this is a story about a soldier.....not the case at all. Rico is a self professed dirt bag posing as a soldier.Published 6 months ago by Joe
I stopped after about fifty pages I couldn't take the Authors ego.Published 8 months ago by DevilDog3/7
Chuck Palahniuk-style prose but interesting content, writers starts off telling the reader that some of the book will be fabrications or lies, so... I suggest "War" by S. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Seattle Blue Eyes
Funniest thing I've read in a while, and a pretty realistic depiction of deployment life. A lot of inside jokes for service members.Published 19 months ago by Machete Juarez
This book is hilarious. Most people leaving negative feedback are more than likely non-militants or served in an air conditioned office stateside their entire enlistment never so... Read morePublished on March 18, 2013 by Michael Waldo
The book is great. Its is full of a lot of the things that really happen in the military. I think some people that are in the military or prior military that have thin skin will... Read morePublished on September 20, 2012 by Leroy
Decent read. Definitely provides a counter punch to the massive amount of literature being produced from the middle east. Read morePublished on August 11, 2012 by Dan P.