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Here, Bullet Paperback – November 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Alice James Books; 1 edition (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1882295552
  • ISBN-13: 978-1882295555
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The verse in this book is not good, but it is, in a cultural moment that includes Cindy Sheehan, timely. Turner served seven years in the U.S. Army, including deployment to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the 10th Mountain Division, and a year spent as an infantry team leader with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division in Iraq. He, begins, after a prefatory poem ("This is a language made of blood./ It is made of sand, and time. To be spoken, it must be earned"), with poems whose titles precisely describe their contents: the nightmarish dispersal of "The Baghdad Zoo," the infamous "Hwy 1" ("the Highway of Death"), "The Al-Harishma Weapons Market," "Body Bags," "Najaf, 1820," "Dreams from the Malaria Pills," "Katyusha Rockets," "Observation Post #798," "2000 lbs." (in one bomb)—along with medevacs, translators, civilians and much more. Turner earned an M.F.A. from the University of Oregon before joining the army. His work is straightforward and direct. It highlights the violence and death of the war in a manner little seen elsewhere. (Nov. 1)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Turner attempts to capture the extreme experience of war by depicting the feelings it generates..." -- Library Journal

"Turner has sent back a dispatch from…the war in Iraq—and deserves our thanks…" -- The New York Times Book Review

"…a powerful reading experience…" -- The Franklin Journal

"…earnest, nonpartisan attention to the terrors as well as to the beauty of ruins." -- The New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice

"…written by a veteran whose eye for the telling detail is as strategic as it is poetic." -- The Globe and Mail

More About the Author

Brian Turner earned an MFA from the University of Oregon and lived abroad in South Korea for a year before serving for seven years in the US Army. He was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq beginning November 2003, with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Comb

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 47 customer reviews
You can read this book of poems in about an hour.
Vanilla Sky
He does it well, giving all the characters a moment of expression, and the reader can feel as if they had just witnessed it.
Hot Young Mama
This book of poems, *Here, Bullet* is a must read for anyone that loves poetry.
AMHR

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Jon Burrows on November 25, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After learning about Brian Turner in The New Yorker, I purchased a copy of "Here, Bullet." I have just finished reading it cover to cover, and it is one of the finest collections of poetry--especially pertaining to warfare--I have ever read. For Publisher's Weekly NOT to give this book a starred review is astonishing; indeed, their review above demonstrates, once again, how profoundly ignorant they are concerning modern poetry. (Everyone in the poetry world knows that while PW's fiction and non-fiction reviews are quite solid, their poetry reviews are embarrassingly pedestrian.) As with any collection, there are some works in "Here, Bullet" that are stronger than others, but many of these poems are absolutely breathtaking. Turner has an exceptional gift for bringing images vividly to life, and his poems, overall, transcend the subject of war and capture emotions to which all readers will be able to relate. I highly recommend this book, and I believe that Turner--like Brooke, Owen, Sassoon, and McCrae before him--will become one of the most celebrated literary voices of his generation.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By doc peterson VINE VOICE on February 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Brian Turner's poetry about his experiences in Iraq are, in a word, excellent. I could hardly believe that Publisher's Weekly panned it the way they did. Turner is not a Sassoon, Owen, or Graves, the war poets of an earlier age - his is a more contemporary voice. The opening poem, "A Soldier's Arabic" clearly demonstrates this - it is a poem not just about war, but about separation, love, tragedy and confusion. The entire collection shows the irony, sadness and yes, beauty of the Middle East.

"What Every Soldier Should Know" and "Ashbah" haunt me still with the raw emotion presented on the page. "Sadiq", "Last Night's Dream" and "9 Line Medivac" express feelings common to any combat soldier with a power rarely seen in literature. "Night in Blue", one of the final poems in the book, is a fitting way to conclude the collection, providing a sense of closure as Turner describes his journey home.

I hesitate to compare Brian Turner to other authors who have written of their combat experiences. The comparison only fits in that they are all veterans; _Here, Bullet_ is unique, profound, haunting and troubling. It is honest - which is as much as anyone can ask of a poet. Highly recommended.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Kurt J. Ayau on February 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
Brian just spent two days at Virginia Military Institute as a guest of the Institute and the English Department where I teach. His reading last night and his readings in my classes today were among the best poetry readings I've ever heard. The poems in this collection can alternately sear themselves into your memory with their startling, and yet inevitable, images of the heartbreaking carnage of war, or transport you to a ruggedly beautiful landscape of delicate flowers, quiet night skies and the redemptive power of rain. This collection brings the war home in an urgent and slightly different way than we are accustomed--not the snapshots of the photojournalist, the terse dispatches from correspondents or even the handheld video of the networks. It works its magic by engaging our imaginations and our humanity, and for that everyone should be grateful.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By E. B. Scupham on February 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
Beautiful, elegant poems that strike to the heart of the contradictions and paradoxes of the War in Iraq.

Haunting images, intricate craftsmanship, writing that has

heart, guts, passion, and grace.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John M. Bradley on March 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
Just as Michael Casey's book of poetry on the Vietnam war, "Obscenities," was must reading, so is Brian Turner's book of poetry on President Bush's ongoing war in Iraq. There's something intimate and yet at the same time instructive about these poems, as if the narrator takes you by the arm and serves as your personal guide. This is not the stuff of pundits and op-ed writers, thank goodness, but a private, honest, and haunting view of the war. "2000 lbs.," on the effects of a 2000 lb. bomb going off in an Iraqi city, should be read by every American, regardless of political party or stance on the war.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
Brian Turner, Here, Bullet (Alice James Books, 2005)

I turn from Frank Miller's bloody paean to the Battle of Thermopylae to Brian Turner's quiet, lyrical book about Iraq. And I should probably start by saying that I hate protest poetry. Loathe it. The second the message becomes more important than the poetry, the poetry begins to suck. And thus, when I find a book of poetry that can be described as "overtly political" that's actually halfway worthwhile, I sit up and take notice pretty quick. And Turner's book is the first one I can remember reading since Carolyn Forche's Gathering the Tribes two decades ago.

This is because Turner understands one of the basic truths about poetry: "show, don't tell." If you just lay the images out before the reader, the reader will pick up the underlying situation. In other words, credit your readers with having half a brain. Turner, much to his compliment, does, and as a result he can take the current hot-button issue and turn it into something, unlike the reams of protest trash that entire rainforests have had to die for, that actually looks like poetry:

"....Because Hussein's arm is scarred

elbow to wrist from the long war with Iran,

he holds the trowel in his left hand, pushing

mud against a bullet-pocked wall, the cement

an appeasement..."

("Trowel")

That's about as overt as it gets in this collection, and it's obvious that Turner has spent a whole lot of time thinking as much, if not more, about the presentation of image as about the presentation of message. Take note, protest poets, because in one slim volume, Brian Turner has managed to make the rest of you look like fools. ***
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