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Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War Paperback – April 12, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Military Review, March/April 2011
Insightful, colorful, and at times irreverent An excellent snapshot of a junior officer embroiled in a counterinsurgency fight An exceptionally engaging read.”
Entertainment Weekly Online, 4/7/11
Simultaneously blisteringly funny and dead serious.”
Smoke, April 2011
A sardonic, unnerving, one-of-a-kind Iraq war memoir Kaboom resonates with stoical detachment from and timeless insight into a war that we are still trying to understand.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5/13/11
Gallagher's writing is raw and uncensored, and also very good. In the midst of a war we're still struggling to understand, it's a privilege to understand very well at least one person's part in it.”
Irreverent, terrifying, and very humorous, Gallagher’s book will make some people angry, and will validate the suppositions of others.”
Bangkok Post (Thailand), 8/14/11
Gallagher’s compelling work offers the reader an unfiltered, brutally honest look into the life of a young lieutenant struggling to bring some semblance of security and stability to a very unsecure and unstable place.”
Portland Book Review, 9/17/11
Gallagher’s unbridled candor recounting his time in Iraq is shocking, frightening and at times, deals with the mundane rigors of army life, but is ultimately to be commended A compelling read Kaboom allows the reader to ride alongside an officer’s day to day life in a war zone.”
Gallagher’s Kaboom, simply stated, will likely be remembered as the quintessential memoir of his generation’s combat experiences, particularly in Iraq. Not only does it successfully combine the finest authorial innovations of blogging with finest aspects of traditional memoir writing, but it easily and slyly avoids the traps of each as well. It is unabashedly self-centered and self-aware, but manages to sound anything but self-absorbed. It is full of pop culture references, clever writing, and the cynicism that accompanies his generation without sounding for a second like it is contrived or flimsy. In a word, his work is authentic, a rendering of wartime experiences that has been experienced by nearly his entire generation of warriors but has not been matched by his generation of writers Mostly, though, this is just a beautifully written book that speaks for many who share Gallagher’s experiences.”
Gallagher pins down the modern-day experience of war and its maze of contradictions A gutsy, keenly observed tale.”
New York Times, 12/25/14
Radiate[s] a powerful you-are-there immediacy. Mr. Gallagher’s book underscores his love of language, acquired as an avid reader, and his elastic voice as a writerhis ability to move effortlessly between the earnest and the irreverent, the thoughtful and the comic.”
Library Journal, 12/31/15
The moving, transformational journey of party bro” Gallagher who turns compassionate lieutenant.”
Top Customer Reviews
It's interesting to see what modern war looks like, and Gallagher writes an engaging picture of it. Counterinsurgency is more like what we would think of as policing than the types of battles we associate with war in the movies -- diplomacy and the coolheadedness not to shoot in panic situations are more important to his mission than violence. Throughout his deployment, neither Gallagher nor anyone in his unit is injured in combat or fires upon anyone. The greatest loss to his unit comes in an accidental fire that critically burns a member of his platoon; the greatest loss of innocence he experiences is when he gives a conditional order to fire, even though circumstances make it unnecessary for his men to shoot anyone on his orders. But some military experience is universal, and the usual ground-level gripes about the bizarre and labyrinthine American military bureaucracy get a thorough airing here. (You'd think after all this time we'd have figured a way around that.Read more ›
Superiors out to make a name for themselves at the expense of their character, our how tight the common Soldier bonds with other Soldiers of all races and nationalities that they may have never even spoken to had they passed each other on the streets as civilians.
If you're looking for intense combat,with bullets flying on every page then go pick up a few copies of a Sgt Rock comic book. If you want a realistic look into a 15 month deployment on the tail end of The Surge in a COIN fight while trying to maintain your sanity and sense of purpose,while staying true to yourself,your country,and your Soldiers and while managing to make sense of this period of the war that the Soldiers were living,scarifying,fighting and dying in while the rest of America was at the mall,then this book is for you.
I find tremendous value in these memories and I usually snap them right up as I want to be reassured others experienced the horror's of war as I did and I firmly believe more people need to know the stories from Iraq. This story though just did not satisfy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Again, gives a good look at what we are dealing with. I needed to know.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A boring time in the military as depicted by the author. I can see why he quit. All that activity and no action.Published 2 months ago by Paul A. Newman
Magnificent ...insightful and brilliantly funny. A must read .highly recommended to remind us all of sacrifice, courage and dark humor.Published 3 months ago by avid reader
This memoir is an excellent follow on, or precursor volume, to Matthew Gallagher's novel, "Young Blood. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Christophe L Ellis
Well written, entertaining and full of insights on the silliness of Army REMF's and of a pointless war. Like it very much.Published 3 months ago by Marine0846
This book provides a very interesting perspective of what it was like to serve in Iraq in more remote locations outside the Green Zone, and the complexity of dealing with a tribal... Read morePublished 4 months ago by KasbaLake
Although appreciative of the service he gave, I cannot say that Matt Gallagher wrote a good book. The writing style is pretentious, yet lacks the substance and execution to back it... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jen