Friday, November 16, 2012
Military Book #3 and # 4 -- I'm Lukewarm . . .
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I ended up scratching my head over this one. I think it is more a misconception over what I thought I was getting, (the new paperback cover depicts that story better; once they release it to Goodreads, I will copy it here if I remember). This is really not a war / military book, it is a Dallas Cowboy Thanksgiving Day book which centers on the experience from the point of view of some US soldiers who are stateside for a short publicity tour. It is not a bad book, just not a good choice for me. My reading friend Stephanie Harris, who is also an avid sports fan, loved the book, so take this review with a grain of salt.
Here is the publisher's book blurb, just understand that it doesn't really go on past this beginning premise:
A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at "the battle of Al-Ansakar Canal"--three minutes and forty-three seconds of intense warfare caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew--has transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America's most sought-after heroes. For the past two weeks, the Bush administration has sent them on a media-intensive nationwide "Victory Tour" to reinvigorate public support for the war. Now, on this chilly and rainy Thanksgiving, the Bravos are guests of America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys, slated to be part of the halftime show alongside the superstar pop group Destiny's Child.
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This story is about young soldiers in Iraq and what happens when one of them flips out. I'm glad I listened to it, but it just didn't feel as believable to me (in comparison to Matterhorn) and I had some issues with the underlying premise. I hate to explain, because I would have to reveal all. So if you have read it and want to talk, please dialogue with me. I will say that it is a good glimpse into what the soldiers over there faced (it takes place in 2004). Stephanie also liked this book better than I did.
Here is a part of the publisher's book blurb to tell you what the book is about:
"The war tried to kill us in the spring," begins this breathtaking account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger.
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