Well if you want to read 600 pages on why war is a bad idea and want to know exactly what it feels like to be in one, this is the book for you. I couldn’t put it down. Not sure what gung ho pro-war folk will make of it, but it is not anti-war directly, just realistic about the mixture of absurdity and human loyalty to friends that is what it is all about. Semper Fi as my friends in the Marines might say with and without irony.
And as a novel, incredibly well written and compelling in drawing you into its characters and how they feel and see the world. Especially powerful is the opening: what it feels like to be dropped into a war zone with men to command and who will die if you screw up in the first few days. Grueling is putting it mildly and I kept expecting mortar rounds to explode in my garden or to be overrun: where’s my gun?
This is Karl: took him 35 years to get published!