Friday, July 29, 2005

Generation Kill

Since being home I have had loads of time to read, and today I picked up a book at the library, that I almost didn't, because its title and cover picture were somewhat repulsive to me. The book was called Generation Kill, and its cover shows a picture of a soldier taken from below looking down at the photographer. I looked at it and thought it was going to be another book about how soldiers are killerbots, etc. However, it's the complete opposite.

I feel like I must have missed out on something, because I am sure this book is well known, and a total success, and I can't understand why I never heard about it. The author, Evan Wright, is a contributing editor to Rolling Stones magazine from LA. His observations are priceless, and his descriptions of the First Recon Battalion of the Marines, whom he accompanied on their push into Iraq, make me feel like a kid in a candy store.

The author definately belongs to the anti-war faction, but this doesn't cloud his opinion of the guys he is embedded with. In fact, it only serves to make his commentary sound even more genuine. Actually, I would say that someone on the anti-war side would consider Evans almost pro-war. He is probably as objective as anyone can get...albeit throwing a lot of personal opinions in.

There are so many laugh outloud moments in the book (along with shockingly sad moments). One of my favorite it the author's description of his first chemical warfare alert, and his hussle to get on his suit:

I manage to get it all put together about as quickly as the Marines nearby. We stand around looking at each other through the warping, fish-eye lenses of our gas masks. I can't conceal my feeling of triumph. Not only am I glad that I don't seem to be showing any symptoms of exposure to gas, but I'm also not a little proud that I've gotten fully MOPPed up without paniking. Unlike these Marines, I haven't spent the last few years of my life in wars or training exercises with bombs going off, jumping out of airplanes and helicopters. In my civilian would at home in Los Angeles, hald the people I know are on anti-depressants or anti-panic attack drugs because they can't handle the stress of a mena boss or a crowd at the 7-Eleven when buying a Slurpee. That's my world, and it wouldn't have surprised me if, thrust into this one, in the first moments of what we all believe to be a real gas attack, I'd just flipped out and started autoinjecting myself with Valium.

Oh, man...this is something I can so relate with. I mean, when I am back in LA, I can't help but think how some people are wasting their lives thinking they got it so bad. Anyways...the book is awesome.


Blogger izzykat said...

I agree...I also picked up this book at the library and loved it! This was my first 'war' book so I was a little hesitant to read it - but I am glad that I did.

12:21 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I'll have to pick up a copy.

7:05 PM  

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