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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

Paul Laudiero: IMG Shit Rough Draft



I was sitting in a British and Irish romantic drama class my last semester in college when the idea for Shit Rough Drafts hit me. I was working... Continue »
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1 Burnside Military- Gulf Wars

This title in other editions

My War: Kiling Time in Iraq

by

My War: Kiling Time in Iraq Cover

 

Awards

Winner of the 2007 Blooker Prize

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A raw, edgy, yet intimate new voice from the front lines in Iraq-the most authentic we have had yet from the war, heralding this generation's Catch-22.

Like many of his generation, Colby Buzzell was jumping from one dead-end job to another, a paycheck away from moving back home. He spent his time skateboarding and killing as many brain cells as humanly possible. Tired of the monotony, he found himself in front of an army recruiter. Within months he was in Iraq, a machine gunner in the controversial Stryker Brigade Combat Team, an army unit on the cutting edge of combat technology, and the first of its kind.

This is the startlingly honest story of a young man and a war. Trapped amid guerilla warfare, urban-style in Mosul, Iraq, Buzzell was struck by the bizarre, absurd, often frightening world surrounding him. He began writing an online web log describing the war — not as it was being reported by CNN or in briefings on Capitol Hill, but as he experienced it. The result is an extraordinary narrative, rich with unforgettable scenes: the fierce firefight in which the resistance came from men in black; chain-smoking in the guard tower, counting the tracer rounds fired over the city; the raid on an Iraqi home during which a woman couldn't stop screaming as her husband was being taken away; and the hesitation of a young soldier who had been passed around from platoon to platoon because he was too afraid to fight. As the popularity of his blog grew, Buzzell became the embedded reporter the army couldn't control despite its best — and often hilarious — efforts to do so.

My War is the debut of a fresh and remarkable voice, and it is already being compared to the classics ofyouth and combat Herr's Dispatches and Heller's Catch-22. But My War is much more than a war story; it is the story of a generation caught between the hyper-reality of a technological age and an ever more complicated and dangerous world.

Review:

"With this relentlessly cynical volume, Buzzell converts his widely read 2004 blog into an episodic but captivating memoir about the year he spent serving as an army 'trigger puller' in Iraq. Posted to Mosul in late 2003, Buzzell's platoon was ordered 'to locate, capture and kill all non compliant forces.' Accordingly, his entries describe experiences pursuing elusive guerrillas (aka 'men in black'); enduring sniping, rocket and mortar attacks; and witnessing the occasional car bomb. Face-to-face fighting almost never occurs. No matter: though the combat scenes are exciting, this book is actually more engrossing as a portrait of the day-to-day life of a young American soldier who has 'read, and re-read, countless times, every single one of [Bukowski's] books.' Like Bukowski, Buzzell appears to be a sentimental misanthrope; he pours scorn on everyone from cooks to generals to President Bush. He also despises the media, the antiwar movement and everyone who thinks they understand what's happening in Iraq. That his superiors kept their hands off his blog for several months, however, shows they understood that — despite its foul language, griping, insults directed at higher officers and occasional exposure of dirty linen — Buzzell's work never really wavers in its portrayal of American forces as the good guys in a dirty war." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[A] book that stands quite tall in the literature of that conflict to date." Booklist

Review:

"My War...is nothing less than the soul of an extremely interesting human being at war on our behalf in Iraq." Kurt Vonnegut

Review:

"If military recruitment is down now, wait till the kidsread this book." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"With Buzzell's return to the States and the close of an effective soldier's life, neither he nor the reader is sure that he has not come full circle and returned to his civilian life of loss. Recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"Buzzell experienced plenty of firefights in the northern city of Mosul, but there were countless patrols and other duties that required terrific strength just to stay awake....[T]he book's most compelling writing comes not from Buzzell, but his battalion commander, who wrote Buzzell an e-mail after the blog became internationally famous." Seattle Times

Synopsis:

An underemployed, skateboarding party animal, Colby Buzzell traded a dead-end future for the army—and ended up as a machine gunner in Iraq. To make sense of the absurd and frightening events surrounding him, he started writing a blog about the war—and how it differed from the government’s official version. But as his blog’s popularity grew, Buzzell became the embedded reporter the Army couldn’t control—despite its often hilarious efforts to do so.

The result is an extraordinary narrative, rich with unforgettable scenes: the Iraqi woman crying uncontrollably during a raid on her home; the soldier too afraid to fight; the troops chain-smoking in a guard tower and counting tracer rounds; the first, fierce firefight against the “men in black.” Drawing comparisons to everything from Charles Bukowski to Catch-22, My War depicts a generation caught in a complicated and dangerous world—and marks the debut of a raw, remarkable new voice.

About the Author

Colby Buzzell lived in the San Francisco Bay area until he enlisted in the Army at the age of 26 to straighten out his life. He served two years, including a year in Iraq.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780425211366
Author:
Buzzell, Colby
Publisher:
Berkley Publishing Group
Subject:
Military - United States
Subject:
Military
Subject:
Military - Iraq War
Subject:
Military - Iraq War (2003-)
Subject:
Military - General
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Biography-Military
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Publication Date:
20060931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9.06x6.10x.99 in. .85 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Military
History and Social Science » Military » Gulf Wars
History and Social Science » Military » Iraq War (2003-)

My War: Kiling Time in Iraq Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Berkley Publishing Group - English 9780425211366 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With this relentlessly cynical volume, Buzzell converts his widely read 2004 blog into an episodic but captivating memoir about the year he spent serving as an army 'trigger puller' in Iraq. Posted to Mosul in late 2003, Buzzell's platoon was ordered 'to locate, capture and kill all non compliant forces.' Accordingly, his entries describe experiences pursuing elusive guerrillas (aka 'men in black'); enduring sniping, rocket and mortar attacks; and witnessing the occasional car bomb. Face-to-face fighting almost never occurs. No matter: though the combat scenes are exciting, this book is actually more engrossing as a portrait of the day-to-day life of a young American soldier who has 'read, and re-read, countless times, every single one of [Bukowski's] books.' Like Bukowski, Buzzell appears to be a sentimental misanthrope; he pours scorn on everyone from cooks to generals to President Bush. He also despises the media, the antiwar movement and everyone who thinks they understand what's happening in Iraq. That his superiors kept their hands off his blog for several months, however, shows they understood that — despite its foul language, griping, insults directed at higher officers and occasional exposure of dirty linen — Buzzell's work never really wavers in its portrayal of American forces as the good guys in a dirty war." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[A] book that stands quite tall in the literature of that conflict to date."
"Review" by , "My War...is nothing less than the soul of an extremely interesting human being at war on our behalf in Iraq."
"Review" by , "If military recruitment is down now, wait till the kidsread this book."
"Review" by , "With Buzzell's return to the States and the close of an effective soldier's life, neither he nor the reader is sure that he has not come full circle and returned to his civilian life of loss. Recommended."
"Review" by , "Buzzell experienced plenty of firefights in the northern city of Mosul, but there were countless patrols and other duties that required terrific strength just to stay awake....[T]he book's most compelling writing comes not from Buzzell, but his battalion commander, who wrote Buzzell an e-mail after the blog became internationally famous."
"Synopsis" by ,
An underemployed, skateboarding party animal, Colby Buzzell traded a dead-end future for the army—and ended up as a machine gunner in Iraq. To make sense of the absurd and frightening events surrounding him, he started writing a blog about the war—and how it differed from the government’s official version. But as his blog’s popularity grew, Buzzell became the embedded reporter the Army couldn’t control—despite its often hilarious efforts to do so.

The result is an extraordinary narrative, rich with unforgettable scenes: the Iraqi woman crying uncontrollably during a raid on her home; the soldier too afraid to fight; the troops chain-smoking in a guard tower and counting tracer rounds; the first, fierce firefight against the “men in black.” Drawing comparisons to everything from Charles Bukowski to Catch-22, My War depicts a generation caught in a complicated and dangerous world—and marks the debut of a raw, remarkable new voice.

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