Sunday, 15 May 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

Review: Generation Kill

Title: Generation Kill
Author: Evan Wright
Genre: Non-Fiction, Military, War, Contemporary
Age restriction? PG-13
Series: None
Pages: 368
Publisher: Berkley Caliber
Release Date: February 1, 2004
My Rating: 4 Stars

[Goodreads | Amazon]


Generation Kill follows the twenty-three Marines of First Recon, in a platoon that spearheaded the blitzkrieg on Iraq. This elite unit, nicknamed "First Suicide Battalion," took the fight directly to the enemy by racing ahead of American battle forces, literally driving into suspected ambush points from the opening days of the invasion until after the fall of Baghdad. 

Author Evan Wright was embedded for two months with this group and saw frequent action, never leaving the side of the battle-hardened team. In one thirty-day stretch they participated in violent engagement nearly every day. He was welcomed into their ranks - even offered a weapon. From this bird's-eye perspective Wright tells the unsettling story of young men trained by their country to become ruthless killers. He chronicles all the triumph and horror - physical, moral, emotional and spiritual - that these Marines endured." 

Like such works as Michael Herr's Dispatches and Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers, Wright's book is a portrait of a generation. There is Sergeant Colbert, the icy professional who somehow manages to keep this ragged fraternity together; Corporal Trombley, the shy one who develops a taste for killing; Lieutenant Fick, the Ivy League graduate who would challenge his commander but never break faith with his men; and Captain America, the swaggering, out-of-control commander who is later investigated for war crimes.

My Thoughts

Ok, so this book has become my recent obsession. You see, I have this thing for war books, specifically modern war books. Generation Kill is one of the better modern war books that I have read in a long time. It's not a cautionary tale, or even a tale about the difficulty of military life. This is just simply the story of the First Recon Battalion of the United States Marine Core and their experience in the opening days of the war in Iraq.

Told by Evan Wright, a staff reporter at Rolling Stone Magazine, the book originally started as a series of articles back in 2003 called "The Killer Elite". The articles spawned the book and more recently the critically acclaimed 8 part HBO series (here's looking at you Alexander Skarsgard and Rudy Reyes).

The book itself is actually quite funny, and more often than not, without even trying to be. I frequently found myself laughing out loud while reading it. This of course has now lead to everyone on my train route thinking I'm insane for finding anything funny in a book titled "Generation Kill". All in all, this is a great book and I would recommend it to anyone. I guarantee that after reading it, you will have a hard time not telling everyone to "stay frosty"


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