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Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles (2003)

av Anthony Swofford

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,904326,216 (3.52)25
A memoir of the Gulf War by a front-line infantry marine recounts his struggles with the conflict on the front lines, his battles with fear and suicide, his brushes with death, and his identity as a soldier and an American. Anthony Swofford's Jarhead is the first Gulf War memoir by a frontline infantry marine, and it is a searing, unforgettable narrative. When the marines -- or "jarheads," as they call themselves -- were sent in 1990 to Saudi Arabia to fight the Iraqis, Swofford was there, with a hundred-pound pack on his shoulders and a sniper's rifle in his hands. It was one misery upon another. He lived in sand for six months, his girlfriend back home betrayed him for a scrawny hotel clerk, he was punished by boredom and fear, he considered suicide, he pulled a gun on one of his fellow marines, and he was shot at by both Iraqis and Americans. At the end of the war, Swofford hiked for miles through a landscape of incinerated Iraqi soldiers and later was nearly killed in a booby-trapped Iraqi bunker. Swofford weaves this experience of war with vivid accounts of boot camp (which included physical abuse by his drill instructor), reflections on the mythos of the marines, and remembrances of battles with lovers and family. As engagement with the Iraqis draws closer, he is forced to consider what it is to be an American, a soldier, a son of a soldier, and a man. Unlike the real-time print and television coverage of the Gulf War, which was highly scripted by the Pentagon, Swofford's account subverts the conventional wisdom that U.S. military interventions are now merely surgical insertions of superior forces that result in few American casualties. Jarhead insists we remember the Americans who are in fact wounded or killed, the fields of smoking enemy corpses left behind, and the continuing difficulty that American soldiers have reentering civilian life. A harrowing yet inspiring portrait of a tormented consciousness struggling for inner peace, Jarhead will elbow for room on that short shelf of American war classics that includes Philip Caputo's A Rumor of War and Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, and be admired not only for the raw beauty of its prose but also for the depth of its pained heart.… (mer)
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» Se även 25 omnämnanden

engelska (31)  franska (1)  Alla språk (32)
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I read this back in 2005 on the recommendation of a coworker of mine at the previous job, a former marine himself, who described it as "that is the way it is." It is interesting and moving at times. It is a very fast read with dark humor as well as depressing moments. Probably more young people should read it to balance some of the more "rah rah" accounts of the military out there. ( )
  bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
Memoirs of this sort only encourage incredulity. My memory of reading this has obviusly bem deformed by subsequent history. Swofford aims for Dave Eggers territory, especially the settling of accounts with Dads Behaving Badly but I found whole enterprise indifferent. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
RGG: Memoir about a Marine's experience in the first Iraq war. Very graphic; adult language.
1 rösta rgruberexcel | Jun 4, 2018 |
war. fuck. the shit we do to our young people, and then we expect them to come back and be productive members of society.

he's a good writer, and i'd be interested in reading the fiction that the author bio says he was working on when this came out.

this is great for memoir but also for fiction, really all writing: "Thus what follows is neither true nor false but what i know."

"Nothing is forever, and certainly not a cheap relationship fabricated on personalized paper, and I'm about to die or not and kill or not, but no matter what occurs I will never be the same, and that is the only thing that might last forever - exile, change, change the only sustenance I know, today is only today and tomorrow is tomorrow and a far ways way and then you might die or walk farther with your heavy rucksack and your weapons."

"Yes, I'm sorry the men are dead, for many reasons I'm sorry, and chief among my reasons is that the men who go to war and live are spared for the single purpose of spreading bad news when they return, the bad news about the way war is fought and why, and by whom for whom, and the more men who survive the war, the higher the number of men who might speak." ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Feb 15, 2016 |
Interesting read, but having never served in the miitary, nothing much I can relate to or really understand. I feel like this book is more meant as a release for both the author and for people who have served our country. ( )
  biggs1399 | Jan 19, 2016 |
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But if you want to go on fighting
go take some young chap, flacced & a half-wit
to give him a bit of courage and some brains
- Ezra Pound, Canto LXXII
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This book is for the U.S. Marines of Surveillance and Target Acquisition Platoon, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, August 1990-April 1991

and

in memory of my brother.
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I go to the basement and open my ruck.
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A memoir of the Gulf War by a front-line infantry marine recounts his struggles with the conflict on the front lines, his battles with fear and suicide, his brushes with death, and his identity as a soldier and an American. Anthony Swofford's Jarhead is the first Gulf War memoir by a frontline infantry marine, and it is a searing, unforgettable narrative. When the marines -- or "jarheads," as they call themselves -- were sent in 1990 to Saudi Arabia to fight the Iraqis, Swofford was there, with a hundred-pound pack on his shoulders and a sniper's rifle in his hands. It was one misery upon another. He lived in sand for six months, his girlfriend back home betrayed him for a scrawny hotel clerk, he was punished by boredom and fear, he considered suicide, he pulled a gun on one of his fellow marines, and he was shot at by both Iraqis and Americans. At the end of the war, Swofford hiked for miles through a landscape of incinerated Iraqi soldiers and later was nearly killed in a booby-trapped Iraqi bunker. Swofford weaves this experience of war with vivid accounts of boot camp (which included physical abuse by his drill instructor), reflections on the mythos of the marines, and remembrances of battles with lovers and family. As engagement with the Iraqis draws closer, he is forced to consider what it is to be an American, a soldier, a son of a soldier, and a man. Unlike the real-time print and television coverage of the Gulf War, which was highly scripted by the Pentagon, Swofford's account subverts the conventional wisdom that U.S. military interventions are now merely surgical insertions of superior forces that result in few American casualties. Jarhead insists we remember the Americans who are in fact wounded or killed, the fields of smoking enemy corpses left behind, and the continuing difficulty that American soldiers have reentering civilian life. A harrowing yet inspiring portrait of a tormented consciousness struggling for inner peace, Jarhead will elbow for room on that short shelf of American war classics that includes Philip Caputo's A Rumor of War and Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, and be admired not only for the raw beauty of its prose but also for the depth of its pained heart.

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