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Download My War: Killing Time in Iraq epub

by Colby Buzzell

Download My War: Killing Time in Iraq epub
ISBN: 0552154377
ISBN13: 978-0552154376
Category: Politics
Subcategory: Politics & Government
Author: Colby Buzzell
Language: English
Publisher: Corgi Books; New Ed edition (2006)
Pages: 416 pages
ePUB size: 1953 kb
FB2 size: 1495 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 465
Other Formats: mobi lrf azw txt

You can find this review as well as many more on my blog The Dancing Nerd Writes Again.

Initial Thoughts:

I read this book for my Literature and War class.

I was excited, perhaps the more correct term is intrigued, to start reading a first hand account on the war in Iraq. I'll be honest, I didn't know much about the war in Iraq and still don't claim to be any sort of expert. It was a subject I decided to stay blissfully ignorant of but I am happy I got the chance to read this story and get a better understanding of what American soldiers went through and are still going through in Iraq.

Parts of this story were actual blog post written while Colby was in Iraq, others are diary entries, and in between Colby added extra anecdotes and information to help the narrative flow more naturally. I should also mention that this book contains a lot of explicit language. If it was made into a movie it would definitely get an `R' rating for language, violence, and some drug use.


I think it is appropriate to start off this review by re-quoting myself from a comment I left on Goodreads immediately after I had finished this book. "I found myself reading this and after ever page thinking, wow. It was really insightful and at times highly amusing."

I will say that I'm a bit disappointed in myself and the fact that I waited so long to write this review. But life (aka midterms) got in the way, so I'll try my best to accurately convey my feelings for this book.

I learned a lot about a soldier's experiences over in Iraq, many of which left me in awe of the men and women fighting for our country. Some of the accounts were inspiring while others were a bit disheartening. These reactions were understandable when you consider how honest Colby is in his retelling of the events. At times I was laughing, bored, and scared to death and experiencing many of the same emotions Colby had lived through. There is no way I can ever understand what it feels like to be shot at or what it feels like to have sweat running down into my eyes and be unable to move, but through reading this, I feel more knowledgeable and empathetic.

As the novel progresses Colby discusses his love of music, art and books. He is a very intelligent human being which came in stark contrast to the beginning of the novel's image of Colby which was a hometown stoner. One of the books mentioned is Marcus Aurelius' Meditations. I read this book almost two years ago for a Humanities class and fell in love with it. I've highlighted all my favorite passages and keep this book on my desk at all times. I flip through it almost every day when I feel like I need a reality check or a little motivation. I think everyone should read this book at least once and I highly recommend it.

Colby is an amazing writer and his descriptions made me feel like I was in the middle of the action, or in some cases non action. It was a really unique perspective and I'm very appreciative of him for writing this account for the world to read.


I really did enjoy reading this book and had so many wow moments while reading. I have a million little sticky notes highlight my favorite parts or the things I found to be the most interesting.

I would recommend this book to someone who wants (for the most part) an unbiased, non partisan account of his life and journey to becoming a soldier.

If my review hasn't convinced you to read this book, my apologies. Like I said earlier I should've reviewed this book when it was fresh in my mind because since then I've taken midterms and had to read many other novels and textbooks and everything has started to blend together. You'll just have to take my word for it. Colby Buzzell is a really unique, funny, and honest individual whose work and life deserves an audience.

Rating: 4/5 stars
I'm not going to pretend that I am like some other reviewers here who followed along with his blog from the beginning. I've never spoken to Buzzell, never read his blog. I heard about this book right here on good 'ole Amazon.
I wish that this book was required reading for every armchair general who insists on telling everyone exactly how the war is, despite the fact that the closest they've come is watching Black Hawk Down on Blu-Ray.
One thing I really liked about this book is that it was in no way a vehicle for Buzzell to air his petty grievances. I've already read a couple war books that were nothing more than a chance to voice every complaint that the author ever had about their chain of command and fellow soldiers and how unfairly they were treated by the system. Buzzell is mouthy, irreverant and unafraid to step on a few toes, but never whiny or sniveling in this book.
Without knowing the author in real life I still manage to get the feeling of true honesty in this book. He doesn't even attempt to sugarcoat his reasons for joining the Army in the first place. You'll find no teary-eyed proclamations of patriotism here (though that is not to say that Buzzell is not a patriot and a true example of "America's finest"). Instead, Buzzell very honestly admits that his decision to join was spurred by the realization that his life was going nowhere and by an urge to seek out adventure. Buzzell is very frank about his reasons for wanting to become an infantryman and relates this thirst for killing that some might find distasteful in a very, "Here I am; take it or leave it", manner.
As you can see, I highly recommend this book. I recommend it for people thinking about joining the military, people interested in the military, the war in Iraq or just anyone who enjoys reading.
Colby Buzzell wrote a blog during his deployment in Iraq by the same title as his book. _My War_ details his experiences as an infantryman there, as well as his run-ins with the Army over his blog. There is much to like here: Colby is brutally honest and writes exactly what is on his mind.

He "stream of conscious" writing (at least the first third of the book) was a bit difficult - long, rambling, run-on sentences, reminiscent of a high school student's journal. As the book progresses, his writing tightens up, becomes much clearer, and his "voice" much stronger. Whether this is intentional or not, it is telling of what is happening to Colby: he is maturing, growing up and finding his voice (and himself.)

As a Gulf War veteran, I have mixed feelings about _My War_. Writing about his life before he joined the Army, I honestly didn't like him. As Buzzell entered the Army and was sent to Iraq, a palpable change took place - as his writing changed, so did my opinion of him. By the end of the book, I became genuinely fond of him. Similarly, I found some of the things he complained about ridiculous: you're a grunt. Suck it up. On the other hand, I shared his frustration at the bureaucracy and underhanded methods the Army used in handling him and his blog. His commitment to his platoon members and fidelity to his battallion CO was inspiring.

I would recommend it along with John Crawford's _The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell_ and Nathaniel Fick's _One Bullet Away_ for other perspectives on the infantry in general and OIF specifically.