Customer Reviews for

Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-Year-Old GI

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    ReaderZ10

    This is a Great Book! for Military lovers. Or others, but Great book.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    Great!

    Had to do a report in my history class and i chose this book for some reason. So glad i did!! One of thr best books ive ever read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    best book I have ever read

    Amazing book, best I have ever read, truly inspirational.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2011

    Amazing! A must read!

    Grea structure and wrihting. A must read!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2011

    A Must Read Book!

    The book ¿Ghosts of War¿ by Ryan Smithson is one of the best books I¿ve ever read. It is a true story about a 19 year old GI that went to Iraq in 2005. Ryan Smithson came back and decided to write an informative book about the kind of stuff that goes on in Iraq. The book has several moods in it, sometimes it is humorous, sometimes it is intense, and sometimes it is sad.
    In the book Ryan Smithson talks about the struggles of basic training. Smithson continuously talks throughout the book about the fazes of basic training. One is to break you down, the other is to build you back up, and the last is teamwork. ¿This is the longest nine weeks of my life¿ Smithson states in the book while at basic training. Later in the book Smithson goes off to Iraq shortly after he enlists into the army. He makes a large gesture towards his girlfriend to make sure that everything is OK while he is gone. She accepts the gesture and everything turns out fine. It is a very sad time in the book whenever he gets deployed because he is leaving behind so much stuff from his past, and there is always that chance that he won¿t come back. When he first gets to Iraq he is kind of confused about what he is supposed to do, so people teach him what¿s going on. He meets his team inside a camp in Kuwait, and they become very good friends with each other all the way throughout the book. Even the bosses of the team are friends with them, they all laugh and have a good time with each other, and their personalities just basically connect. After a while of the routine thing Iraq, Smithson gets informed that he will be visiting home soon for two weeks. He is very excited about this and writes several letters to his fiancée and family members. The weekend that he was home was his niece¿s birthday party, so it was a two in one party. Him and his fiancée Heather got married that weekend and went off on a honey moon for the rest of the time that he was back home. When he was leaving he was very upset because he was leaving so much behind, his wife had to move in and he couldn¿t help her unpack which was very hard for him because he wanted to help so badly. When he got back to Iraq he met with his team again and did the same routine like every day. Nobody on his team ever died, and soon it was time for him to go home for good. This was a very emotional time for all of them. They would tell funny stories about all that they had done together, and everybody was trying not to cry. They had been the closest friends for over a year and fought by each other¿s side, and now they were just leaving one another. When he got home, he suffered from a very bad case of PTSD. One night when he woke up from a night terror for a month in a row, he prayed and thinks he saw an angel. He hasn¿t had a night terror since.
    I really liked this book. I would read it again and again if I had to, but now it¿s time to move on. This book has made me more interested in the war than I ever was, so I might even read more books concerning wars. This book is up there with my favorite books as well as ¿Where the Red Fern Grows¿, and ¿The Outsiders.¿
    This is one of my favorite books. It is very up-beat and exciting, but it is also boring at times. The boring isn¿t because of the writer, it¿s because war is boring more than exciting. It¿s not constant shooting and battling all the time like movies make it out to be, and this book was very good at showing that without making it too boring all of the

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2011

    wow

    amazing

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2011

    Wonderful!!

    This is honestly the most magnificent book I have ever read. The story is is just wonderful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2011

    Million Word Review

    The war novel, Ghosts of War, follows Ryan Smithson from his enlistment in the army after 9/11 through the end of his tour of duty in Iraq. Ryan Smithson was a senior in high school when 9/11 happened. This event motivated him to enlist in the army. The story starts with boot camp, moving to his first missions in Iraq, and deals with his feeling about the events he experiences during his time in Iraq. The story starts slowly as the author explains why he joined the Army and describes his training during boot camp. Once Smithson is shipped to Iraq, the story becomes more interesting. Interest peaks as the conflict in Iraq becomes more violent. The first person point of view is a refreshing change from the 3rd person journalist's perspective. This point of view allows the reader to understand why Smithson feels he is just another "G.I. Joe Schmoe" or just another soldier who will never be recognized for what he has done rather than feeling like a hero. I also enjoyed how the author shows the almost relaxed conversation between soldiers even when mortars are falling around them. Because Smithson was not involved in combat, the chapters with no action are somewhat dull and uninteresting. However, the lively conversation between the soldiers during these chapters somewhat makes up for the lack of action. Smithson's vivid description of the war zone and his surrounding make it easy to picture the harsh climate and the war torn landscape he was living in. From the hot, dusty summers, to the below freezing winters, its is easy to empathize with him. Overall, this novel provides an enjoyable reading experience about a soldier's life in Iraq.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2011

    Very compelling and very entertaining.

    Ghosts of War by Ryan Smithson ***** Ghosts of War Ghosts of War is about keeping your faith in God and respecting your freedom. It is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and violence. Ghosts of War in a very educational book for mature audiences and gives a look into the real life of being a real GI in Iraq. After the attack on the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001, Ryan Smithson decided to join the military. He chose the branch of Army and was deployed at the age of nineteen to Iraq. Ryan is beaten down and built back up only to be beaten down once more by numerous drill sergeants during basic training. All this was done during what is call red phase. There are 3 phases all categorized in colors: red, white, and blue. Red phase is the crawling just starting to go through basic training. White phase is learning to shoot and how to use M16s and hand-to-hand combat. Blue phase is where the recruits graduate from training and are ready to be deployed. Ryan gets an unexpected deployment with no warning and has to leave his family for an entire year to go to war. I very much enjoyed this book, and learned a lot about the Iraq war that I could not hear from the media. I think that Ghosts of War is a very inspirational book, not to mention educational to any reader. It shows the hardships and pain of war, death, and suffering. Ghosts of War is a very organized, and very thought out work of literature. Ghosts of War is a very educational book and is the perfect book for the mature reader. This book lets civilians who have never seen war particularly in Iraq have a taste of what it would be like to spend an entire year in Iraq. This is an excellent read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2011

    this book changedd my life

    you will never feel the same way about the way you live after you read this. the author knows how to pull your heart strings. and i thank god for the men and women like him out there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    MUST READ AND BUY!!

    bearly bought the book today and i cant stop reading im sixteen and thinking of signing up and this book is helping me a lot love you Ryan the book is a different perspective of joining and an emotional one

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2010

    Amazing

    An all around great book. The writing of his experiences seems so real, like I was watching it all happen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    The true story of a true American hero

    This book make me apriciate my freedom evan more. Makes me want tl join the army evan more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2013

    The true story of "Ghost of War" was amazing and i lov

    The true story of "Ghost of War" was amazing and i loved every single part of the book. It's so amazing that Ryan Smithson wanted to be a hero because of the attack that happened when he was a senior in high school. This book inspired me and many others to join the military like Marines, Navy, Army, etc. I highly recommend for everyone to read this spectacular book and especially  to war veterans and ones who are serving currently. I loved the book and there is no other book like this, one of a kind. So if you see the book "Ghosts of War" at a store or a library, buy it or borrow it and be amazed by this story of 19 year old Ryan Smithson.
    -NA

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  • Posted November 13, 2013

    I really enjoyed this book. I have read countless books about va

    I really enjoyed this book. I have read countless books about various wars. Most books focus on the "heros" the Spec Ops guys,(SEALS, TEIR 1) or the big battles or missions. This book give you a really good understanding of what the average GI goes through when they are depoyled to a combat zone. I never serviced, but talking with a number of my friends that have this book rings true to their experinces. The struggle he went through coming home after his deployment is what alot of my friends have went through to one degree or another. Highly recommend reading this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2013

    Awesome read

    If everyone could read this book, they'd come to understand that being President is not all glamor and glory....but very hard work!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    Great Book. Worth reading.

    This book is a fantastic look at the reality of being a soldier today. Very insightful, easy to read and follow. It is a great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    The book Ghosts of War was almost an inspiring book, it taught y

    The book Ghosts of War was almost an inspiring book, it taught you a few life lessons and how to handle disipline. It also showed how tough boot camp can be, in the book Ryan Smithson is a 19 year old GI and he goes to the army. He starts off by explaining the prosess odf boot camp. Through out the book he gives the reader an idea of how war is. Or at lease a general idea. I think the book "Ghosts of war" was a great Non-Fiction book, I really liked how the author Ryan Smithson told the story from his point of view since the book was about his experience in the war and the process he went threw. That included the boot camp process and how that effected him as a person and made him into a man.Something I did not like about the book was it was too long for wat needed to be explained to get his point across. somethings I did like is the fluency and Smithson gave some pictures in the middle of the book that were actually taken while he was in Iraq. Another thing I really thought was interesting is his writting style. I would recommend this book too other people if they are into the content of this book. it does have some inapropriate language but other then that it is worth reading.

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  • Posted November 29, 2012

    The book ¿Ghosts of War¿ was a true story of a 19 year old that

    The book “Ghosts of War” was a true story of a 19 year old that joins the army and fights in the Iraq war. This story is very thought-provoking and definitely changed my view on life. We use the word we use so loosely. When you enlist in the Army, you are now property of the government and there is no turning back. It shows how we just get mad about stupid little things like not being able to go to a party or the mall when there are some who can’t turn back or choose a different path. We get mad when we can’t go to Subway to get something to eat while there are children begging for food. The writer, Ryan Smithson, does not sugar-coat his experience in Iraq.
    After reading this book you really feel like you know Soldier Ryan Smithson and like you have talked to him and know him. He tells this story very truthfully so you can really feel what he is talking about and can experience what he is talking about and can experience what he does in the book. Solider Ryan Smithson tells you his experience first hand and all the good and bad aspects of our war over in Iraq. Smithson does not tell you the stories you hear on the news about being blowing up villages and killing bad people. After you read this auto-biography, Smithson does not leave you with the same image of Iraq as you mat have has previously. The author shows the parts of the war that you would not think about like rebuilding, helping, faith and love. It is crazy that Ryan has gone through all of this at such a young age and make you really appreciate every one soldier that goes to Iraq or any war. Even when you send a package or letter over to any soldier you have no idea how much it means to them. When you put together a package or letter it really gives them that extra push to keep fighting and stay strong and focused.
    I think that that this book should be a required read for every, any age, American. It really opens up your eyes beyond things exploding and shows each solider has his own story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    The book I read, Ghosts of War, is now my all time favorite book

    The book I read, Ghosts of War, is now my all time favorite book. This story gives you a great look into the life of an everyday soldier and all the things they face. The author, Ryan Smithson, wrote this book about himself and how after 9/11 he knew he wanted to serve his country. He describes his whole journey all the way from signing the papers to enlist, to basic training and then finally being sent overseas to Iraq and experiencing roadside bombs and mortars and how it all became normal to hear gun shots and explosions every day. It describes the inside details of the daily challenges and hardships the soldiers go through every day to protect our freedoms, but also shows the light part of being in Iraq and the daily occurring tasks, whereas in the news or newspapers they talk about the violence and bombs. It shows you the brotherhood they create and the fun times they have together and how they truly become a family.
    Also I can really relate to this book because my cousin is in boot camp to become a Marine. With my cousin now going into the Marines I became really interested in how the soldiers train and what they go through to become the best fighting machines in the world. I learned so much reading this book and what it means to be a true hero. It’s not the celebrities or the athletes that we see every day; it’s the soldiers behind the scenes who risk their lives every day for people like us.
    Also I liked how this book wasn’t biased. He never gave his opinion on whether he thought they should be fighting or not, all he said was that he felt it was his duty to enlist. I think this is a great book for high schools to have their classes read, especially the older kids who know where they were on 9/11 or for kids wanting to go into the military. Ryan Smithson’s writing style is really easy to follow he’s was really relatable since he was fresh out of high school. The book gives you a lot of knowledge and uses all of the military terms they use and it describes exactly what they are. I think more people should read this book and I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a great life story.

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