Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4
( 99 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 99 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 5
  • Posted April 18, 2010

    Told by One Who Was There

    The most unnerving war book I ever read was E.B. Sledge's With the Old Breed, about World War II assaults on Plelieu and Okinawa. I thought no auithor to that point had yet told a tale so vibrantly, so bluntly, so openly. Then I read Jarhead. Different time, different war, for sure, but the author proves that the hellish things that warriors see in combat areas never change. Swofford's narrative also reminds one of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. His temporally disjointed memories hop from childhood to civilian life to active duty and back again, showing that the experiences that form a man's life are amazingly interrelated.

    Swofford is no recruiting poster Marine, and according to his story, that man may not exist anyway. If he did, he would probably never be able to handle what is to be found on the battlefields U.S. Marines are called upon to visit.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2007

    Finally a book from a soldiers perspective

    Anthony Swofford¿s war was much different than what many picture when the word war comes to mind. There was no combat, and no killing, only a platoon of soldiers stuck in the desert preventing death from boredom. Swofford¿s platoon witnessed some of the most troublesome parts of war, the war at home. At one particular point, he illustrates that its all coming to an end and that he wishes it would but his band of brothers prevents this from happening. What this book is really about is the unity between men in service. Its really a great read and is not hard to understand. The one part that the reader may not understand is that this is really what war is like. The media only shows what parts of war is, the bad parts, the killing and sacrifice. Finally a book written from a soldiers point of view to show what war really is. It grips you within the first few pages and never lets go throughout the story. Swofford does a great job of illustrating every detail throughout the story, even his fantasies of what he wishes would happen. Certain times he describes events which are funny, and others that make you depressed. All in all I have to say this is one of the best novels I have read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2013

    I recently read another marine book set in the Vietnam era, Semp

    I recently read another marine book set in the Vietnam era, Semper-Fi-do-or-die and there are too many similarities in these two books. I have a love/hate relationship with both books, so much so its eery. Many readers I'm sure question the validity as do i of both books but, iregardless, they are both books that you can't seem to put down once you've start reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    To allen

    Hey its nicole. I havent heard from you in awhile. Is everything ok? Hope to jear from you soon.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2009

    great great book amazing

    best ive read i recomend strongly

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 11, 2008

    I Also Recommend:


    Greatly done.........I can only imagine the life of a Marine, or any Military branch of service when it comes to 'happiness.' War is hell, it surely isn't something to be 'happy' about. Life is changed when you become a soldier. Every soldier has a story to tell, and we owe it to them for their bravery.<BR/><BR/>I often wondered how our service men and women cope,if they are fortunate to come back to the so-called world of 'sanity.' Is there such a thing as 'sanity?'<BR/><BR/>If you liked 'Jarhead,' you will definetly enjoy "I Hear No Bugles," by 'Robert Winston Mercy.'<BR/>Happy 'reading'<BR/>Brenda Wise, Leonardtown, Maryland, U.S.A.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2008


    I believe this book is great no matter what branch of service your in, more so Army and Marines. Great POV on Grunts life. I've read this book atleast 4 times now and it gets better every time. I wish there could be more new age war books like this one but as of right now I believe this is the best.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2008

    A Good Book.

    I believe that this book gets as close as it can to how war really is. He is telling his own story and what he has seen and how he delt with everthing. It also tells how other people deal with things. Mens wifes or Girl friends leaving or cheeting on them really happens, when people go to war. I have to give it to them, with all this stuff happening they still fight for the United States of America.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2007


    Jarhead by Anthony Swofford. This is a non-fiction book. I don¿t like this book because I think it¿s sad and focuses on the negative. It takes place on the Iranian border, during the Gulf War. A marine, Anthony Swofford is fighting in the Gulf War. He faces many challenges in the war. He also has to deal with his girlfriend who left him for a scrawny hotel clerk. Anthony can¿t do anything about his girlfriend leaving him, he just fights in the war. This book is written in first person point of view. Anthony always focuses on the negative and drinks. Anthony tells you what he thought when certain events took place. There are slang and curse words in this book. This book is for kids that are my age (thirteen) and older.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2007

    How Marines are displayed in this book

    This book titled 'Jarhead' is an accurate portrait of what a Marine was, is and will be. Being in the marines is very stressful and difficult (the boot camp) and can challenge even the strongest people. Swofford hit the bulls-eye with this hit. I have never read a book that has described my beloved corps in a better manner. This book speaks the truth about what really goes on in A Devildogs head when he is about to engage in battle. I really like the writing style that Swofford gives in this masterpiece. If you have never understood the Marines then I suggest this book. This book displays love, hate, sadness, and fake happiness and I mean how happy could you be in a desert thats about to become a warzone. Overall this book captured me. Anthony Swofford did a great job giving the definition of a marine while in the Marine corps.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2007

    I didn't like the book or the movie

    My headline says it all.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2006

    My review for Jarhead

    The first time I read this book I was a little confussed with other storys about marines lives in the wars in other stories the marine would talk about his experince in shoot outs but then this one he talked more about a kind of a boring life in the Marines and then a frustrating life with his girlfreind and his trouble with getting along with other marines in his platoon. But I enjoyed reading what his experince was like.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2006

    A greta book

    a great book that doesnt explore wars as most people see them but as an average marine might see it. i liked the way he admitted to anything and everything, even the things that most people might not be proud of.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2006

    ARe all Marines about this?

    What I was struck by was the profanity and the main objective was to sleep with women, get drunk and talk 'the s___' as they referred to? Is that what military life is all about? Is this the reality of the Marines. My Dad served under Patton, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and received 3 purple hearts and never did he ever refer to his service as a pursuit of women, drinking...etc. I know he drank in the war zone to control his nerves, but it was not his objective.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2006

    important read about the gulf war,

    The first time I read this book, I hated it. After seeing the movie and reading it a second time I loved it. The book has few, if you could call them, depictions of combat. Instead it focuses on a point of view rarely presented about war that is the waiting and the boredom. This is the best and probably the most accurate story about the gulf war and what a majority of the soldiers, marines, etc. went through and saw. Only the begging of 'Three Kings' covers this. Technique wise, elements of modernism can be seen throughout the whole the book. While this maybe considered an awful book for its story and lack of action, it is still a very important piece of literature. Read the story several times, see the movie with the author commentary, and then read the book again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2006

    Poor dumb Marines

    This book confirmed everything I have been told¿. It must be true. I give it five stars. Respectable people like Dan Rather and Bill Maher among other real thinkers of our day have told me that the people that join the military are either too poor or dumb to make it in regular life so they join the army. It is nice to read the account of one who actually served in the Marines and is honest about his poor dumb pitiful life. It confirms everything that the smart people have told me. I am glad that Hollywood made a movie about it because that way I can watch it and that takes less effort than reading. Plus my mommy can bring me popcorn while I watch it. I can relate to Jarheads experience with sand in his sleeping bag because I have salty popcorn in mine. PS. I played army once and advanced from a ninny to a numskull to a bonehead and then a Jarhead... Now my skull is so thin I may have to go into academia and write a book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2006

    Mistitled...Shoulda been 'Meathead'

    Early in the 1st chapter he writes 'what follows is not true, and not's what I know. I'm neither sick nor well' or something to that affect. What I know is this writing is either bitterness mixed with sick fantasy or the ramblings of an ill mind. If taken as such, you will be able to find glimpses of a entertaining read. Otherwise, its a horrific portrait of American service personel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2006


    Mike A. I read the book Jarhead by Anthony Swofford. This book is an autobiography about Swofford and his marine experience in the first Gulf War. In the book Swofford writes about himself as a Marine sniper/scout. In this book he explains in great detail the hard life of a marine over seas. For example he talked about the food, living conditions, and hard, intense work. Also in the book it talks about all things that Marines and other armed forces do when they aren¿t in battle, it also uses the vocabulary of what I thought a Marine would say. Such as all of the swears and southern slang. The main conflict was that all these soldiers were involved in a war in terrible, hot, not-well-treated conditions. I didn¿t think this book was very exciting at all. I thought this because they never really talked about being in battles they only talked about what they do when they aren¿t in battle. I didn¿t feel like I was in the book at all because I¿ve never had any war experience and that is what this book was all about. The main conflict did interest me because it showed the real hardships of war. It was very interesting because it made you think that not only are the soldiers fighting and risking there lives it showed the other horrible things they had to do. For example they get food that is in a bag and very old and nasty also they have horrible living conditions because this war was in a desert and soldiers had nothing to cool them down in the 110 degree weather! I thought the characters were very realistic because one, it is a true story and two, they seemed like they were like a stereotypical soldier. The book¿s ending wasn¿t very satisfying because it didn¿t really tell you anything it just ended with Swofford still in the Marines. It didn¿t have any good sign off or anything special, I thought the author could have put more thought or detail into an ending in a book like this. For example I would have ended it when I had left the Marines. The author uses a 1st person writing style. This writing style seemed appropriate for this style of a book. The author uses very interesting vocabulary. For example he uses all the swears and southern slang that I thought a soldier or Marine would use. He also used a lot of army terms such as gun names and different weapons that I¿ve never heard of. The author used great changing in tones so that you could picture the characters and you knew when there was a different character even before he told you. All in all I thought he used a great writing style but he could¿ve put more into the ending. I would rate this book a 5/10. I would rate this book a 5/10 because it wasn¿t very interesting. The author only focused on himself and his of battle duties. I didn¿t like this because I like books with battles and action in them. I also didn¿t like this book very much because it was very repetitive. It was repetitive in the sense that all he always talked about was himself and his friends swearing, having sex, and cleaning/using their weapons. I thought it was cool in the beginning but then it just got old and boring. I rate it a 5/10 because it isn¿t the worst book I¿ve read but it definitely isn¿t the best I¿ve read. I would only recommend this to people who want to learn about armed forces¿ life other than battle otherwise I don¿t think anyone will like this book. All in all I didn¿t like this book. I thought it was too repetitive and boring. I also thought the author gave a horrible and not-interesting ending. I thought reading this book was a huge waste of time. I think that if you read this book you will be interested for the first 70 pages then you will get bored and start hating it. I didn¿t like this book and I don¿t think anyone will either.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2005


    this book told you how a man can slowly become insane just waiting for a war to start and i think it was a great book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2006

    Rose Garden

    Swofford stated in the beginning 'this is what I know'. What I know is that he seems to find nothing but negative aspects of military life. Granted it was and is no walk in the park, but to constantly victimize himself and his platoon mates as some rag tag force with no leadership is ridiculous. He is a very good story teller. I recognized many stories he told as if they happened to him, but are mostly military lore. The novel is inacurate in many aspects and should not be considered a portrait of Marine life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 99 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 5