Generation Kill

( 164 )

Overview


Visit HBO’s Generation Kill website here.

The New York Times bestseller—"one of the best books to come out of the second Iraq war." (Financial Times)

Within hours of 9/11, America's war on terrorism fell to those like the 23 Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ed combat since Vietnam. They were a new breed of American warrior unrecognizable to their forebears-soldiers raised on hip hop, Internet ...

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Overview


Visit HBO’s Generation Kill website here.

The New York Times bestseller—"one of the best books to come out of the second Iraq war." (Financial Times)

Within hours of 9/11, America's war on terrorism fell to those like the 23 Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ed combat since Vietnam. They were a new breed of American warrior unrecognizable to their forebears-soldiers raised on hip hop, Internet porn, Marilyn Manson, video games and The Real World, a band of born-again Christians, dopers, Buddhists, and New Agers who gleaned their precepts from kung fu movies and Oprah Winfrey. Cocky, brave, headstrong, wary, and mostly unprepared for the physical, emotional, and moral horrors ahead, the "First Suicide Battalion" would spearhead the blitzkrieg on Iraq, and fight against the hardest resistance Saddam had to offer. Generation Kill is the funny, frightening, and profane firsthand account of these remarkable men, of the personal toll of victory, and of the randomness, brutality, and camaraderie of a new American war. Read Evan Wright's posts on the Penguin Blog.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425200407
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 175,320
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Evan Wright

Evan Wright is the author of Generation Kill, now the basis of the HBO miniseries for which he served as co-writer.

Wright earned his degree in medieval and Renaissance studies from Vassar College, an education he soon put work at Hustler magazine, where he served as "Entertainment Editor." In the late 1990's he began writing feature articles for Rolling Stone.

At Rolling Stone Wright focused on youth subcultures, from radical environmentalists to skinheads to sorority girls. His work is characterized by immersion in his subjects' worlds, detailed reporting and dark humor.

After 9/ll he pitched his editor on the idea that since the US military was "basically another youth subculture," he ought to be writing about it. He has covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He is the recipient of two National Magazine Awards, one for reporting on the war in Iraq in Rolling Stone and the other for a profile published in Vanity Fair.

Generation Kill received numerous awards, including the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the Los Angeles Times book award, a PEN USA literary prize and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation's award for "Best History of the Marine Corps."

He is currently at work on two books for Putnam:

Hella Nation, a collection of essays and reporting to be published in the Spring of 2009

The Seed, a reported memoir of brainwashing to be published in the Summer of 2010.

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Read an Excerpt

PROLOGUE

It's another Iraqi town, nameless to the Marines racing down the main drag in Humvees, blowing it to pieces. We're flanked on both sides by a jumble of walled, two-story mud-brick buildings, with Iraqi gunmen concealed behind windows, on rooftops and in alleyways, shooting at us with machine guns, AK rifles and the odd rocket-propelled grenade (RPG). Though it's nearly five in the afternoon, a sandstorm has plunged the town into a hellish twilight of murky red dust. Winds howl at fifty miles per hour. The town stinks. Sewers, shattered from a Marine artillery bombardment that ceased moments before we entered, have overflowed, filling the streets with lagoons of human excrement. Flames and smoke pour out of holes blasted through walls of homes and apartment blocks by the Marines' heavy weapons. Bullets, bricks, chunks of buildings, pieces of blown-up light poles and shattered donkey carts splash into the flooded road ahead.

The ambush started when the lead vehicle of Second Platoon-the one I ride in-rounded the first corner into the town. There was a mosque on the left, with a brilliant, cobalt-blue dome. Across from this, in the upper window of a three-story building, a machine gun had opened up. Nearly two dozen rounds ripped into our Humvee almost immediately. Nobody was hit; none of the Marines panicked. They responded by speeding into the gunfire and attacking with their weapons. The four Marines crammed into this Humvee-among the first American troops to cross the border into Iraq-had spent the past week wired on a combination of caffeine, sleep deprivation, tedium and anticipation. For some of them, rolling into an ambush was almost an answered prayer.

Their war began several days ago, as a series of explosions that rumbled across the Kuwaiti desert beginning at about five in the morning of March 20. The Marines, who had been sleeping in holes dug into the sand twenty kilometers south of the border with Iraq, sat up and gazed into the empty expanse, their faces blank as they listened to the distant thundering. They had eagerly awaited the start of war since leaving their base at Camp Pendleton, California, more than six weeks earlier. Spirits couldn't have been higher. Later, when a pair of Cobra helicopter gunships thumped overhead, flying north, presumably on their way to battle, Marines pumped their fists in the air and screamed, "Yeah! Get some!"

Get some! is the unofficial Marine Corps cheer. It's shouted when a brother Marine is struggling to beat his personal best in a fitness run. It punctuates stories told at night about getting laid in whorehouses in Thailand and Australia. It's the cry of exhilaration after firing a burst from a .50-caliber machine gun. Get some! expresses, in two simple words, the excitement, the fear, the feelings of power and the erotic-tinged thrill that come from confronting the extreme physical and emotional challenges posed by death, which is, of course, what war is all about. Nearly every Marine I've met is hoping this war with Iraq will be his chance to get some.

Marines call exaggerated displays of enthusiasm-from shouting Get some! to waving American flags to covering their bodies with Marine Corps tattoos-"moto." You won't ever catch Sergeant Brad Colbert, the twenty-eight-year-old commander of the vehicle I ride in, engaging in any moto displays. They call Colbert "The Iceman." Wiry and fair-haired, he makes sarcastic pronouncements in a nasal whine that sounds like comedian David Spade. Though he considers himself a "Marine Corps killer," he's also a nerd who listens to Barry Manilow, Air Supply and practically all the music of the 1980s except rap. He is passionate about gadgets: He collects vintage video-game consoles and wears a massive wristwatch that can only properly be "configured" by plugging it into his PC. He is the last guy you would picture at the tip of the spear of the invasion forces in Iraq.

Now, in the midst of this ambush in a nameless town, Colbert appears utterly calm. He leans out his window in front of me, methodically pumping grenades into nearby buildings with his rifle launcher. The Humvee rocks rhythmically as the main gun on the roof turret, operated by a twenty-three-year-old corporal, thumps out explosive rounds into buildings along the street. The vehicle's machine gunner, a nineteen-year-old Marine who sits to my left, blazes up the town, firing through his window like a drive-by shooter. Nobody speaks.

The fact that the enemy in this town has succeeded in shutting up the driver of this vehicle, Corporal Josh Ray Person, is no mean feat. A twenty-two-year-old from Missouri with a faintly hick accent and a shock of white-blond hair covering his wide, squarish head-his blue eyes are so far apart Marines call him "Hammerhead" or "Goldfish"-Person plans to be a rock star when he gets out of the Corps. The first night of the invasion, he had crossed the Iraqi border, simultaneously entertaining and annoying his fellow Marines by screeching out mocking versions of Avril Lavigne songs. Tweaking on a mix of chewing tobacco, instant coffee crystals, which he consumes dry by the mouthful, and over-the-counter stimulants like ephedra-based Ripped Fuel, Person never stops jabbering. Already he's reached a profound conclusion about this campaign: that the battlefield that is Iraq is filled with "fucking retards." There's the retard commander in the battalion, who took a wrong turn near the border, delaying the invasion by at least an hour. There's another officer, a classic retard, who has spent much of the campaign chasing through the desert to pick up souvenirs-helmets, Republican Guard caps and rifles-thrown down by fleeing Iraqi soldiers. There are the hopeless retards in the battalion-support sections who screwed up the radios and didn't bring enough batteries to operate the Marines' thermal-imaging devices. But in Person's eyes, one retard reigns supreme: Saddam Hussein. "We already kicked his ass once," he says. "Then we let him go, and he spends the next twelve years pissing us off even more. We don't want to be in this shithole country. We don't want to invade it. What a fucking retard."

Now, as enemy gunfire tears into the Humvee, Person hunches purposefully over the wheel and drives. The lives of everyone depend on him. If he's injured or killed and the Humvee stops, even for a moment in this hostile town, odds are good that everyone will be wiped out, not just the Marines in this vehicle, but the nineteen others in the rest of the platoon following behind in their Humvees. There's no air support from attack jets or helicopters because of the raging sandstorm. The street is filled with rubble, much of it from buildings knocked down by the Marines' heavy weapons. We nearly slam into a blown-up car partially blocking the street. Ambushers drop cables from rooftops, trying to decapitate or knock down the Humvee's turret gunner. Person zigzags and brakes as the cables scrape across the Humvee, one of them striking the turret gunner who pounds on the roof, shouting, "I'm okay!"

At least one Marine in Colbert's Humvee seems ecstatic about being in a life-or-death gunfight. Nineteen-year-old Corporal Harold James Trombley, who sits next to me in the left rear passenger seat, has been waiting all day for permission to fire his machine gun. But no chance. The villagers Colbert's team had encountered had all been friendly until we hit this town. Now Trombley is curled over his weapon, firing away. Every time he gets a possible kill, he yells, "I got one, Sergeant!" Sometimes he adds details: "Hajji in the alley. Zipped him low. I seen his knee explode!"

Midway through the town, there's a lull in enemy gunfire. For an instant, the only sound is wind whistling through the Humvee. Colbert shouts to everyone in the vehicle: "You good? You good?" Everyone's all right. He bursts into laughter. "Holy shit!" he says, shaking his head. "We were fucking lit up!"

Forty-five minutes later the Marines swing pickaxes into the hard desert pan outside of the town, setting up defensive positions. Several gather around their bullet-riddled Humvees, laughing about the day's exploits. Their faces are covered with dust, sand, tar, gun lubricant, tobacco spittle and sewer water from the town. No one's showered or changed out of the bulky chemical-protection suits they've been wearing for ten days. Since all mirrors and reflective surfaces have been stripped from their Humvees to make the vehicles harder to detect, most of the men haven't seen themselves since crossing the border. Their filthy faces seem to make their teeth shine even whiter as they laugh and hug one another.

The platoon's eldest member, thirty-five-year-old Gunnery Sergeant Mike "Gunny" Wynn, walks among the Marines, grabbing their heads and shaking them like you would when playing with a puppy. "All right!" he repeats in his mild Texas accent. "You made it, man!"

"Who's the fucking retard who sent us into that town?" Person asks, spitting a thick stream of tobacco juice, which catches in the wind and mists across the faces of several of his buddies standing nearby. "That sure tops my list of stupid shit we've done."

Trombley is beside himself. "I was just thinking one thing when we drove into that ambush," he enthuses. "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I felt like I was living it when I seen the flames coming out of windows, the blown-up car in the street, guys crawling around shooting at us. It was fucking cool."

Culturally, these Marines would be virtually unrecognizable to their forebears in the "Greatest Generation." They are kids raised on hip-hop, Marilyn Manson and Jerry Springer. For them, "motherfucker" is a term of endearment. For some, slain rapper Tupac is an American patriot whose writings are better known than the speeches of Abraham Lincoln. There are tough guys among them who pray to Buddha and quote Eastern philosophies and New Age precepts gleaned from watching Oprah and old kung fu movies. There are former gangbangers, a sprinkling of born-again Christians and quite a few guys who before entering the Corps were daily dope smokers; many of them dream of the day when they get out and are once again united with their beloved bud.

These young men represent what is more or less America's first generation of disposable children. More than half of the guys in the platoon come from broken homes and were raised by absentee, single, working parents. Many are on more intimate terms with video games, reality TV shows and Internet porn than they are with their own parents. Before the "War on Terrorism" began, not a whole lot was expected of this generation other than the hope that those in it would squeak through high school without pulling too many more mass shootings in the manner of Columbine.

But since the 9/11 attacks, the weight of America's "War on Terrorism" has fallen on their shoulders. For many in the platoon, their war started within hours of the Twin Towers falling, when they were loaded onto ships to begin preparing for missions in Afghanistan. They see the invasion of Iraq as simply another campaign in a war without end, which is pretty much what their commanders and their president have already told them. (Some in the military see the "War on Terrorism" merely as an acceleration of the trend that started in the 1990s with Somalia, Haiti, Kosovo: America cementing its role as global enforcer, the world's Dirty Harry.) In Iraq the joke among Marines is "After finishing here, we're going to attack North Korea, and we'll get there by invading Iran, Russia and China."

They are the first generation of young Americans since Vietnam to be sent into an open-ended conflict. Yet if the dominant mythology that war turns on a generation's loss of innocence-young men reared on Davy Crockett waking up to their government's deceits while fighting in Southeast Asian jungles; the nation falling from the grace of Camelot to the shame of Watergate-these young men entered Iraq predisposed toward the idea that the Big Lie is as central to American governance as taxation. This is, after all, the generation that first learned of the significance of the presidency not through an inspiring speech at the Berlin Wall but through a national obsession with semen stains and a White House blow job. Even though their Commander in Chief tells them they are fighting today in Iraq to protect American freedom, few would be shaken to discover that they might actually be leading a grab for oil. In a way, they almost expect to be lied to.

If there's a question that hangs over their heads, it's the same one that has confronted every other generation sent into war: Can these young Americans fight?

As the sky turns from red to brown in the descending dust storm outside the town the Marines have just smashed apart, their platoon commander, a twenty-five-year-old lieutenant named Nathaniel Fick, leans against his Humvee, watching his men laugh. Lieutenant Fick, a Dartmouth graduate who joined the Marines in a fit of idealism, shakes his head, grinning. "I'll say one thing about these guys," he says. "When we take fire, not one of them hesitates to shoot back. In World War Two, when Marines hit the beaches, a surprisingly high percentage of them didn't fire their weapons, even when faced with direct enemy contact. They hesitated. Not these guys. Did you see what they did to that town? They fucking destroyed it. These guys have no problem with killing."

Several Marines from Colbert's vehicle gather around Corporal Anthony Jacks, a twenty-three-year-old heavy-weapons gunner. Jacks is six foot two, powerfully built, and has a smile made unforgettable by his missing two front teeth (shot out in a BB-gun fight with his brother when he was sixteen). The Marines' nickname for him is "Manimal," not so much in tribute to his size but because of his deep, booming voice, which, when he yells, is oddly reminiscent of a bellowing farm animal. The platoon credits him with pretty much saving everyone's life during the ambush. Of the four heavy-weapons gunners in the platoon, Manimal alone succeeded in destroying the enemy's prime machine-gun position across from the mosque. For several minutes his buddies have been pounding him on the back, recounting his exploits. Howling and laughing, they almost seem like Johnny Knoxville's posse of suburban white homies celebrating one of his more outrageously pointless Jackass stunts. "Manimal was a fucking wall of fire!" one of them shouts. "All I seen was him dropping buildings and blowing up telephone poles!"

"Shut up, guys! It ain't funny!" Manimal roars, pounding the side of the Humvee with a massive paw.

He silences his buddies. They look down, some of them suppressing guilty smiles.

"The only reason we're all laughing now is none of us got killed," Manimal lectures them. "That was messed up back there."

It's the first time anyone has seriously raised this possibility: that war is not fun, that it might, in fact, actually suck.

In the coming weeks, it will fall on the men in this platoon and their battalion to lead significant portions of the American invasion of Iraq. They belong to an elite unit, First Reconnaissance Battalion, which includes fewer than 380 Marines. Outfitted with lightly armored or open-top Humvees that resemble oversized dune buggies, they will race ahead of the much larger, better-equipped primary Marine forces in Iraq. Their mission will be to seek out enemy ambushes by literally driving into them.

Major General James Mattis, commander of the First Marine Division-the bulk of the Corps' ground forces in Iraq-would later praise the young men of First Recon for being "critical to the success of the entire campaign." While spearheading the American blitzkrieg in Iraq, they will often operate deep behind enemy lines and far beyond anything they have trained for. They will enter Baghdad as liberating heroes only to witness their astonishing victory crumble into chaos. They will face death every day. They will struggle with fear, confusion, questions over war crimes and leaders whose competence they don't trust. Above all, they will kill a lot of people. A few of those deaths the men will no doubt think about and perhaps regret for the rest of their lives.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 164 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(111)

4 Star

(40)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 165 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    What really went down!

    Generation Kill is a daunting and eye opening account of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. I as well as most people in America I'm sure, thought of the invasion to be an easy sweep across the desert country. It was compared to other military invasions, but when you get down to the nitty gritty of it and experience what the individual soldiers experienced you see just how special these men and women are. This book details the atrocities a group of special marines had to go through on their way to Baghdad. The buildup of the characters in important in portraying the events as real. You don't want to see them get hurt. You want to relate to them or put yourselves in their shoes. I have never seen the HBO series, but I don't need to. This book does enough to illustrate the strong will of these men and what it took to take over Iraq and occupy it. A good read would be an understatement.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2009

    Generation Kill - Evan Wright SIA review : MC

    This book i thought was every good. This is a great book about the early war in Iraq. This book that Evan Write wrote and expericed gave so many details. It was one of the best books I've ever read. Honestly I don't know how he did this I would not be able to do this. This book helped me relize how serious the war is in Iraq and who the people are dying for no reason at all just being at the wrong place and the wrong time. This book makes me relize these guys are not friends strangers or bestfriends they become brothers. They have to count on eachother to stay alive. Evan Wright is a brave man. He put his life on the line to go to Iraq to report it and wright this book and show Americans war is no game it's the real deal, inocent people die. It's not like ok evacuate this town so we can bomb the terrorists, no it's if your there you dead. Well i would recommend this book to anyone one of the greastest war books ever!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2007

    A Great book

    I found it very hard to put this book down once I started reading it. Actually I have not yet finished with it, I'm stretching it out to last as long as possible. If you want a realistic and accurate impression of the start of the current war in Iraq, this tome is for you. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad and tragic, many times funny. The dialogue is very catchy, for instance you don't say fire when you want to engage the enemy, you say 'light em up'. Also included are many good photos of the cast of characters. It gives you the feeling you almost know these Marines, most just out of their teens. So if you like reading about the Military and Military conflict as I do, I recommend that you buy, beg, borrow or steal this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 29, 2011

    Who better qualifed to write such accounts?

    Just a question for the reviewer who does not like books written by vets about their expierences or by reporters writing about them. Just who do you think should write such accounts if not the people who lived them or those who observed them? Who is better qualified?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2011

    Great book!

    Very entertaining and well written. I throughly enjoyed reading every single page in this book. It offers an interesting perspective on the war in Iraq.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    Highly recommended

    As a former Marine NCO, this book reveals alot about the basic day to day facts of life that Marines endure when deployed over seas. This is one of the few books that actually protrays life in a line unit. Both the good and the bad.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2005

    Totally negative account of the war

    Never read one positive thing about Wright's coverage of the war in this book. All was negative, commanders incompetant, marines a bunch of misfits. I think Wright took too much 'creative license' in his coverage.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2004

    A Revelation!!

    What a revelation!! Young combat Marines being emotional and speaking their minds to a willing Walter Mitty. Just kidding about the revelation thing. I was in the 1st Marine Division during this time period and believe me all these men are interchangeable with every other Marine...at least in thought processes if not qualifications. The only exception was that the other Marines were well led. Too bad the author got stuck with the moronic leadership of that company and in that battalion at that time. Although his agenda was clear, and would have been for any other unit he embedded with, the book leads one to believe that malcontents stumbled their way to victory. Obviously not the case. This leads me to believe his goal was to appeal to the 'wanna-be' commando types like some of the reviewers below who believe everything written to be fact. Add this book to your soldier of fortune hero collection.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2004

    Must Read, you will not put it down!

    I've been trying to read first hand accounts of the Iraq War, as many of you have, to experience (through reading only) what the enlisted man went through as a soldier in this war. Politics has totally corrupted the current events genre, and the politics of this war are particulary disrupting. This author, Evan Wright, has NO BONES TO PICK. (the most important thing right now). The reviewer before who gave this book one star is completely incorrect, the platoon never does anything more than complain about the grooming standard, or the commander of first Recon who administors it. The author states they respect him (Ferrando) although they think is going to get them killed through his aggresiveness. However, they do rebel against their company commander (Captain America). I suggest the previous reviewer did not find the book supportive enough of his/her opinions of the war and he/she should stick to accounts of the war by partisans who parade as military historians/reporters such as Ollie North, and not a real non-fiction novel. A real telling of the war would have to include plenty of ammunition against the war, because after all, we do not live in a black and white world, and war is one hell of a policy. The best thing about this book is it's depiction of the soldiers who fight in it. You will not find more vivid and real characters. With those characters, tells the story of a new generation who bring new dimensions to the battlefield such as 'gameboys', rap music, and digital video cameras. MUST READ. I PROMISE.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2004

    Generation Trick

    Searing? Powerful? New face of American War? Hardly. Any combat veteran will tell you these are the musings and voices of any and all young combat troops of any era. The bluster, bravado and complaining are part of the mental process of dealing with fear of the unknown. What the author has done at almost the smallest tactical unit level is record that process having been unwittingly duped by an effort reminiscent of the classic movie 'The Sting.' What young Marine would not want his banal and purposely provacative boasting recorded by an eager battle neophyte who thinks he has uncovered a 'Deep Throat-like' revelation. He was like putty in their hands. For example, his continual reference to the men belittling their battalion commander's adherence to grooming standards is made to sound as if there were nearly a mutiny over the issue. In reality this is part of military discipline and always a source much amusing banter and speculation of how long it will be before the Gunny makes you shave. This book was written like the genre of VietNam War era experiences books of dubious validity. A very narrow focus with a continual hackneyed denegration of leaders. Not destined to be a classic of the period. Merely amusing.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Drug Training Room

    Train your dog to smell out drugs

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    Difficult

    Since I am not of the military, the jargon could bog me down at times. As a mother of two men, I am saddened at what our young men appear to be turned into: cold hearted killers who are just doing their jobs. Theysound so young, so immature and then I remember that is what they are: kids put into unthinkable positions. This story pretty much helped me realize that there never has been anything noble about war. What was our mission in this country? I dont think I know any more than these young men knew: nothing From the Vietnam books I have read on the ineptness and waste in that useless war, to the awful March 2005 rape and murder
    of an entire innocent family by an out ofcontrol unit, I simply cannot fathom why we send anyone into war when many of our own commanders are inept, egotistical, narcissists who simply play a game of gotcha. I am appalled at the likez of Capt America and that he was allowed to continue. My heart aches for every kid and I mean that literally called upon to be killers in a world that leaves them with what? PTSD as well as questions about their own humanity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2010

    An eyeopening novel that is a must read!

    As someone who knew little to nothing about the war in Iraq, I can honestly say that this book was such an eye-opener. Even Wright, a columnist for Rolling Stone, takes us on his journey with the First Recon Battalion Marines to invade Iraq in 2003. These Marines are well trained and highly motivated and, through Wright, we have the opportunity to not only get a first-hand insight to the war, but we get to learn about the men under the uniform.

    What's so great about this book is that the majority of it is fairly unbiased. Wright sticks to the facts and uses his writing skills to paint a picture for the reader. His use of allusions was specifically helpful to me so that I could relate to the events in the book as best as I possibly can.

    I did a little research on the book after reading it and found that some of the soldiers mentioned in the book were outraged, saying Wright's account on what happened was warped and insulting. But after a little more research, I found that most of the soldiers mentioned found the book to be a fairly good account of what happened. They mentioned that Wright may have embellished some parts of the book and taken some things out of context but overall, this book is accurate. But even so, that's something to keep in mind while reading it.

    I think anyone should read this book. Even if you know nothing about the war or have to interest in it, this book is enlightening and it's worth knowing what our citizens our doing overseas. You may not like this book if you don't like to hear the truth. There is brutality in this book, there is friendship, there adventure, there is sorrow. This book will take a toll on your emotions. But every American should know the facts.

    Like I said before, I didn't know much about the war so I hadn't read any other novels to recommend but I did watch some of the HBO mini-series "Generation Kill". It's 7 episodes and based on this book and stays, for the most part, very true to the book. It's a good series and I would highly recommend it - especially if you don't want to read the book!

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  • Posted September 14, 2010

    Excellent book

    I am not one who is usually interested books about the military at all, but my cousin, a marine, told me that this book is a great depiction of what went down in the first soldiers Humvees' as they swept through Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction and Osama. While my cousin wasn't in First Reconnaissance battalion, he said he encourages anyone and everyone to read it, so that they can maybe begin to realize what it was like over there. First Recon is what Evan Wright called the first disposable youth, the generation that was raised on Marilyn Manson and Grand Theft Auto, there was no hesitation for shooting people from these soldiers. They are pretty much left in the dark as to what their assignment is the entire time, but they soon figure out that they are led, more or less, on a suicide mission, but it has to be done, their success is essential to winning the war. As soon as they realize this they craft a nick name for themselves, "First suicide battalion". Evan wrights about all of this very well, adding commentary from the soldiers, and vivid descriptions of everything that is happening at once. Very seldom i find books that i enjoy so much that i read in 3 days, but this was one of them, and i will for sure read it again. 5 out of 5 stars, for sure.

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  • Posted April 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Did two tours

    Great book, but its still missing something.

    The book Generation Kill is the story of a group of guys in a battalion nicknamed 'First Suicide Battalion.' They are the group that goes in there and stirrs up the bees nest. The book is good in that it captures the reality of the situation and the different soldiers, fromt the trailer park trahs, to the drug addicts, to the Highbrow Harvard and MIT graduates. The book is all about how the soldiers cope and deal with the battles and struggles they go through. It's funny, good humor and Wright goes into good depth the different aspects of war and its not just another fluff piece, but I guess I am just biased against vets writing about their experiences and journalist writing about the vets and their experiences, something becomes lost in translation. But for a journalist, Wright does do a good job, and a good book for a soldiers perspective is also,"Mass Casualties: A Young Medic's True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq"; maybe like a medical, Army version of.

    But wars are all different. I went there in 2003ish and again in 2006. Both times it felt like different wars and i think it probably changes between people, deployments and bases. Wright's book was good for his time during war and for being a journalist.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    good book

    i'm not a book reader but am now. easy to read and very absorbing. i couldn't put it down.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2009

    FULL OF ACTION!!!

    Derek Gruis Review

    In the novel, generation kill, Evan Wright writes about a eye-opening, and brutal account on the war in Iraq. He writes about a group of guys and there actions and thoughts in the war.

    The book Generation Kill in about the story of a group of guys in a battalion called First Recon or its nickname "First Suicide Battalion". There the highest most talented group in the military, there the first to go in, the tip of the spear and the last to go out. But in real life there a mixed group of people from white trash trailer park, drug addicted people, to even Harvard students. This book tells about all the battles there in but mostly how they coupe in the war, and try to stay together as a brother hood. Some of the problems they have are how to tell between civilian and from enemy fighters. Many people don't like looking past the fog of war, but Evan Wright leaves no details out of all the death and destruction.

    The book is full of action, brutality and a lot of black humor. But Evan Wright did a good job describing the characters in the book, and how the coupe though to get though the war.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2009

    Generation Kill-SIA Review M.B

    One of the most powerful books I have ever read. You can't get any closer to war unless you're in it. It leaves nothing out; every image, word, and action that happened is there. All their interactions with the Iraqi citizens, to the fightings, accidental killings, its all there. You can feel the bond these Marines have for each other, and how, whether they like it or not, they do their job. It surprised me how under-equipped the Marines were. Most impressions of the U.S military is that of an invincible giant, but these guys had to fight with weapons that constantly jammed, equipment that they didn't have batteries for, and leaders that were complete and utter morons. This book really doesn't have an opinion on the war; the only opinions voiced are that of the soldiers, and they varied. I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to know warfare today.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2009

    Generation Kill- SIA Review: LF

    This book was extremely interesting. The commaraderie between the men almost makes them seem like brothers, going through the good times and the bad together. It shows that Americans don't really know who they are fighting because most of the times in the book the enemy was in street clothes blending in with the civilians. The book also showed that even the United States' Armed Forces which to many seems invincible, has many flaws in the system including leadership and equipment. I believe Evan Wright is one of the best aithors of our time because of the fact that he went to the frontlines with theses men, trained with them, fought with them, and became one of them all to write a book. It is also amazing to see the changing relationship with the Fedayeen went from being on the same side to fighting and trying to kill eachother. Generation Kill was a very interesting book and showed Americans the harsh reality of war and the dangers faced by Americans in Iraq everyday.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Provides Great Insight for the Untold Story of the War in Iraq

    This book can show any reader the true story of the War in Iraq. We are constantly told that the War in Iraq is going well and that it is very organized by our leaders when really, things are awfully falling apart. The soldiers are demoralized and totally brainwashed to be killing machines. This book can equally serve as a prequel to All Quiet on the Western Front. The soldiers in this book are the amped up and confident soliders who eventually become depressed and traumatic as the soldiers are portrayed in All Quiet on the Western Front. Several times in the book, the reader is shocked with the obscure and opposite viewpoint that is presented. At home, we watch this war on television and read about it on the news. That gives you the facts that may very well not be true. Reading this book gives you the pure experience of Iraq. Reading a New York Times article and watching Fox News will not give you the experience of being in Iraq during this war. Furthermore, this book shows how war crushes a person. The soldiers in this book will never be the same again. They are perverted, brainwashed, and have no sense of formality. This is because they are brainwashed by the United States Armed Forces. For anyone who is thinking about serving in the Armed Forces, reading this book will help you decide if you really want to go through what these men went through. They witnessed children's heads being blown off. They witnessed grown men being scared to the point of near tears from the terror of their fellow Iraqis. This book puts the reader in Iraq with the members of the First Recon Unit in the Marines. There is only one way to experience the War in Iraq more than the experience of this book, and that is going to Iraq and jumping right in the middle of battle.

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