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The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq
     

The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq

4.1 19
by John Crawford
 

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In the tradition of Michael Herr's Dispatches, a National Guardsman's account of the war in Iraq.

John Crawford joined the Florida National Guard to pay for his college tuition, willingly exchanging one weekend a month and two weeks a year for a free education. But in Autumn 2002, one semester short of graduating and newly married—in fact, on his

Overview

In the tradition of Michael Herr's Dispatches, a National Guardsman's account of the war in Iraq.

John Crawford joined the Florida National Guard to pay for his college tuition, willingly exchanging one weekend a month and two weeks a year for a free education. But in Autumn 2002, one semester short of graduating and newly married—in fact, on his honeymoon—he was called to active duty and sent to the front lines in Iraq.

Crawford and his unit spent months upon months patrolling the streets of Baghdad, occupying a hostile city. During the breaks between patrols, Crawford began recording what he and his fellow soldiers witnessed and experienced. Those stories became The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell—a haunting and powerful, compellingly honest book that imparts the on-the-ground reality of waging the war in Iraq, and marks as the introduction of a mighty literary voice forged in the most intense of circumstances.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Report from the front: newly married and just short of graduating, a young man who joined the Florida National Guard to pay for his college education finds himself in Iraq, where an embedded journalist encourages him to disseminate the stories he's writing about his experience. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101217399
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/04/2006
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
338,045
File size:
600 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

James Crumley
The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell is a savage, gritty, and compelling work that reveals the true cost of the Iraqi Adventure, the price paid by young soldiers. It's not about heroism, but about heroic endurance against the desert, the war-torn neighborhoods, and the lies of their commanders, lies that will echo the rest of their lives. It's a major account of the Iraqi War, without pretense, without an axe to grind, and without complaint. A story about the heart of all wars - not politics, not principles, not money - your buddies. I was touched and overwhelmed.
—(James Crumley, author of One to Count Cadence, The Last Good Kiss and The Right Madness)
James Frey
This may well be the last true story John Crawford ever tells, but it's enough. He has written a vital book. Vital because we need to read it, vital because it reveals some truths about the war in Iraq that we have not seen, the human truths of young men waging war, vital because it's honest, raw and alive. It's a heartbreaking and perversely beautiful book that should join Catch-22 and The Things They Carried as this generation's defining literary expression of men at war.
—(James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard)
Gabe Hudson
This book blew me away. Powerful, haunting, hilarious, searingly honest, and shot through with all sorts of sorrow and rage and grief. It reminded me a little of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, but the truth is you've never read anything quite like this before. Mr. Crawford does a beautiful job of conveying the modern infantryman's torn heart, and our nation's war literature is richer by one outstanding book. Thank you, Mr.Crawford.
—(Gabe Hudson, author of Dear Mr. President)
David Amsden
Crawford's writing pulses with urgency, and, gloriously, his story of being an American soldier in Iraq is shattering and relentless. Most chillingly for us readers in our early twenties, Crawford's story universalizes the accidental way in which this war has affected us all.
—(David Amsden, author of Important Things That Don't Matter)
Thom Jones
I picked up Crawford's book and with the first paragraph I was hooked. I put it down at the half way point so I would have the pleasure of reading the rest later. It's f***ing dynamite. A young man pushed beyond endurance. Is a good book worth what he saw, felt, experienced? There are some bad things people know and wish they didn't. And I can just see it all: Something very dark in the human heart and it cannot be vanquished. War after war. I finished the book thinking this is like Vietnam all over again. And like Michael Herr in Dispatches, Crawford really has it down. He's got it nailed.
—(Thom Jones, author of Pugilist at Rest)

Meet the Author

John Crawford was newly married and two credits away from completing a B.A. in anthropology at Florida State University when he was sent to Iraq. He thought he was finished with his soldiering days after completing a stint with the Army’s famed 101st Airborne Division, and his National Guard service was little more than an afterthought. Crawford and his National Guard unit crossed into Iraq on the first day of the invasion. Baghdad fell more quickly than anyone had planned, and while most of the soldiers involved with the invasion were sent home, Crawford’s National Guard unit stayed to patrol the city for more than a year. Crawford now lives in Florida, where he is completing his degree and writing. He no longer has any affiliation with the Army.

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Last True Story I'll Ever Tell 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Comharafdep More than 1 year ago
I will be very honest, the book is well written, but paints a terrible picture of the American soldier. I do not know if I am reviewing the book or the content of the character of the man who wrote it. But, I will give it a shot. I believe the public has a right to know the good and bad of what happen in Iraq, but the story of a soldier who lied, cheated, stole and did drugs only reflects poorly on all of us. A golden rule, if you get away with it, take it to your grave. I would love a JAG Officer to read this and follow up with the punishment that fits the crimes. I was in Baghdad, March 2004-2005, I did not see soldier dishonoring their service and country, but I have no doubt their were pockets and places where some did. If you want to see the under belly of the US Army, this is a great read. I do not recommend it. There are many great examples of faithful service out there. I recommend you find one of those! The story is gripping and like watching a train wreck. You can not stop reading, because you want to see just how bad it can get. You want to see what is around the next corner, but you really do not want to know. We all have our favorites, this book is not mine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great memoir, different perspective of occupation duty. Really well written, although, in the end I wasn't really sure what the main point was, kind of left me feeling like I had read a fictional book? You'll have to read to understand. Still, I looked forward to reading it everytime, shows there is much more to a soldiers life than fighting, or how many enemies a soldier actually has, physically and emotionally. Thank you for your service, I hope things are well for you Mr. Crawford.
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I never was into reading books, and I chose this as my first real novel of my favorite subject: war. Hearing his story and the images that he seen is one that truly makes one think how different a world is through the eyes of a soldier. The whole way through the book, i never wanted to stop reading, and so it got to me. Now I'm actually buying more stories of war because of this novel. It's a must read book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book, it really explains the details and information about the war that the news will never clearly describe to the public. It gives indepth perspective about, what the soldiers of are really dealing with, fighting in the war. I recommend this book to all readers, who want to know more about the war.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For a person who has no affiliation with the military, i just grabbed this book without thinking, expand my horizons. I read this book in 3 hours, i just could NOT put it down. It's a very sad story and definitly an eye opener. I STRONGLY reccomend this book to anyone, it puts in perspective just what really goes on in iraq and the hardships our soldiers endure. This just by far is the best book i've read!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an exceptional book. I bought it for my son, who is serving in Iraq. I scanned the first few pages and I was hooked. It gives great insight of what our troops are doing over there and the conditions they are subjected to. A must read for military families and soldiers as well. This book has been passed around the 82nd Airborne.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Incredible story. I read it in one sitting. It is a very human story and it keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very well put together book. John Crawford really lived the life that soldiers do. This book will keep you reading without ever wanting to put the book down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At the heart of the novel lies the truth about war, about what soldiers are really fighting for. What is that? I read it but I count understand what sldiers are really ighting for
DesperateLands More than 1 year ago
An amazing true story of a National Guards Infantry soldiers experience fighting the war in Iraq. A young man pushed beyond endurance. A savage and compelling work that reveals the true cost of the Iraq adventure, the price paid by young soldiers. I recommend this book to readers to better understand what its like to be a young Infantry soldier in the war in Iraq.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was forced to read this book for two of my college classes this semester, and it is horrible. I'm not a soldier and I will not claim to be omniscient, so I'm not sure if it is factually accurate or not, but the style is poor. The story is rife with swearing and profanity, the Americans are portrayed as callous, trigger-happy idiots with absolutely no respect for the civilians around them, and Crawford seems like a very whiny individual that doesn't want to accept the consequences of his actions. I don't find the story inspirational or enlightening, and I don't think that even the most liberal reader would classify this as 'literature.' It sucked.