BN.com Gift Guide

One Soldier's War

( 4 )

Overview

One Soldier’s War is a visceral and unflinching memoir of a young Russian soldier’s experience in the Chechen wars that brilliantly captures the fear, drudgery, chaos, and brutality of modern combat. An excerpt of the book was hailed by Tibor Fisher in the Guardian as “right up there with Catch-22 and Michael Herr’s Dispatches,” and the book won Russia’s inaugural Debut Prize, which recognizes authors who write “despite, not because of, their life circumstances.” In 1995, Arkady Babchenko was an eighteen-year-old...

See more details below
Paperback (Translatio)
$11.03
BN.com price
(Save 26%)$15.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (28) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $5.95   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   
One Soldier's War

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$15.00 List Price

Overview

One Soldier’s War is a visceral and unflinching memoir of a young Russian soldier’s experience in the Chechen wars that brilliantly captures the fear, drudgery, chaos, and brutality of modern combat. An excerpt of the book was hailed by Tibor Fisher in the Guardian as “right up there with Catch-22 and Michael Herr’s Dispatches,” and the book won Russia’s inaugural Debut Prize, which recognizes authors who write “despite, not because of, their life circumstances.” In 1995, Arkady Babchenko was an eighteen-year-old law student in Moscow when he was drafted into the Russian army and sent to Chechnya. It was the beginning of a torturous journey from naïve conscript to hardened soldier that took Babchenko from the front lines of the first Chechen War in 1995 to the second in 1999. He fought in major cities and tiny hamlets, from the bombed-out streets of Grozny to anonymous mountain villages. Babchenko takes the raw and mundane realities of war—the constant cold, hunger, exhaustion, filth, and terror—and twists it into compelling, haunting, and eerily elegant prose. Acclaimed by reviewers around the world, this is a devastating first-person account of war by an extraordinary storyteller.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Thomas de Waal
One Soldier's War evokes Catch-22 or, closer to the source, the savage ironies of Isaac Babel's tales of the 1919-21 Russian-Polish war, Red Cavalry…The memoir, by turns horrific, sad and funny, fills a big gap by providing us with the first-person experiences of an articulate Russian soldier.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

If you haven't yet learned that war is hell, this memoir by a young Russian recruit in his country's battle with the breakaway republic of Chechnya, should easily convince you. And yet Babchenko, who was drafted in 1995 as a second-year law student for the first Chechnya campaign, actually volunteered for the second one in 1999 for reasons even he is hard put to explain. Written shortly after his discharge from the army, the book burns with the need to tell of his personal ordeal and that of his fellows as young, innocent and woefully inexperienced grunts condemned to a miserable life ruled by shell-shocked superiors and perpetual threats. Here there are no good guys or moral high purpose-"No one, from the regimental commander to the rank and file soldier," Babchenko assures us, "understands why he is here"; one fights only for the fellow soldier next to him. Babchenko, now a journalist, demonstrates genuine literary ability, especially in the earlier vignette-like chapters, but readers will glean little about the conflict's political and historical context. Redundancy weakens a narrative that otherwise would have benefited from brevity. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Apocalypse Now? The guys on the boat had it easy, as this memoir from the Chechnya front demonstrates within a few sentences. Drafted into the military at 18 during the regime of Boris Yeltsin, "a despotic leader [who] couldn't have cared less about individuals," Babchenko was quickly shipped off to the Northern Caucasus, not long after the war there began. His introduction to the hells of war came in the form of having to drink corpse-tainted water-no surprise, however, given the way the corpses were piling up. As Babchenko notes, in a single engagement, the Battle of Grozny, nearly 5,000 Russians died, while the Chechen losses were beyond counting. The water was the least of his problems, for as a draftee he was regularly beaten and robbed, if less so than a Jewish comrade, "puny, cultured Zyuzik . . . [who] takes the beatings particularly badly . . . he still can't get used to the fact that he is a non-person, a lowlife, a dumb animal, and every punch sends him into a depression." Forced to raid civilians and each other for food, Babchenko's unit lacked any visible structure. Weeks passed before he was even aware that he had a commanding officer, and all around him his fellow soldiers were being picked off by guerrillas or running away in the hope of making it alive to Russia again. "Even our lieutenant, who was called up for two years after he graduated from college, did a runner," writes Babchenko. The indignities and ironies continued to mount. Only after they had been in combat for months did the army get around to issuing dog tags to identify the Russian dead, thin little pieces of aluminum that disintegrate in no time: "If you roast in a carrier they'll just melt and no one willbe able to identify you." Consequently, there evolved a thriving black-market trade in iron dog tags-and pot, trying to score some of which leads Babchenko into a dangerous misadventure. "War always smells the same-diesel oil and dust tinged with sadness," Babchenko reflects. A harrowing, masterfully written tale that, like Anthony Swofford's Jarhead and Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down, bears promise of becoming a classic of modern war reportage.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802144034
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/3/2009
  • Edition description: Translatio
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 809,850
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com 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 & Noble.com 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 & Noble.com 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 BN.com 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

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com 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 BN.com. 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 all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Unique Perspective, somewhat tedious and disorganized...

    This is the first book I've seen written from perspective of Russian soldier and from the Russia's Chechen War. The author provides an insight to the Russia military where beatings, lack of discipline and crime are rampant within the ranks. The beginning was tedious due to the numerous beatings that the author and his buddies received while they were in-transit to Chechnya. The story becomes better upon arrival to the war. The last few chapters seem out of place. The author returns home, but last few chapters go back and describe aspects of the war. They seem like they were added at the last minute. But this is not to say that these chapters don't have jewels of information.

    I would definitely recommend this book to the military historian. It has the soldier's personal perspective. This account provides pertinent information that the official history overlooks/omits.

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

    Posted September 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)