by Sukey HowardJuly, 2003
Sukey's favorite: The voice of the warrior
And what a voice it is! And what a tale Anthony Swofford tells. <B>Jarhead</B>, his brutal, brutally explicit, brutally funny memoir, is subtitled "A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles," but it's much more. If you ever wondered whether war really is hell, wonder no more, but extend that hell to training for war and waiting for war and define it by loneliness, boredom and fear. In unvarnished language unless a firestorm of four letter words can be considered varnish and knock-your-socks off candor, Swofford tells it like was for a testosterone-juiced kid who early on equated manhood with war. For him and his buddies, it was excruciatingly awful and it was exciting, and most exciting of all was surviving. I can't think of a soldier's story that gets this reality across more graphically; a perfect example of fact transcending fiction. The voice you actually hear on this powerful audio presentation is Swofford's own you wouldn't want anyone else.