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My War: Killing Time in Iraq [Hardcover]

Colby Buzzell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Nov 2005
This is the startlingly honest story of a young man and a war. During his time in Iraq, Buzzell began writing an online blog describing the war as he experienced it first hand. The result is an extraordinary narrative, rich with unforgettable scenes. This is the début of a fresh and remarkable voice charting the story of people trapped between the hyper reality of a technological age and an ever more dangerous world. "The most extraordinary writing yet produced by a soldier of the Iraq war." - Esquire

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Publishing Corporation,U.S. (3 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399153276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399153273
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 16.2 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,412,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'My War by Colby Buzzell is nothing less than the soul of an extremely interesting human being at war on our behalf in Iraq'" (Kurt Vonnegut) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

An extraordinary account of the war in Iraq. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Kids from the suburbs don't really join the military. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback
The book is based on PFC Buzzell's weblog - "live" from Iraq.
If you're about to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan and call a Stryker, Piranha or a similar armoured vehicle your home for six to twelve months, this is an especially interesting read.
I had hoped for some more details about the small-unit tactics employed, but I understand that it would be much too sensitive for the World Wide Web. In the end operational security becomes a major hurdle.
Colby Buzzell comes across as straightforward, to the point and honest. There's no hiding his fear or covering up breaking general order number one. It appears that killing time can be almost as difficult, challenging and dangerous as killing insurgents, if you can find them. Then again don't worry they'll find you.
If you can manage to put it down, it's also an excellent "stop'n go book". Well, it's basically a diary with short stories in between the entries so you can read a couple of days worth, go to work and easily pick up where you left in the evening - possibly with a sneak peek during the lunch break.
I considered doing a "relief in place" by replacing Just Another Soldier by Jason Christopher Hartley - another US Army blogger from Iraq - with My War on my "Platoon Commander's Favourites" listmania list. I decided against it though, because they both tell their stories so well, and it's fascinating to hear it from the "trigger pullers" instead of the generals.
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Format:Paperback
This is not some view from the top but a look at the war from someone who fought it as a young soldier with mixed feelings about the military establishment and with solid feelings for America and our purpose there. His writing is refreshing, his humor is laugh out loud and his insight is immediately identifiable from those of us who have served our country in the military. I served 4 years on active duty with the Marine Corps from 1970-74 and left the Marines as a newly promoted Captain. Mr. Buzzell was the kind of thinker I'd loved to have had in my platoon. When presented with the mission, he gave it 100% every time, never losing his humanity and morals. For those who want to know the truth (and can handle the truth), this book is highly recommended and will come to be recognized as one of the best books to come out about this war from an infantry soldier's viewpoint. He has my respect.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erudite and witty reflection on the Iraq war 2 April 2006
Format:Paperback
This book was recommended to me and I was not disappinted. In an often humorous account on his time driving around in 'Stryker' fast patrol vehicles as part of a Quick Reaction Force, Buzzell describes how he changed from a drifter/ waster in and out of dead-end jobs into someone with a purpose. Failing to impress the Marine recruiter (their loss), he joins the Army and ends up in Iraq. Bored at the uncomfortable life there he starts his own 'blog' reflections (similar to 'Just Another Soldier' blogger) on life in Iraq. Eventually these draw attention from the authorities, who allow him to continue because his writings are funny and give a far more accurate portrayal of life in Iraq than any offical communiques or press releases (and that includes from embedded journalists).
His Dedication (at the end of the book) sums up his sense of humour, as it includes his recruitment officer "without whom all this would not have been possible."
Wait for the film, it should be awesome and if done properly, on a par with 'Blackhawk Down.' He describes the plethora of digital cameras - some even used while firefights were taking place! Including some by himself. At times his understated writing on the randomness of fate (eg a mercenary killed en route to the airport, his letter of resignation found in his pocket) make the reader pause to reflect on the whole crazy war. And the 'peace'
In short this is a presumably accurate account of life in the Army by someone who lived it, and loved it, and came out the other side a better person for it. Even his marriage survived (unlike in "Shooter"). He joined the Army because they guaranteed him the chance to shoot big guns and blow things up. He fulfilled both aspirations.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars breath of fresh air 25 Feb 2006
Format:Paperback
I'll keep this short; it's an excellent book, eye-opening, shows the dark side of war (is there a bright side?), well detailed and the author is has a great sense of humour. The accounts of combat scenes are particularly good.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not brilliant 14 May 2006
Format:Paperback
Don't get me wrong, I liked this book. Fast paced and a slightly different take on the first person front line accounts. Buzzell is different or at least different from how I imagined US forces personnel to be in Iraq. I never though they would like the same music as me!

I had to write this review to balance some of the other reviews which were a little too gushing (for gushing read American). I never read Buzzell's blogs live, as it were, and I think the transfer to a book loses some of the potency and it becomes like a lot of other first person accounts. I get the impression that the passion that some people seem to like about this comes purely from the immediacy of it originally being live on the net. Certainly Buzzell's level of description and demonstrated understanding of the Iraqi issues are far from in depth. The book is simply a combination of his blogs and I suspect diary entries. It is definitely worth a read so don't be put off but don't expect more than a simple fast paced read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice and fresh vision of USA's oil war
Nice to read about USA's oil war from the point of view a average guy who actually fought it, with his motivations, doubts, fear and questioning about what he was actually doing... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Otávio Kreling Zabaleta
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh yes
I know he is an American but this is a great read. liked it so much started to read his Blog. A great insight into how Uncle Sam works its military from recruiting to discharge. Read more
Published on 13 Aug 2007 by Tommy Atkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Not much to add...
There is not much to add to the assessments already made here. I concur with Richard Pursehouse "Ricardo"'s review titled "Erudite and witty reflection on the Iraq war" below and... Read more
Published on 12 May 2007 by Mike Camel
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC
I have to agree with the others, Colby's book is an amazingly funny, sometimes touching look at the grunt's daily life in Iraq. Read more
Published on 31 May 2006 by Mr. P. Mcclenaghan
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype!
Difficult to be objective with all the hype. I never read Buzzell's blogs at the time but I can understand the thrill people got from the immediacy of his writing. Read more
Published on 14 May 2006 by Blue frog
5.0 out of 5 stars A mindblowing fast ride into Battle
Colby can write. This is the first thing that strikes you. I've read his Blog "My war" when he served, and the book was worth the waiting. Read more
Published on 27 April 2006 by Peter Friis Andersen
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
I really enjoyed this book, which is at times both touching and often humourous. Buzzell is a likeable narrator who retells his expereinces with openness and candour. 5*
Published on 26 Mar 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth is out there!
Excellent, funny, disturbing, and different. Based on his web log: cbftw. Demonstrates yet again that ordinary soldiers are much brighter and humane than their political masters... Read more
Published on 20 Feb 2006 by John Richard
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