4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Refreshingly honest and disturbing.,
This review is from: Jarhead: A Solder's Story of Modern War (Paperback)
I have just finished reading Jarhead. I was a bit disappointed, as I imagine many others would be, with the lack of "action" in this book. However, Swofford has a deeper purpose than recounting a first hand account of his experience in war, and that seems to be an exploration of what it means to be a soldier in this world of modern warfare.
The first three quarters of the book are full of reminiscences. As a reader you begin to question; "when is the action going to start?" The waiting is frustrating. In the same way that you bought a book about war expecting action, Swofford was sent to Saudi Arabia to fight a war; and expected action. The book wouldn't be what it is without the build up to the final action. The action, the "war", that is finally described is over very quickly.
I found the last 50 pages of the book refreshingly honest and disturbing. Swofford is honest about the hollwness he feels after serving. "You consider yourself less of a marine and even less of a man for not having killed while in combat". The years of training, the months of waiting....all must have seemed wothless at the end.
What is disturbing is the sense of how war can effect the mind.