As I posted yesterday, I’ve been caught up in the crazy, crazy, crazy story surrounding Russian writer Arkady Babchenko’s alleged murder and subsequent “resurrection,” , with the dramatic revelation at a press conference that the whole thing had been a sting operation and that Babchenko was still very much alive. Although I had not guessed in […]Read more "“Whatever I say is a half-truth”: Arkady #Babchenko and the Hybrid Truth of War Writing #BabchenkoAlive"
Bring Out the Dog Will Mackin Different wars generate different types of literature. This seems obvious, but it’s interesting to note the differences between wars that are happening simultaneously, and even involve some of the same countries, but nonetheless produce stories of different flavors. Case in point: Western literature on the recent war in Iraq […]Read more "“Bring Out the Dog” by Will Mackin"
Going Scapegoat David A. Buchanan David Buchanan opens “Going Scapegoat” with a story about getting warned when setting off from a very secure American base on a very safe trip to downtown Riyadh “not to get scalped by no Injuns.” This story sets in motion his examination of scapegoating mechanisms in post-9/11 literary and cultural […]Read more "“Going Scapegoat: Post-9/11 Literature, Language and Culture” by David A. Buchanan"
Crossfire Dick Francis and Felix Francis Last January I set an absolutely ridiculous Goodreads reading challenge for myself–so ridiculous that I’m embarrassed even to admit how high it is (okay, it was 200 books). Needless to say, unless a miracle occurs I’m not going to meet it, although I will say in my defense that […]Read more "“Crossfire” by Dick Francis and Felix Francis"
The New Literary War Hero of Chechnya, Iraq, and Afghanistan Image from “Ninth Company,” dir. Fyodor Bondarchuk When I began reading and writing about contemporary Russian war prose, especially connected to the Chechen wars, I thought that the Russian/Chechen experience, and the literature coming out of it, was unique. And of course the Chechen wars […]Read more "My Chat with Veteran and Author Andy Owen about War, Literature, and PTSD, Part II"
The New Literary War Hero in the Age of the Global War on Terror (Image from the film “Captive,” dir. Aleksey Uchitel) While this blog was originally focused mainly on my side hustle job of writing and reviewing fantasy, readers may have noticed a certain focus on matters military in recent posts, as in my […]Read more "My Chat with Andy Owen About War, Literature, and PTSD, Part I"
Spoils Brian Van Reet Specialist Cassandra Wigheard is a tough girl from Arkansas who joined the army looking for adventure. What she got was deployment to Iraq and lots of close proximity with aspiring rapists, first from her own comrades in arms, then from the mujahideen who capture her and want to use her as […]Read more "“Spoils” by Brian Van Reet"
I Married a Soldier Brenda Hale and Rachel Farmer It’s what every military spouse fears: silence when there should have been emails, followed by uniformed strangers at the door. In “I Married a Soldier,” Brenda Hale chronicles her happy marriage to career military man Mark Hale, and its heartbreaking end when he was killed in […]Read more "“I Married a Soldier” by Brenda Hale and Rachel Farmer"
Embed: With the World’s Armies in Afghanistan Nick Allen I knew Nick Allen as the translator of the excellent “One Soldier’s War,” so I was interested to read his own story of spending two years embedded with various countries’ armies in Afghanistan. I was not disappointed: it’s a fascinating book that depicted what for me […]Read more "“Embed: With the World’s Armies in Afghanistan” by Nick Allen"
American Sniper Chris Kyle “We were slaughtering them,” brags Chris Kyle, America’s most prolific sniper, in his bestselling memoir that spawned the hit movie directed by Clint Eastwood. The “them” here refers to Iraqi insurgents, of whom Kyle killed close to 200, something he attributes largely to luck and being in the right place at […]Read more "“American Sniper” by Chris Kyle"