This is a not book about platoon level combat despite what the book blurb says. It is a book about soldiers, Iraqis, others getting blown up, maimed, shot, killed, ruined without any overarching theme or story other than it is due to the surge. Here is a journal entry from one of “The Good Soldiers”, which pretty much sums up the tone of the entire book. “I’ve lost all hope. I feel the end is near for me, very, very near.
Day by day my misery grows like a storm, ready to swallow me whole and take me to the unknown. Yet all I can fear is the unknown.
Why can’t I just let go, and let it consume me. Why do I fight so hard, just to be punished again and again, for things I can’t recall? What have I done? I just can’t go on anymore with this evil game.
Darkness is all I see anymore.”
If you are in need of a depressing story, then this is the perfect book to read. Nothing good occurs, only death and destruction. I don’t feel qualified to speak about this book, I wasn’t there. I’d be interested in what members of 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division have to say about it. I did not learn much about the surge in Iraq from this book. This is the type of book I expected from the Washington Post/New York Times reporter pool.