A former infantryman offered to send me a copy of his first novel a couple of months back.
I told him that I would read it, but no promises.
It sat on the (Kindle) stack until I had some long travel for business.
Here’s the note I sent him after reading it cover to cover during those flights:
I pray God that the (extremely well-written) internal emotional wrenching was all fiction.
And I know that it was not.
And I also know damned well that the ball-breaking between the protagonist and his buds was verbatim transcription of what really went on.
Finally, I wish that I had had the insights into women, life, and the important stuff when I was your age, rather than still trying to figure it out at 2x your age.
Am sitting at 37000′ composing myself after finishing your novel in two big sittings. As someone whose first exposure to tales of the ribald soldier life was “Those Devils In Baggy Pants” and “Currahee” [82nd and 101st, respectively] way back in the late Sixties when I was just a boy, you’ve written a classic. Haven’t read “Generation Kill”, but unless I am a complete Neanderfuck, your book’s a keeper. Big time.
Snapshot draft review for WRSA:
“Hilarious and heartbreaking – often on the same page, ‘Breakfast with the Dirt Cult’ is a modern war novel classic by and about a young infantryman learning about the Army, life, his buddies, combat, women, Afghanistan, death, love, and human frailty. You will be the poorer for not reading it, as will your friends.”
One word: superb.