I don’t know how I ever got away with not reading this. I think it may be perfect.
I’m a sucker for works that explore the relationships between memory, fact and reality, and war is certainly an appropriate setting for such a discussion. A soldier’s wartime memories constitute the most intense type of truth, whether or not the facts are recalled with 100% accuracy.
The language is effortlessly flawless; the story lines are simultaneously funny, suspenseful, shocking and achingly TRUTHFUL; the format is revolutionary… this is definitely the best book about war that I’ve read, if not one of the best books period. Again, I think it may be perfect.
"A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil…
"You can tell a true war story if it embarrasses you. If you don’t care for obscenity, you don’t care for the truth; if you don’t care for the truth, watch how you vote. Send guys to war, they come home talking dirty."