Sunday, September 18, 2005

Library Journal Review

At age 25, Buzzell had already led a life that embraced alcohol, drugs, a minor criminal record, and a series of dead-end jobs. Enlisting in the U.S. Army, he set his focus on "Being All That You Can Be" as an infantryman, spending most of 2003 in Iraq assigned to the Stryker Brigade Combat Team. He began sharing his experiences through a blog, thus providing more truth than CNN or the army could or would. Here, Buzzell cleverly prepares a text that is part memoir, part diary entries, and part email messages. War veterans will understand the episodic nature of his narrative, the confusion of described battle, the brutality of his life, and the rawness of his prose. With Buzzell's return to the States and the close of an effective soldier's life, neither he nor the reader is sure that he has not come full circle and returned to his civilian life of loss. Recommended for public libraries.