Monday, January 9, 2012
Zarqawi's Ice Cream by Andrew Goldsmith
I had a war kick a couple years ago where I read books written about an Army Ranger, a Navy Seal, and reconnaissance Marines. So it was a no brainer that I might be interested in hearing about Army infantry soldiers. Whether or not you agree with the US involvement in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, you have to admit that those who have served overseas have some pretty knarly stories to tell.
Zarqawi's Ice Cream is a collection of stories, impressions, and memories of Goldsmith's time in the Army, and specifically, Iraq. This book is written differently from the others I had read. Although each book has a distinct voice and personality, Goldsmith's quasi stream of consciousness style definitely stands out. Although I'm not sure if I like it or not, it definitely gives his story telling an interesting style. Rather than a straight out narrative, "Hi, I'm Andrew and this is my story..." Goldsmith journals each chapter independently. There is a loose connection from chapter to chapter, but each really is its own story. He has an artful way of conveying his message, even if he IS talking about something gritty or even disturbing. The downfall, however, is that I didn't feel a real connection to Goldsmith or the other people he writes about. He seems detached from the narratives, and it made me feel a bit detached to the book as a whole.
So while I feel like the book is well-written, it's not my favorite military read.