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Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War (Paperback)

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"[A]moving commentary on the power of war to transform."--Publishers Weekly

About the Author


Matt Gallagher joined the Army in 2005 and left in 2009 following a fifteen-month tour in Iraq. Originally from Reno, Nevada, he now lives in New York City.

Praise for Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War…


Military Review, March/April 2011
“Insightful, colorful, and at times irreverent…An excellent snapshot of a junior officer embroiled in a counterinsurgency fight…An exceptionally engaging read.”

Entertainment Weekly Online, 4/7/11
“Simultaneously blisteringly funny and dead serious.” Smoke, April 2011 “A sardonic, unnerving, one-of-a-kind Iraq war memoir…Kaboom resonates with stoical detachment from and timeless insight into a war that we are still trying to understand.” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5/13/11
“Gallagher's writing is raw and uncensored, and also very good. In the midst of a war we're still struggling to understand, it's a privilege to understand very well at least one person's part in it.”

WomanAroundTown.com, 6/5/11
“Irreverent, terrifying, and very humorous, Gallagher’s book will make some people angry, and will validate the suppositions of others.”

Bangkok Post (Thailand), 8/14/11“Gallagher’s compelling work…offers the reader an unfiltered, brutally honest look into the life of a young lieutenant struggling to bring some semblance of security and stability to a very unsecure and unstable place.” Portland Book Review, 9/17/11“Gallagher’s unbridled candor recounting his time in Iraq is shocking, frightening and at times, deals with the mundane rigors of army life, but is ultimately to be commended…A compelling read… Kaboom allows the reader to ride alongside an officer’s day to day life in a war zone.” SmallWarsJournal.com, 9/19/11 “Gallagher’s Kaboom, simply stated, will likely be remembered as the quintessential memoir of his generation’s combat experiences, particularly in Iraq.  Not only does it successfully combine the finest authorial innovations of blogging with finest aspects of traditional memoir writing, but it easily and slyly avoids the traps of each as well.  It is unabashedly self-centered and self-aware, but manages to sound anything but self-absorbed.  It is full of pop culture references, clever writing, and the cynicism that accompanies his generation without sounding for a second like it is contrived or flimsy. In a word, his work is authentic, a rendering of wartime experiences that has been experienced by nearly his entire generation of warriors but has not been matched by his generation of writers…Mostly, though, this is just a beautifully written book that speaks for many who share Gallagher’s experiences.”

Blogcritics.org, 2/13/12 “Gallagher pins down the modern-day experience of war and its maze of contradictions…A gutsy, keenly observed tale.”

Product Details ISBN-10: 0306819678
ISBN-13: 9780306819674
Published: Da Capo Press, 04/01/2011
Pages: 336
Language: English