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Generation Kill

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  10,186 ratings  ·  644 reviews
Visit HBO’s Generation Kill website here.The New York Times bestseller—"one of the best books to come out of the second Iraq war." (Financial Times)

Within hours of 9/11, America's war on terrorism fell to those like the 23 Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ed combat since Vietnam. They were a new breed of American warrior unrec
Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Berkley Caliber (first published May 20th 2004)
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Liza Boyd Not a work of fiction. True story. Evan Wright was hired by Rolling Stone to report on the invasion of Iraq. He joined this platoon and rode with them…moreNot a work of fiction. True story. Evan Wright was hired by Rolling Stone to report on the invasion of Iraq. He joined this platoon and rode with them to Baghdad. This book is based on three magazine pieces he filed with Rolling Stone in the spring/summer of 2003.(less)
Cannon The book is not for or against the war, just a record of a marine recon group during the first weeks of the invasion, with tons of interviews witht…moreThe book is not for or against the war, just a record of a marine recon group during the first weeks of the invasion, with tons of interviews witht the soldiers on the ground.(less)
Black Hawk Down by Mark BowdenLone Survivor by Marcus LuttrellGeneration Kill by Evan WrightBand of Brothers by Stephen E. AmbroseWar by Sebastian Junger
Best Modern Day Military Accounts
3rd out of 191 books — 429 voters
Band of Brothers by Stephen E. AmbroseBlack Hawk Down by Mark BowdenLone Survivor by Marcus LuttrellUnbroken by Laura HillenbrandFlags of Our Fathers by James D. Bradley
Best Non-fiction War Books
17th out of 821 books — 1,022 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Landry Smith
Generation Kill by Evan Wright is a firsthand account of a reporter embedded with the Marines of Force Recon Battalion during the invasion of Iraq. Jam-packed with details,this novel portrays the struggles and terrors that the marines face in the war.From weapons malfunctioning to choices that the higher ranking officers have caused,Evan Wright explains everything that happened during his two months with the marines.
Throughout the story, the marines encounter problems with their enemies.Someti
There is something that Evan Wright was able to do in writing this book that the other authors, even the award winners like Dexter Filkins and Steve Fainaru, were not able to do and that is extricate himself from the story and allow it to be solely about the men. Wright is so invisible in the mix that you forget he is riding along in the humvee with the rest of the recon marines. He is able to so skillfully express who these men were and what they are all about, that the entire work reads like f ...more
US Marines. Jarheads. Devil Dogs. Many names to call them but none could really embody the essence and the spirit. Compared with the other military branches in the US Armed Forces, I think this one is the most unique, and thus most intriguing. This memoir told a story about the marines based on direct view from a reporter (from Rolling Stones magazine) who was embedded in the First Recon Battalion, one of the first units deployed in and entering Iraq in 2003. Cynics or critics may say this is a ...more
Ten things I learned from Generation Kill that I really should have known already:

10.) A shamal is a wind blowing over Iraq and the Persian Gulf that can cause horrible dust storms. The resulting weather can make things like driving, sleeping in the open, and not getting putrid, red eye infections difficult.

9.) Sabka is a geological phenomenon particular to the Middle East which appears to be plain desert, with a crust of sand about an inch thick, but beneath that crust is quicksand made of ta
I had no idea this book would be so funny, but for real, it's hilarious. Also exhausting and enraging and painful. And truly excellent, for the record.

For anyone who doesn't remember, this is the account of a reporter embedded in a marine recon unit during the invasion of Iraq. And by "embedded" I mean he rode in the lead car that was repeatedly the northernmost American presence in Iraq, and the very tip of the invading spear. There are a lot of firefights recounted – or more accurately, a lot
Jan 10, 2009 Hayley rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Readers curious about Iraq invasion or Marines, Readers who like dark humor and grit
I knew virtually nothing about the Iraq invasion--especially the conditions on the ground. This book made much of the military strategy (and some of the most shocking, sad, and funny moments) quite real to me. It did so without losing me in military terminology, or seeming patronizing by dumbing it down *too* much. The author's tone was appropriately masculine and efficient.

My greatest commendation goes to the author's contrast between the inexperienced young men going in and their more jaded se
I am still digesting this book and will for awhile, I suspect. The author was an embedded reporter in First Recon Marine battalion in the early days of the Iraq war. First Recon Marines do just that---go in first, before anybody else, and open up the way. The descriptions are brutal, graphic and sometimes unbearable. As a woman and a mother, I was devastated at the sights and sounds and experiences of these young men. Iraq is hell for everyone--soldiers and Iraqi citizens alike. For the American ...more
Visha Burkart
Disclaimer: This reviewer is a gentle and peaceful person. Truly.
Interestingly, although I posted this review almost a year ago, I haven't heard from a goodreads person ("community manager") until now about it. Possibly because Evan Wright has become a "goodreads author"? Maybe that has nothing to do with it, but possibly goodreads wants to become "Lifetime Books" or literally, "Good Reads" - they don't want critical reviews or anything negative written about their "goodreads authors". In the s
Sep 24, 2008 Xon rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Xon by: Marines
Shelves: war
A couple of Marines who were in Iraq told me to read this book because it accurately described a bunch of young kids invading Iraq. So I guess the fact that I thought the book was just OK would be more of how I feel about Iraq than how the well the book is written. These marines go into Iraq and meet very little resistance. There are no major battles, no overcoming of impossible odds, and no stories of heroism. I have become accustomed to being overwhelmed with bravery and heroic acts when I rea ...more
Don Mitchell
Disclaimer: I'm a virulent peacenik who believes the only just US military actions in the past 50 years were Bosnia and the initial Afghanistan liberation, and both for the same reason—stopping totalitarian genocide (Afghani misogynistic tyranny). I believe we use the military career as a means to pacify our permanent underclass—their only hope for the true opportunity we won't give them otherwise. I am so radical that I believe we should reduce our military by 60%.

I listened to this book becaus
Dear Penthouse,
I never thought I'd actually read (or like) a book by one of your former writers. However, I found Generation Kill to be both alarming and humorous at the same time...
Gayle Francis Moffet
Evan Wright was a reporter from Rolling Stone who got into the back of a Humvee with a group of Recon Marines and wrote about them tearing through Iraq in the early days of "Operation Iraqi Freedom." The book is equal parts astounding, shocking, and hilariously funny. Wright doesn't pull any punches regarding the men he's covering. They swear (a lot). They talk about how they enjoy killing (a lot). They bitch and moan and even get mildly mutinous at their superiors.

The result is a book that's s
Jul 28, 2011 Dave added it
Twenty-five years from now, this book will be the defining piece on the average grunts in the run up and initial invasion of Iraq. It started as a series of articles that the author, who was embedded with a company of Marines, did for Rolling Stone (ironically, it was a Marine Recon unit, which is the rough equivalent to the Army Rangers in the Marines, but they get stuck driving north in Humvees just like everyone else). The articles evolved into something more and this book in the result. Like ...more
The author, a journalist at “Rolling Stone,” rides fully embedded with Marines of the First Recon Battalion as they spearhead the initial drive into Iraq, blazing through small towns and dealing with jihadists, fayadeen, and forward observers disguised as civilians. They sleep in “Ranger graves” (small holes in the sand) and talk nonchalantly as tracers whizz by overhead. With a keen ear for rough dialogue and a flair for making his subjects seem real and three-dimensional, Wright depicts the yo ...more
This is an incredible book of combat and the "fog of war." The book reads like such great fiction that if he didn't mention it you wouldn't realize that the author was there for the whole thing. The narratives of combat are enthralling, sobering, and thought-provoking. Two of the most fascinating things about this book are: (1) the "fog of war" aspect, where even though these soldiers are incredibly eager to get into combat, when they do they seem disillusioned by the fact that, sometimes, the p ...more
Oct 20, 2014 Pete rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009, usa
Giving "Generation Kill" a full 5-star rating after giving "As I Lay Dying" and "Slaughterhouse 5" 4-star ratings feels a tad lazy, really. I could pretend to be fancier than I am, and claim that I enjoyed my first foray (!) into Faulkner and Vonnegut more than I enjoyed this 350 page, easily digestible account of some totally bad ass Marines fighting in Iraq, but I won't. I liked the Faulkner and Vonnegut books, sure, and I intend to read more by each author, but "Generation Kill" resonates mor ...more
I saw the HBO miniseries first, and then rushed out to find the book as soon as I could. The book gives a broader view of events than the series, as the writer goes out for extra interviews/research/reporting to get more information. He explains a lot of the 'whys?' I ended up with while watching the story play out on tv. The book turns out as readable as the series is watchable, coming across as a not-so family friendly road trip set in the backdrop of a war.

I loved this book. So. Much. The sol
Wright, a Rolling Stone journalist joins the Marine Corps First Recon (special-ops-trained warriors programmed to kill) as they become the first men on the ground during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

I’ve tried to read Dispatches and A Rumor Of War before and never made it past the first few chapters – they were too disheartening, too leaden for a wine-sipping liberal like me to get much out of. By contrast, I found myself utterly immersed in Generation Kill and always eager to pick it up again wh
The book's title hints at exploring differences between this generation and previous generations as to how they approach and perform in war. The author explored this theme just a little bit early in the book, but then sets it aside in favor of a traditional war correspondent's diary. I didn't really hear a compelling argument as to how these young men were fundamentally different than their American counterparts in other wars. Apart from the weapons technology, I might just as easily have been l ...more
Evan Wright, a journalist, joined a group of Recon Marines for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The book tells their and his story. Sometimes the soldiers come across as complete arses but at other times their humanity shows when they cry about injured children and adhere to the 'warrior code' by not shooting civilians if they can help it. It's also interesting to see the invasion from Wright's POV as a civilian and how he copes with the Marines' lifestyle. It's not a stuffy political book but quit ...more
This book is not for everyone. It is a confronting and blunt tale, but I got a lot out of it. Hence, the five stars I gave it.
Evan Wright does not censor himself and nor should he. It is real, very real, to censor it would just be wrong. I came to this book after watching the mini series. I wanted to see how different they were. I found out that they are not different at all. What happens, and what is said, in the mini series, happens in the book. Well done Evan Wright.
Jan 30, 2015 Zedsdead rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Zedsdead by: Borrowed from Tim
Memoir of a Rolling Stone reporter embedded with Force Recon Marines, the tip of the spear in Bush's Iraq invasion. It's bloody, and dull, and riveting.

One thing that struck me was the fact that the only universal attitude--seemingly held by pretty much every Marine in the company--was contempt for weakness and incompetence. The hyper-masculine mindlessness I expected to read about was missing. One Marine announced his intention to open a gay bar. Another preached Marxism and socialism. A third
Generation Kill was the last of HBO's war mini-series I had to watch. I left it for last because I figured I wasn't going to like it. I ended up absolutely loving it, however, and therefore wanted to read the book it was based off of. I found that the mini-series was actually quite close to the book, which makes the series even more impressive, but doesn't make for such great reading. It was so close that I felt like I wasn't getting much of anything new from the book. I was also having difficul ...more
I've read more than a couple negative reviews of Generation Kill, which recounts an embedded journalist's journey with Recon Marines through the first stage of 'Iraqi Freedom.' These folks all seem dismayed that the young marines are portrayed as reckless, or crass, or lacking heroism. That there were no real obstacles, that their mission was mishandled, or futile.

I think that was the whole point. Like a slice of the war as a whole, their superiors made terrible judgment calls, they took an una
Hannah M.
Evan Wright, a journalist spent two months embedded with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Marines during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Originally, his account was a three part series in Rolling Stone magazine. In 2004, he published Generation Kill, a full length novel.

Generation Kill gives a view of the war from the perspectives of those fighting it. It isn’t bogged down by a bunch of Capitol Hill excuses and it certainly isn’t sugar-coated. Wright himself gets to experience a whole lot during h
I picked up this book on the recommendation of a SEAL friend of mine. We were debating the nature of the modern warrior, and he suggested that the guys on his team were less Black Hawk Down and more Generation Kill. I hadn't read the former (still haven't), but the latter was beckoning me from its place on the used book shelf. I brought it home.

I've always had a special place in my heart for Marines; more so now that I've gone underway on a Gator. This is even more true now that I've read this
If I could sum this book up with one word it would be OUTSTANDING! There are several reasons that I say this. I'm sorry to say that none of these reasons involve giving credit to Evan Wright for actually writing this book. Sorry Mr. Wright but I've got to give credit where it's due. Don't get me wrong, I give Evan Wright huge props for bravery by traveling along with the Marines elite during the first part of the invasion in Iraq. I also think he did a great job writing this book. But the real c ...more
Oct 12, 2011 Caity rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Caity by: A Marine
I thought this was a fabulous glimpse into military life in wartime. I was recommended by a Marine friend of mine to watch the HBO series based on the book. The series was only on Netflix as a DVD option, and we only have streaming. Then I realized it was a book and (as is usually the case) I was glad I found out before I watched the series.

I had just watched Restrepo (also at the bequest of my friend) and I was afraid the book was going to be a lot like Restrepo. Restrepo is a fabulous wartime
Brett Starr
Amazing book about the beginning of the war in Iraq.

The book follows the Marine Corps 1st Recon company as they blindly enter war in Iraq, literally not knowing exactly what their mission is or what to really expect.

I served in the Marine Corps with an infantry battalion, I got out right before the invasion of Iraq. The author Evan Wright, captures what it is to be a Marine and the camaraderie of the Corps perfectly. Wright's descriptions and Marine terms are right on, he did an amazing job wi
This book was fascinating and terrifying and heartbreaking and obnoxious and shocking and predictable all at the same time. I read it as fast as I could.

The best part of the book is getting to know the men of the unit. Quite a lot of them are just weird. Not necessarily psycho (although some of them were - Trombley seriously seemed like a sociopath, and Captain America seemed both unintelligent and unhinged), but most of them were just really odd. Besides the usual obnoxious obsession with "male
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That "author's photo" of me is an illustration done by my friend Hawk Krall, an awesome artist from Philly.

I had an odd path to writing which I describe in the first chapter of Hella Nation.

For the most part, my biography is contained in the books and articles I publish.
More about Evan Wright...
Hella Nation: Looking for Happy Meals in Kandahar, Rocking the Side Pipe,Wingnut's War Against the GAP, and Other Adventures with the Totally Lost Tribes of America How to Get Away With Murder in America American Desperado: My Life--From Mafia Soldier to Cocaine Cowboy to Secret Government Asset Spring Broke American Desperado (Policier / Thriller)

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“We're like America's little pit bull. They beat it, starve it, mistreat it, and once in a while they let it out to attack somebody.” 44 likes
“You know what happens when you get out of the Marine Corps," Person continues. "you get you brains back.” 18 likes
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