Andrew's Reviews > Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier's Story of a Forgotten War

Pumpkinflowers by Matti Friedman
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's review
Mar 12, 2016

it was amazing

"Someone read from a list, and two dozen strangers whose names were called became a platoon of engineers. This, at least, was how one of the military clerks might have explained what had just happened. What had in fact been determined was the course - and, in a few cases, the duration - of their lives."

And with turns of phrase like this, Matti Friedman writes an incredibly reflective memoir about life in the last industrialized country with a military draft still sending its soldiers into combat. Ignore the politics for a while - and Friedman generally does - to read something justly compared to All Quiet On The Western Front. These teenagers spend three years observing a no-mans land, which is generally tedious, but punctuated by both chaos and the surreal. I cannot neatly classify this book into a genre. Instant classic might be the closest.

Unlike the gung-ho style of books like American Sniper, this has all the marks of a timeless book about war, armies, and the ordinary citizens that hand over their sons to them.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 8, 2016 – Finished Reading
March 12, 2016 – Shelved

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